Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eight staff members, six staff teams receive diversity leadership awards

Recipients of the third annual Distinguished Diversity Leaders Awards (DDLA) recently were honored at a breakfast ceremony in Palmer Commons.


Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award individual recipients (above) and team recipients (below) were honored on Tuesday. Click here for larger versions of the photos and more information about those pictured. (Photos by Eric Bronson, U-M Photo Services)

An online nomination form for the Fourth Annual Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award is available at A call for nominations will be made in late fall.

The event Tuesday included remarks from Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources. Anthony Walesby, associate vice provost and senior director of the Office of Institutional Equity, along with members of the award committee, presented the awards.

“We are proud and grateful to honor those who strive to make our university community a place of inclusion,” Walesby said. “Valuing diversity truly helps make a difference at Michigan. We thank all honorees for contributing their talents, their passion, and their life-long commitment, and are proud to honor these staff members as Distinguished Diversity Leaders.”

The eight individual awardees are: Barb Bernard Butler, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Toby Citrin, Department of Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health; Shá Duncan Smith, Center for Global & Intercultural Study; Carrie Landrum, Office for Student Conflict Resolution; Anna Schnitzer, Taubman Medical Library; Robert Scott, College of Engineering (CoE) Multicultural Initiatives; Robbie Townsel-Ransom, Housing Multicultural Affairs Program; and Jen Webner, CoE Office of Student Affairs.

The six team awardees are: Summer Enrichment Program Team, School of Public Health; Applied Physics Team; Growing Allies Team, Division of Student Affairs; Developing Cultural Competencies for Nurses Project Team, U-M Flint Nursing; Counseling and Psychological Services, Division of Student Affairs; Library Diversity Committee, University Library.

“The work that you do creates environments where people thrive,” Thomas said, addressing the award recipients. “And for that, you make the University of Michigan, and the broader world that we touch, a better place.”

Established in 2008 through the initiative of Thomas and Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs, the DDLA is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources, and administered by the Office of Institutional Equity.

The award recognizes individual staff members and teams for their accomplishments and provides a monetary prize — $1,000 for individuals, $2,500 for teams — to be used towards professional development activities. Staff members on all campuses and in the U-M Health System are eligible.