Diversity Achievement Award

Each year at Fall Convocation, the Diversity Achievement Award is presented 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 2019 Diversity Achievement Award has been extended through Monday, May 6, 2019.

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 1, 2019 addressing one or more of the above listed criteria to the Equal Opportunity Office, Old Main 345 or MS-9021.

2018 Diversity Achievement Award Recipients: Regina Barber DeGraaff, Robin Kodner and Lina Dahlberg

Regina Barber DeGraaff
STEM Inclusion & Outreach Specialist, Physics & Astronomy Instructor, College of Science & Engineering

2018 Diversity Achievement Award Recipients, pictured right to left, Regina Barber DeGraaff, Robin Kodner and Lina Dahlberg

Dr. Regina Barber DeGraaff teaches physics, astronomy and science communication at Western Washington University (WWU). Regina completed her PhD in Physics in 2011 from Washington State University with a focus in Astrophysics, studying globular cluster systems. She also created the position of STEM Inclusion and Outreach Specialist at WWU, which is devoted to the retention and support of underrepresented students and faculty in STEM. In this part-time administrative position, Regina advises several STEM clubs (such as the WWU Chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispancis and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)), hiring committees, grant funded programs, and university inclusion committees. She also facilitates co-created equity workshops, serves on the Minority Employee Council Board, and plans inclusion events. Lastly, Regina is also the creator and host of the KMRE radio show and WWU podcast Spark Science, which strives to make science fun, accessible and human. Through all of her efforts, Regina’s goal is to break apart the scientist stereotype so that anyone can see themselves in science.


Robin Kodner
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, College of Science & Engineering

Robin Kodner is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Western Washington University (WWU). She earned her BS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her PhD in Biology from Harvard University in 2007, and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington before joining the faculty at WWU. In her biology research, she uses environmental genomic techniques to study microbial community diversity in marine and alpine environments, with the goal of documenting how these communities respond to changing climate. In addition to her training as a scientist, she has worked as an outdoor educator, specifically for urban-based programs that fostered development of self-reflection, leadership, and teamwork in a social justice context. She works to bring these same ideals to her science classrooms and was recognized by the WWU Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment’s Innovative Teaching Showcase in 2013 for using service learning in her Statistics course. She is passionate about creating an inclusive culture in STEM classrooms and departments at WWU and beyond.


Lina Dahlberg
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, College of Science & Engineering

Lina Dahlberg is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Western Washington University (WWU). She teaches introductory and advanced courses in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Neurobiology. She received her PhD in Biochemistry in 2008 from the University of Washington, and worked as a TEACRS (Training in Education And Critical Research Skills) post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology at Tufts University before joining the faculty at WWU. In the laboratory, Lina and her students use microscopic worms (C. elegans) to study how nerve cells are able to signal to each other under normal and stressful conditions. Lina also studies how independent and collaborative research experiences can improve student problem solving through increased metacognition. Lina is especially interested in exploring ways to make science classrooms and departments more welcoming through evidence-based, student-centered learning practices. She is committed to bringing more STEM faculty and students into conversations surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion by organizing on-campus forums for discussion, learning, and self-reflection.


Past Award Recipients
































Francisco Rios, Professor, Woodring College of Education

Liz Partolan-Fray, Director of International Programs & Exchanges, Institute for Global Engagement

Joseph E. Trimble, Professor, Department of Psychology, Woodring College of Education

Trula Nicholas, Associate Professor, Department of Health & Community Studies

Marie Eaton, Professor, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Korry Harvey, Senior Instructor and Assistant Director of Forensics, Department of Communication Studies

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 05.01.2019