Several events this spring are highlighting the impact and accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and community partners as a reflection of USF’s core commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Inclusive Excellence Awards, held on April 12 in the Marshall Student Center on the Tampa campus, recognized those across One USF – including the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses – who make outstanding contributions in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The event drew 300 participants who celebrated awardees selected from more than 100 nominations. Nominees represented students, faculty, staff and community leaders for consistently advancing diversity, equity and inclusion to transform the lives of others, their organizations or the broader USF community.
The celebration was the first and largest university-wide, in-person event hosted by USF’s newly restructured Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – formerly known as the Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity – under the leadership of Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, interim vice president of institutional equity and senior advisor to the president and provost for diversity and inclusion. Organizational changes to the office were announced in March 2021 to place greater focus on proactive diversity, equity and inclusion outreach initiatives university-wide. The reimagined office reflects university-wide input solicited from town halls and engagement with over 40 different organizations. Among the changes based on community feedback, the office invested in new hires, resources and programming and helped establish the Advancing Latino Access and Success Task Force.
“Recipients of USF’s Inclusive Excellence Awards have partnered and collaborated across numerous domains of difference to help advance USF’s goal of becoming more inclusive,” said Hordge-Freeman. “The number of nominations shows us that members of the USF community are fiercely committed to amplifying DEI efforts and are actively engaged in promoting inclusion and belonging. ”
The Inclusive Excellence Award recognizes individuals who address our institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by building institutional capacity or multiplying the broader impact of these efforts to benefit all members of our community. The award also recognizes collaborative partnerships across all three campuses or in the broader community that address discrimination, bias and inequities.
2022 Inclusive Excellence Award Recipients:
Ruthmae Sears, associate professor for mathematics education, associate director for Coalition for Science Literacy
Brenda Walker, professor in USF’s Exceptional Student Education program
Muma College of Business
Mónica Lee Miranda, director of the Center for Student Involvement
Darren L. Gambrell, assistant director for the Office of Student Service, Office of Multicultural Affairs
DeWayne Anderson, assistant program director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs
Antoinette Jackson, professor and chair of Anthropology
Emily Mann, Student Success librarian
Michelle Arnold, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a director of the Auditory Rehabilitation and Clinical Trials laboratory
Student Accessibility Services, under the leadership of Deborah McCarthy, director
Alexis Mootoo, associate vice president, Fiscal and Business Services
Carlos Moreira, director of campus engagement for Veteran Success and Alumni Affairs
Jacob “Jake” Diaz, regional assistant vice chancellor of student affairs and dean of students
Destiny Gomez, psychology major, Racial Justice student fellow
Elisa Carsten, clinical psychology graduate student
Florida Center for PAInT (Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching) under the leadership of Denise Davis-Cotton, director
Arts 4All Florida
Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
Gamma Xi Boule
The Inclusive Excellence Awards were also an opportunity to recognize the dedication and hard work of USF’s university-wide presidential advisory committees and councils, which advise the president on relevant topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Presidential Advisory Committees
- Committee on Black Affairs
- Committee on Issues of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
- Status of Latinos
- Status of Men
- Committee on Accessibility
Community-Based Advisory Councils
- African American Advisory Council
- Latin Community Advisory Committee
The Inclusive Excellence Awards ceremony was one of several events this spring celebrating USF’s university-wide commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.