Diversity champions are honored with Inclusive Excellence Awards

Diversity champions are honored with Inclusive Excellence Awards

By University Communications
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Photo by Chris Richards/Arizona Alumni Association
Photo by Chris Richards/Arizona Alumni Association
Duarte Diaz, associate professor and associate extension specialist in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Duarte Diaz, associate professor and associate extension specialist in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Jacy Farkas, training director at the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Jacy Farkas, training director at the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities

The University is again honoring faculty, staff and students for their work to bolster campus and community diversity with the Inclusive Excellence Awards. The awards, presented by the office of Initiatives for Organizational Inclusion, come with a $500 professional development stipend.

The winners are listed below. Scroll to the end of this article to watch a congratulatory video from President Robert C. Robbins.

Please note: The Maria Teresa Velez Outstanding Mentor Awards and the Edit Sayre Auslander Emerging Visionary Award and Established Visionary Award, which are traditionally presented by the Commission on the Status of Women alongside the Inclusive Excellence Awards, will be announced when a ceremony to honor the recipients can be scheduled.


Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award

This award is given to someone who made a significant contribution to embed diversity and inclusiveness into a structural or institutional aspect of the University, either through policies or procedures. The winner must demonstrate dedication toward retaining and recruiting diverse faculty, staff and students, fostering equality of opportunity, and creating a welcoming and supportive campus climate. The award is named for the late Richard Ruiz, former head of the Department of Mexican American Studies and professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies. Find a list of past recipients on the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence website.

Duarte Diaz
Associate Professor and Associate Extension Specialist
School of Animal and Comparitive Biomedical Sciences

Diaz's nomators cite his work on the Arizona Dairy Farm Training program, which delivers training materials to Arizona's largely Hispanic dairy farm workforce and offers training opportunities in Mexico for people interested in working in the U.S. dairy industry.

"His efforts to address the safety and training of the Hispanic workforce in Arizona are truly stellar and carry the University of Arizona's efforts to improve diversity and inclusiveness beyond the campus boundaries and into the communities our land grant mission requires that we serve," said one nominator.

Another noted Diaz's commitment to speaking up for women and minorities in science.

Diaz joined the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences faculty as an associate professor and extension specialist in 2015.

Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards

The Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards were created to recognize students and employees who enhance the University by creating an inclusive environment by fostering equality, encouraging diverse perspectives, and working on recruitment and retention of a diverse campus community. The award is named for President Emeritus Peter Likins, who led the University from 1997 to 2006. Find a list of past recipients on the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence website.

Staff Award | Jacy Farkas, Training Director, Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities.

Farkas joined the Sonoran Center in 2007 and became its training director in 2018. She is on the board of directors for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and chairs the organization's Multicultural Council.

One nominator said Farkas' work at the center "exemplifies the meaning of inclusive excellence and focuses on the disability population, which is often overlooked in considerations for how to increase diversity and inclusion."

Another cited her efforts to revise the syllabus for the center's core disabilities class to include the perspectives of racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities with disabilities as well as community initiatives, such as working with Reid Park Zoo to boost inclusion of youth with disabilities in volunteer and camp activities.

Program Award | Petersen HIV Clinics and Arizona AIDS Education Training Center

The Petersen HIV Clinics and Arizona AIDS Education and Training Center are housed within the Department of Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson. The Petersen clinics provide HIV prevention and care services, and  the training center offers HIV-related training and technical assistance to health care providers throughout the state.

One nominator praised the clinics and the center for working together to provide HIV care and resources to underserved populations, including refugees, LGBTQ populations and those who are incarcerated. Another praised their "sex positivity" approach, leading to more open conversations between patients and health care providers that can lead to a reduction of HIV and unintended pregnancies.

Student Awards | Da'Mere Wilson, Department of Psychology, and Maria Steinrueck, Department of Planetary Sciences

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