Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award recipients recognized for their positive influence and action

Five remarkable recipients have been selected to receive Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Awards for their significant commitment to enhancing Ohio State’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Faculty, staff, students and alumni who champion diversity at Ohio State can be nominated for the annual Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. A selection committee carefully chooses five deserving recipients who are making a difference, enhancing diversity, promoting inclusion and building Ohio State’s legacy.

In recognition of their commitment, recipients were selected based on their demonstrated efforts of advancing diversity through curriculum, mentorship, programs or policies and making inclusion part of Ohio State’s best practices. Recipients are also honored for modeling Ohio State’s core values and making diversity and inclusion a top priority in areas inclusive of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and economic or political status.

Congratulations to the 2021 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award recipients:

Lidia Garcia BerrellezaLidia K. Garcia Berrelleza
4th year student
Glenn College of Public Affairs/College of Arts and Sciences

Lidia Garcia Berrelleza is a courageous, determined student leader who is passionate about identifying gaps and barriers for DACA/undocumented Ohio State students and equally committed to finding solutions. Lidia was instrumental in founding the first student organization at Ohio State and in the State of Ohio dedicated to allyship and support for DACA/Undocumented students – Student Community of Progressive Empowerment (S.C.O.P.E.). Through her leadership, S.C.O.P.E has worked to create a welcoming and supportive network for DACA/Undocumented students, advocated for institutional practices that reduce or remove barriers, and promoted a deeper understanding of how students experience the university.

Donna Hight, PhDDonna Hight, PhD
Assistant Dean of Student Success
The Ohio State University at Mansfield
15 years of service

Dr. Donna L. Hight is a dedicated advocate and leader who diligently works to support financially under-resourced students, first-generation students and historically underrepresented minorities. She has created innovative solutions to double student diversity on the Mansfield campus and increase retention and graduation rates, especially for Pell students, first generation students and African American students. Through the development of strong partnerships, she works with community organizations and university offices to leverage student resources. Dr. Hight has successfully applied for grants to increase programming and education focused on diversity and inclusion. She is known for her compassion and the special way she supports students, parents, faculty and staff during times of campus crises and anti-racism efforts.

Dorinda GallantOhio Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Ohio LSAMP)
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Dorinda Gallant, Director

Ohio LSAMP, a program/consortium of six four-year Ohio universities and four Ohio community colleges, has achieved significant outcomes in advancing equity and success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at Ohio State and other Ohio Alliance partner institutions. Ohio LSAMP plays a lead role in preparing a strong and diverse STEM talent pool through the implementation of institutional practices and policies that remove barriers to STEM participation while promoting inclusive learning environments. This transformative experience has dramatically increased the retention of underrepresented college students through programming that includes advisement and counseling, residential summer bridge and early arrival programs, summer undergraduate research internships experiences with stipends, faculty and peer mentoring, tutoring and supplemental instruction.

Jamie L. RobinsonJamie L. Robinson, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Family Medicine, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
6 years of service

Throughout her career, Dr. Jamie Robinson has advocated for breaking down barriers for populations with historically low access to adequate health care through incorporating social factors such as race, gender and socioeconomic status into clinical care. Her passion for enhancing diversity, inclusiveness and cultural awareness is evident in her work as a clinician, teacher and mentor. Dr. Robinson established a multidisciplinary clinic for immigrants and refugees to help improve care, create an inclusive experience and address complex healthcare needs. Through compassionate leadership and commitment to racial and health equity, Dr. Robinson incorporates cultural teaching into her practice resulting in students gaining a more refined cultural context and an enhanced world view.

Sondos Al SadSondos Al Sad, MD, MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor, Attending Physician
Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
6 years of service

Dr. Sondos Al Sad is a deeply engaged educator who applies her expertise to broaden diversity outreach. As the head of the Education Department at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center (NICC) in Columbus, she created multiple programs that support the Muslim community, including Health Literacy, English as a Second Language, a parent support group and mental health outreach. Dr. Al Sad was instrumental in developing a comprehensive survey for Muslim women, which was crucial in developing effective gynecologic cancer screening guidelines. Through her diligent attention to the unique needs of students and the community, she is known as a trailblazer in the Ohio State medical community and an impactful mentor to minority students.

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