Congratulations to the honorees selected for the 2022 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. Five exceptional recipients are being recognized for their outstanding commitment to enhancing Ohio State’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
Faculty, staff, students and alumni who champion diversity at Ohio State are eligible to 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 are 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 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 2022 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award recipients:
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The BNRC has achieved significant outcomes in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion goals for Black males while building community and serving as a national research leader on social policy and theory. Under the leadership of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the BNRC has helped shape institutional practices that remove barriers to success and developed leadership skills of Black male students, which has bolstered recruitment, retention and graduation rates among Black males on the Columbus campus. The work of the BNRC has increased the cumulative GPA of Black male undergraduate students by nearly 700 percent since 2005, as well as raised first-year retention rates. Its programmatic and research efforts have been continuously recognized by organizations, such as the National Academy of Medicine, Congressional Black Caucus, Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, College Board, The Education Trust, Columbus City Council and featured in popular publications, such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Staff Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
College of Veterinary Medicine
Sandra Dawkins has had incredible impact recruiting historically excluded students to the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as ensuring they are successfully integrated into the college. Through hands-on events and community partnerships, Sandra’s work has shaped the college’s recruitment and admissions processes which has led to a 20 percent increase in historically excluded applicants since 2014. She is also deeply committed to creating a welcoming and safe environment for students, demonstrated through co-chairing the college’s diversity committee, planning educational opportunities for faculty and staff and speaking on the topic at national and international meetings.
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Natural and Mathematical Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas J. Magliery has consistently put a priority on building programs for diversity, equity and inclusion that impact Ohio State. Tom has been a leader in creating a more balanced admissions process to graduate programs through a rubric-based approach that is more equitable for women and minorities. These processes are fairer and more consistent for all candidates, and more predictive of success. Tom is also credited for the establishment of the Chemistry Bridge Program, which has brought in 10% more underrepresented students to the department. As a passionate leader with a drive for making a positive impact, Tom is well known for his mentoring efforts, sharing his perspective at conferences and panel discussions, and being a vocal advocate for diverse admissions and hiring.
Resident (PGY-5), Radiation Oncology
James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
Dr. Bismarck Odei is deeply devoted to making strides in enhancing diversity in academic medicine, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Odei has founded an international organization dedication to improving radiation access and delivery in developing countries, been an advocate for a holistic review of residency applications to improve diversity and brought attention to inequities at various levels in academic medicine. He has published more than 25 research articles, and his research in equity and inclusion has been published in premier journals such as JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Network Open, and BMJ. He has also been an outstanding mentor to a diverse cohort of medical students at Ohio State and throughout the country. Additionally, he has been an empathetic, meticulous and inquisitive physician resident in the field of Radiation Oncology.
4th year student
College of Arts and Sciences
Tabitha Willis diligently works to create a supportive, caring environment through numerous organizations she participates in across Ohio State, and she is known for leading others with grace and humility to foster a sense of belonging and respect. Tabitha has been a part of the Office of Student Life’s Pay It Forward program where she mentors students, encourages engagement in meaningful community service and facilitates dialogue on diversity and inclusion. Additionally, she is a Morrill Scholar, Jesse Owens Scholarship recipient, LSAMP Scholar, and member of the Obama Foundation Leadership Corp. Tabitha is also a dedicated advocate to increasing Black students’ access to STEM careers.