Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ten staff members, five staff teams receive diversity leadership awards

Recipients of the fourth annual Distinguished Diversity Leaders Awards were honored Tuesday at a breakfast ceremony in Palmer Commons.

The event included remarks from Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs, and Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources. Anthony Walesby, associate vice provost and senior director of the Office of Institutional Equity, served as master of ceremonies.


Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award individual recipients (above) and team recipients (below) were honored on Tuesday. View larger versions of the photos and more information about those pictured. (Photos by Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography)


"Diversity is a thread woven into the tapestry of the university," Walesby said. "The staff members we honor as Distinguished Diversity Leaders strive to make our university community a place of inclusion. Their efforts strengthen the university for all, and for that we are grateful."

The 10 individual awardees are:

• Charmica Abinojar, Diversity and Career Development Office, Medical School.

• Trey Boynton, University Housing.

• Christine Gregory, Law School.

• Jeffery Harrold, Student Academic Affairs, LSA.

• Mike Nazareth, Office of Graduate Education, College of Engineering.

• Joshua Peipock, University Housing.

• Gloria Thomas, Center for the Education of Women.

• Marie Ting, Center for Educational Outreach.

• Zachary Tomlinson, Student Development Center, UM-Flint.

• Trey Williams, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

The five team awardees are: Harmony Diversity Committee, UMHS Transplant Center; Resource Center for Minority Data, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research; Program on Intergroup Relations; Multicultural Affairs Committee, School of Dentistry; and the Detroit Community Academic Urban Research Center.

"One of the amazing things about this university is that we get to work with people like you," Thomas told award recipients. "Collectively we make Michigan a community that values difference. Together we can reduce barriers. This is a better place because of the work you do, and the work you will do in the future."

Established in 2008 through the initiative of Thomas and Monts, the DDLA is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources, and administered by the Office of Institutional Equity.

"Michigan has an expansive view of diversity, recognizing and appreciating all its forms," Monts said. "In large measure, this is made so through the important and impactful work of our Distinguished Diversity Leaders. Their commitment and passion helps us stand tall as an inclusive community."

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 toward professional development activities. Staff members on all campuses and in the U-M Health System are eligible.

An online nomination form for the fifth annual Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award is available at A call for nominations will be made later in the year.