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Commission on Women and Gender Equity in Academia

2019 Presidential Diversity Awards Recognize Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

January 29, 2019

The Presidential Diversity Awards recognize faculty, staff, students, units, departments, or teams that “demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion through recruitment and retention efforts, teaching, research, multicultural programming, cultural competency, community outreach activities, or other initiatives.”

This year, the recipients of the Presidential Diversity Awards were Myra Henry and the Commission on Women & Gender Equity in Academia (CWGEA), who were selected from among eight nominees who were recommended by their colleagues. Each award includes a $2,500 prize. Individual award recipients receive half and designate half to support the budget of a program or department of the winner’s choice; team award winners designate the entire $2,500 prize to the program or department of the team’s choice.


One of the 2019 awards seen during University of Rochester’s Presidential Diversity Awards reception at the Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center, Jan. 24, 2019. // Photo by Adrian Kraus / University of Rochester

The award itself is made out of a unique type of dichroic glass that shifts colors as it the light hits it from different angles. The design and special glass were chosen to symbolize the energy and enthusiasm required to pursue and succeed at diversity and inclusion work. The Chinese character on the front of the award means “Leadership.” The awards were designed by local glass artist Nancy Gong in collaboration with Maggie Cousin, Assistant Vice-Provost for Diversity.