Tong Honored for Diversity Efforts

Tong Honored for Diversity Efforts

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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Theodore Tong
Theodore Tong

Theodore Tong, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, has been honored as an Advocate for Diversity in Medicine by the Phoenix-based Victoria Foundation.

Tong was recognized for his numerous activities that encourage and support diversity on the UA campus. In addition to serving on the UA's Diversity Coalition, which advises the UA president and various campus groups on issues related to diversity, Tong is president of the Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association. He has also for 14 years directed PharmCamp, a program that introduces middle school students from Tucson and Yuma, many from low-income and minority families, to the pharmacy profession and the UA.

"There are times in your career when you are fortunate enough to be able to work with a colleague who, through their tireless advocacy for excellence through diversity, pushes you to be better, do more, be more. Ted Tong is such a colleague," said Raji Rhys, special adviser to the president for diversity and inclusion.  "He always puts student access and inclusion first, front and center. Simply put, he is a campus treasure."

The Victoria Foundation, located in Phoenix, advocates for higher education and awards scholarships to colleges that focus on improving the human condition. This year its emphasis was on health professions education.

Tong was honored during a June 3 foundation luncheon at the Biltmore Resort in Phoenix.

"I'm very honored and humbled by the recognition," he said in an interview.

Tong, who is second-generation Chinese-American, said his work to promote campus diversity has helped give him "purpose" and emphasized the contributions of his colleagues in the Diversity Coalition and other campus entities in addressing diversity issues at the UA.

"We feel that inclusiveness is extremely important for a successful endeavor here at the University of Arizona," he said. "It's something we all believe in and it's contributed to the excellence of the University."

Edith Auslander, a UA Foundation development consultant and retired UA vice president and senior associate, called Tong a personal role model and "example to all of us."

She said his contributions to the College of Pharmacy, the UA campus at large and the greater community, through PharmCamp, have made lasting impacts.    

"He's a dedicated human being who has affected positive change for countless numbers of people," she said.

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