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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Diversity, inclusiveness rewarded

Janice+Biancavilla+%2F++Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AProfessor+John+Szivek+from+the+Department+of+Orthopedic+Surgery+speaks+in+the+Santa+Rita+room+in+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center+on+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+21+after+recieving+the+Inclusive+Excellence+Award.+Recipients+were+chosen+based+on+their+contributions+towards+creating+a+diverse+and+inclusive+campus+environment.+
Janice Biancavilla / Daily Wild
Janice Biancavilla / Daily Wildcat Professor John Szivek from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery speaks in the Santa Rita room in the Student Union Memorial Center on Tuesday, Feb. 21 after recieving the Inclusive Excellence Award. Recipients were chosen based on their contributions towards creating a diverse and inclusive campus environment.

Individuals who helped create a diverse and inclusive campus community were recognized on Tuesday at the Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards.

Seven awards were handed out to faculty, staff and students from the UA and UA Santa Cruz campus in Nogales, Ariz., for their contributions toward enhancing the UA’s academic excellence. The ceremony was held in the Santa Rita Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.

In a welcoming statement, Raji Rhys, assistant vice president of Programs for Inclusive Excellence, said the awards are given to colleagues of the UA who ask whether everyone has access to the university, if the campus is reflective of the communities it serves and if the university supports the success of all who want and are able to learn and work at the UA.

“If you are a university that is committed to excellence and equity, then you must be asking these questions of yourself and those that work with you,” she said. “Not only do our award recipients ask these tough questions, but they make sure that we all answer them in a way that is truly meaningful.”

Individual and team awards were given out. Winners included Marie Chisholm-Burns, former department head of Pharmacy Practice and Science and professor at the College of Pharmacy; John Szivek, a professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery in the College of Medicine; Jennifer Hoefle, program director in the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning Affairs; and Rebecca Covarrubias, a student in the psychology graduate program. All received awards for the work they have done to be as inclusive as possible toward the campus and its associates.

Winners of the team award included the UA Santa Cruz Campus who offer those living in poverty a better education, The Student Leadership Program and the Arizona Model United Nations.

Chisholm-Burns, who accepted the position of dean for the University of Tennesse’s College of Pharmacy, received her award on her last day at the UA.

“The University of Arizona has been a great place to be,” Burns said. “This award does not only represent my work, but it represents our work collectively. So this award really belongs to all of us.”

Covarrubias, the recipient of the student award, said she was thankful for the recognition and that the award may have been “the coolest” award she has ever received.

“It’s probably even better than a job offer,” she said, “although a job offer would be really nice.”

President Eugene Sander said he believes this is an excellent award and truly helps better the campus.

“I think this recognizes people who have really made a difference at our university with inclusiveness,” Sander said.

Former UA President Peter Likins, for whom the award is named, was also at the ceremony. Likins said that, after visiting schools all over the country, he has never known a university so committed to the idea of inclusiveness as the UA.

“It is a very very special place to be distinguished as it is in the intellectual realm and with such reputation,” Likins said, “and at the same time so embracing of all people. It’s absolutely amazing.”

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