CET award recipients show commitment to diversity
A demonstrated, continuous commitment to promoting cultural diversity has earned several faculty, staff and students at ASU’s West campus recognition from the Campus Environment Team. The CET on the West campus awarded its 2011 Excellence in Diversity Awards to Omayra Ortega (faculty), Bobbi Magdaleno (staff/administrator), Bruce Bale (student), Natalie Ohannessian (community servant), and the M.A. program in social justice and human rights (group).
“All of the nominees were extremely deserving, so it wasn’t easy to choose the recipients,” said Margot Monroe, West campus CET chair. “Each nominee models the type of behavior that promotes a positive, welcoming atmosphere on the West campus.”
Ortega, a faculty member in New College’s Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, served as chair of the MLK Planning Committee at West, coordinating the highly successful “March on West” event that brought 1,200 students from local middle schools to campus for the annual “I Have a Dream” speech reenactment. Her numerous other activities include serving as faculty mentor of the Black Students Association and mentoring student clubs including the Hispanic Honor Society, Black Student Union, and the Axe Capoeira at ASU, a group performing Brazilian martial arts, music and dance. Ortega is described as an individual who truly models respectful treatment of all individuals in her daily interactions with students, fellow faculty, staff and community partners.
Magdaleno, director of community relations in Public Affairs, received a special unanimous nomination from the CET committee. The committee cited her tireless work as an advocate of all West campus cultural programs. “Bobbi is a constant supporter, and is first to see and voice the value in working with a very diverse group of individuals across several cultural committees,” Monroe said. “Campus committees such as Native American, Hispanic, MLK Planning and the Black History Month Committee all know the value of her commitment to keeping the tenets of valuing diversity live and well on the campus. She also works hard to ensure there is a connection that keeps the West campus on the forefront of community visibility and participation.”
Bale received the student award for his regular support and promotion of campus and community cultural diversity and awareness. Bale volunteers for student and special interest group causes, and meets and befriends people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. He is described as relishing the opportunity to learn about any cultural different from his own, and has made a point of promoting awareness of different cultures in and around campus. Recently Bale volunteered for a program called “Meals for Vegans,” which advocates and lobbies for greater vegan awareness and accessibility of vegan meals, although he is not a vegan himself.
Ohannessian is a community member who serves as advisor to the Teachers of the Future student organization. She has lent her assistance to several events at the West campus, including Winter Warmth, Book Bash and Fairy Godmothers, an event that collects prom dresses for girls who cannot afford them. Ohannessian is described as a kind-hearted individual who always puts others of all ethnic backgrounds before herself.
The faculty, students and staff associated with the master’s program in social justice and human rights received the group award for their success in fostering and enhancing diversity and justice. Founding faculty identified a need for a program of study focused on social change, including improving the status of marginalized peoples at all levels from the local to the institutional to global. From its outset the program has emphasized diversity, with a focus on women’s empowerment, outreach efforts, and activities on campus. The MASJHR program evolved out of the first-ever Border Justice event at ASU, which focused on femicides in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Since then the program’s major focus is on courses in transnational feminism, human trafficking, and sexual violence again migrant women.
Along with the award recipients, additional individuals and groups were nominated this year for the CET Excellence in Diversity Award in recognition for their commitment to the support and promotion of cultural diversity. Nominees included faculty members Akua Duku Anokye and Bel Winemiller and groups Kappa Delta Pi and Teachers of the Future.
CET is an advisory group to the Provost that promotes a positive, harmonious campus environment that celebrates individual and group diversity, promotes individualism, provides information to the campus community, and resolves issues in such a manner as to respect all people and their dignity.
For more information about CET at the West campus, contact Margot Monroe at (602) 543-8407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.