Diversity Achievement Award

Each year at Fall Convocation, President Shepard presents the Diversity Achievement Award to recognize an individual (faculty, staff or student) or office whose distinguished efforts have enhanced diversity and multicultural understanding at Western. The deadline to nominate for the 2014 Diversity Achievement Award was Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

Diversity Achievement Award Poster

Nomination Criteria and Guidelines


  • Integrates diversity concepts and values into academic curriculum, management and/or operational functions.
  • Develops methods for increasing and valuing diversity among students, faculty, and/or staff.
  • Maximizes opportunities to achieve diversity.
  • Contributes to promoting an understanding and appreciation of differences by contributing to the body of research on diversity or through other endeavors.


  • Provide a nomination letter (not to exceed 3 pages) by Wednesday, May 21, 2014 addressing one or more of the above listed criteria to the Equal Opportunity Office, Old Main 345 or MS-9021.

2013 winner: Dr. Steve Sulkin

Director, Shannon Point Marine Center

Steve Sulkin

Dr. Steve Sulkin served as Director of Western’s Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC) in Anacortes for 28 years prior to his retirement this summer.  During that time, he worked tirelessly to further diversity at Western and in the science community, both programmatically and personally. Steve’s efforts have profoundly influenced the career tracks of students from diverse ethnic groups underrepresented in the sciences.  Western students, faculty, and staff have also benefitted from the cultural and educational diversity produced by his program.

In 1985, during his first year at Western, Steve developed the Minorities in Marine Science Undergraduate Program (MIMSUP) through an unsolicited proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF).  After an initial three-year trial program, NSF has renewed this grant four times, each for five years, enabling Steve to sustain this program introducing Native American, Alaskan Native, African American, Latino/Hispanic, and Pacific Islander students to the possibility of pursuing careers in the marine sciences. No other NSF-supported diversity program can claim this longevity or level of support.

In addition to publishing papers and presenting, MIMSUP participants teach marine science in local elementary schools, giving young students the opportunity to learn science from diverse role models.  The majority of MIMSUP alumni now work in science-related fields and are enthusiastic ambassadors for SPMC and WWU.  To date, 60% percent of program alumni have pursued advanced degrees.

Recognizing Steve’s success, in 2002 he was invited to the White House to receive, for SPMC and Western, a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.  SPMC and Western’s reputation as a national leader in recruiting and retaining diverse marine science students is rooted in Steve’s deep and lasting work.  Congratulations to Steve for being recognized with the Diversity Achievement Award, and thank you for your years of inclusive leadership at Western.

Past Award Recipients


























Steve Sulkin, Director, Shannon Point Marine Center

Willy Hart, Director, University Residences

Joan Ullin, Coordinator, Academic Support, Student Outreach Services

Kathy Kitto, Professor, College of Sciences & Technology

Lorraine Kasprisin, Professor, Secondary Education

Admissions Office, Karen Copetas, Director

Tom Nerini, Director, Student Outreach Services

Dr. Robert Hyung-chan Kim, Professor Emeritus

Jesse Moore, AS VP for Diversity

Lynn Robbins, Department of Environmental Studies

Gigi Berardi, Department of Environmental Studies

Brian Bingham, Shannon Point Marine Center

Ted Pratt, Director of Student Life/Dean of Students

Karen Hoelscher, Elementary Education

Joseph Garcia, Management

Roland L. De Lorme, Provost (retired)

Larry Estrada, Fairhaven/American Cultural Studies

Vernon Johnson, Political Science

Law and Diversity Program, Fairhaven College

The Ethnic Student Center Student Organizations

Dal Symes

Ray McInnis, Wilson Librarians for the Development of Ethnic Minority Research Guides, Wilson Library Diversity Section, and Diversity Resource Collections

Woodring College of Education, the Center for Educational Pluralism

The Department of English/Curricular Transformation Project

Saundra Taylor, Vice President for Student Affairs

Page Updated 10.21.2014