University Diversity & Inclusion Awards

The University Diversity and Inclusion Awards recognize individuals and departments that foster greater awareness, understanding and advancement of diversity and inclusiveness at Towson University.

2019 Academic Department Winner

Study Abroad Office                                                            Representative Liz Shearer

2019 Administrative Department Winner

Housing & Residence Life Representative(s) Malinda Jensen & Christina Olstad

2019 Staff Winner

Tasha Benn Career Center

2019 Faculty Winner

Elana Ehrlich, Ph.D. & Michelle Snyder, Ph.D. Department of Biological Sciences

2019 Graduate Student Winner

April Jones

Selection Committee

LaVern Chapman, Chair
Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity
Mary Cowles
College of Fine Arts & Communication
Kimberly Graham
Tutoring and Learning Center
Joel Herbert-Edwards
Office of Technology Services
Fran Luther Ph.D.
Department of Educational Technology & Literacy

Individual Awards: $500 each

  • Current Student: Graduate (masters/doctoral) 
  • Current Faculty Member (research or service) 
  • Current Staff Member 

Department Awards: $1,000 each

  • Academic Department 
  • Administrative Department 


Nominees (individual and department) must have demonstrated a significant contribution toward creating a diverse and inclusive Towson University community through the implementation of policies, procedures, initiatives and/or programs in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Embedding diversity and inclusiveness into a structural/institutional aspect of the Towson University (policy, procedure, tradition, vision statement, curricula/instruction, research, etc.).
  • Recruitment and retention of an excellent and diverse faculty, staff or student body.
  • Fostering equality of opportunity within the campus community.
  • Encouraging diverse perspectives on the campus. 
  • Creating a welcoming and supportive campus climate through efforts such as visibility, communication and education. 
  • Other areas critical to establishing inclusive excellence at the Towson University. 

Selection Criteria 

  • Significance - How has the nominee(s) demonstrated superior leadership and commitment to the enhancement, development and sustainability of diversity and inclusive excellence?

  • Innovation – How does the activity uniquely address key issues of diversity and inclusiveness throughout Towson University and/or the Towson University community? How is this activity different from existing activities and projects that address diversity and inclusiveness?
  • Impact - What have been the measurable outcomes? Has this project/program/activity been replicated at other institutions? How has this project/program/activity “moved the needle” in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness throughout Towson University and the Towson University community? 

Nomination Considerations

Areas of achievement to consider when nominating individuals and/or departments: 

  • Activities to recruit, retain, and professionally develop individuals who increase the diversity of our faculty or staff. 
  • Activities to attract or recruit students who increase the diversity of our schools, or to help ensure the success of those students. 
  • Activities to create leadership teams and organizations that promote a diverse and inclusive culture. 
  • Sponsorship or active promotion of programs, initiatives, or projects in the area of diversity and inclusion. 
  • Collaboration with campus or community groups in the creation, sponsorship, and implementation of programs, initiatives, or projects in the area of diversity and inclusion.
  • Recognition and celebration of exemplary individual and team behaviors that promote diversity and inclusion. 
  • Demonstration of emerging or sustained commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism by documented efforts that exceed the routine expectations of the job or project. 
  • Evidence of exceptional efforts to promote a university environment that is free from bias and discrimination. 
  • Substantiation of the contribution that the individual or department has made towards advancing diversity and inclusion. 


Staff, faculty, and department awards will occur during the Annual Staff Awards Ceremony. Student awards will occur at the Student Affairs Awards Ceremony. Award recipient names are added to a plaque in the Administration Building.

Contact Information

University Diversity & Inclusion Awards

Administration Building
Room 214
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.