In appreciation of the important diversity work throughout Ohio State, the Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award annually recognizes up to five recipients for extraordinary diversity efforts.
Faculty, staff, students and alumni who enhance diversity with cutting-edge curriculum, mentorship, programs or policies can be nominated for the Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. The award recognizes diversity efforts in areas such as religion, race, sexual orientation and economic status. Recipients are awarded for demonstrating the university’s values and making diversity and inclusiveness part of the university’s best practices.
On April 18, President Drake presented the 2017 recipients a plaque and $1,200 cash award in recognition of their important work. This year’s winners will also be honored on the field at Ohio Stadium during the September 23 Ohio State football game.
Congratulations to the 2017 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award recipients:
Tamara Davis, PhD, MSSW
College of Social Work
Dr. Davis is known for her commitment to diversity at Ohio State and within the Columbus community through her research, work with students and civic engagement. Through a focus on health disparities and addressing service inequities among underrepresented students, populations and community members, she has implemented innovative approaches to social work education, healthcare service delivery and community involvement. As part of this scholarship she served as the principal investigator to study and recommend how Ohio State can meet the needs of LGBTQQ students to support their well-being and academic success.
Undergraduate Student, Biology
As president of the African Youth League, Diabate is committed to improving the lives and educational opportunities of Ohio State African students by championing diversity and emphasizing inclusion. Along with increasing membership for the African Youth League through her involvement over the past four years, she has promoted inclusiveness and embraced diversity. She is also conducting infant mortality rate research and the role of race and socioeconomic status.
Malak Esseili, MS, PhD
Research Scientist, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Recognized as a diversity advocate throughout the Wooster community, Dr. Esseili has had a profound effect on the diversity efforts on the Ohio State Wooster Campus. She was a founder and organizer of multiple programs and events that promote understanding among people of different cultural, religious and racial backgrounds, including the Celebration of Nations, Cultural Connections and Minorities: Identities and Misconceptions. These programs, which were supported by two CFAES Office of Equity and Inclusion mini-grants and are currently supported by the Wooster diversity committee, have been recognized as opportunities that bring together students, faculty and staff in ways that create more supportive environments.
Graduate Student, Social Work
LeRoy Ricksy Jr.
Undergraduate Student, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Haynes and Ricksy have partnered to establish multiple programs within the Office of Student Life to enhance cultural and societal diversity at Ohio State and within the community. Through the A Day in the Life of a Buckeye program, they motivate urban and rural students to achieve their full potential by allowing them to experience life at Ohio State and as a college student. The Mentor-A-Buckeye program brings together ninth grade high school students with Ohio State students and community leaders to guide them through high school and college application.
University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Through a commitment to diversity, inclusion and unity, the University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee has positively affected the lives of students, faculty and staff. The committee organizes panels, exhibits, lectures and performances, including Tuesdays@Thompson and Perspectives@Thompson series, in which various speakers share their compelling stories to celebrate and honor diversity. Committee members work with partners in an inclusive manner to broaden perspectives and create a diverse and inclusive community.