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Diversity Matters

Town Hall Meetings on Diversity

 Save the Date

The Diversity and Inclusion Council willl present the Diversity Matters awards during the 2015 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity. The seventh annual event will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, from 2:00 to 5:00pm.  A Diversity Fair will precede the event from 1:30 – 2:00pm.  Both events will be the Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom.

Congratulations to the 2014 Diversity Matters Award Winners

2014 Diversity Award Winners

Front row, from left: Paul Sapp, Samantha Swanson, Nick Sullivan and Victoria DeFrancisco. 
Back row, from left: President Bill Ruud, Gloria Gibson, Kathy Green, Bryant Dowd, Alicia Jessip, Keynote Speaker Regina Dixon-Reeves, and Chair of the Diversity Council and Vice President for Student Affairs Terry Hogan. 

Winners of the Diversity Matters Award were announced on January 22 at the Sixth Annual Diversity Town Hall.  Award winners were:

  • Bryant Dowd, Record Analyst, Office of Admissions
  • Kathy Green, Director, University Health Services
  • Alicia Jessip, Senior, communication studies and Spanish major
  • Victoria Pruin DeFrancisco, Professor, Department of Communication Studies; and Diversity Fellow in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Gloria Gibson, Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Paul Sapp, Transfer Student Coordinator, Office of Admissions
  • Nick Sullivan, Director, Student Support Services
  • Samantha Swanson, Sophomore, elementary education major

Congratulations to the 2013 Diversity Matters Award Winners!

2013 Diversity Award Winners


From left to right are James Bonilla, keynote speaker; Gloria Gibson, Executive Vice President and Provost; and award winners Melissa Payne; Darvel Givens; Xavier Escandell; Cindi Mason; Robert Smith; Darin Adams; and Ben Allen, President. Not pictured are Celeste Bembry and Jim Schuerman.

Winners of the award were announced during the Fifth Annual Diversity Town Hall, held in Maucker Union. The winners are:

  • Darin Adams-- Senior Criminology Major
  • Celeste Bembry-- Student Recruitment & Retention Coordinator in the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences
  • Xavier Escandell-- Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology
  • Darvel Givens-- Senior Management: Business Administration major; and President of the Black Student Union
  • Cindi Mason-- Instructor in the School of Music; and Director of the Community Music School
  • Melissa Payne-- Student Assistance and Outreach Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office
  • Jim Schuerman-- Community Member, Owner of Scheurman Auto Repair
  • Robert L Smith, Jr.-- Executive Director of the UNI Center for Urban Education

For more information on those honored with the Diversity Matters Award, please click here.

More information and photos from the 2013 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity will be posted as they become available.

2013 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity

The University's Annual Diversity Town Hall will be Wednesday, February 20, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Maucker Union Ballroom. A Diversity Fair will precede the event from 1 to 2 p.m., also in the Ballroom. Listed below is the schedule for the event:

1:00 - 2:00 pm: Diversity Fair

2:00 - 2:15 pm: Opening/Welcome

2:15 - 3:30 pm: Keynote by James Bonilla

3:30 - 3:45 pm: Break

3:45 - 4:00 pm: Video Showcase of Campus Diversity Activities

4:00 - 4:30 pm: Presentation of 2013 Diversity Matters Awards

This year's speaker is James Bonilla, Associate Professor in the School of Business at Hamline University. Bonilla is an internationally recognized consultant on diversity in higher education, multicultural organizational development and diversity in the environmental movement. He is the founding director of the Hamline University Race, Gender & Beyond Program, a multicultural teaching and faculty development program. He is a former Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the National Conference on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in American Higher Education. His research has explored racial diversity, faculty development and teaching for diversity in higher education. His current research includes diversity in outdoor and environmental organizations and assisting the emerging green movement in becoming more racially and culturally diverse.

Congratulations to the 2012 Diversity Matters Award Winners!

2012 Diversity Award Winners

Award winners pictured above, from left to right: front row-- Jonathan Cox, Doug Mupasiri, Ellie Hail, Mickye Johnson    

back row--Gloria Gibson, Nick Pace, Terry Hogan 

  • Jonathan Cox-- Coordinator of Minority and Student Diversity programs in the College of Business Administration
  • Doug Mupasiri-- Interim Department Head and Professor of Mathematics
  • Ellie Hail-- Senior Communication Studies major and president of Proud
  • Mickye Johnson-- Director of the Classic Upward Bound program
  • Nicholas Pace-- Associate Professor in the College of Education

For more information on those honored with the Diversity Matters Award, please click here.

2012 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity

February 1, 2012:

Diversity Fair—Georgian Lounge—1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

The Diversity Fair will take place prior to the Town Hall Meeting and allow departments, student organizations, and other units across campus, an opportunity to showcase their diversity-related initiatives, events, and programs.

Heather Hackman

For more information or to register to participate in the Diversity Fair, please contact Paige Everly at

Town Hall Meeting—Commons Ballroom—2:00 to 4:30 p.m.

The 2012 Town Hall Meeting will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Heather Hackman of St. Cloud State University. Dr. Hackman has taught many courses directly related to diversity issues, as well as won many awards for her hard work and dedication throughout her many years of teaching.

Please click here for more information regarding Dr. Hackman’s credentials and accomplishments.

We look forward to having Dr. Hackman, as well as many others; join us for the 2012 campus-wide celebration of diversity-affiliated accomplishments.


2011 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity

Thank you to the members of the university community that attended the 2011 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity.  Congratulations to the winners of the Diversity Matters Award:

  • Steve Carignan, Assistant Vice President of Administration & Finance, Executive Director of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center
  • Drake Martin, Assistant Director of Residence Education
  • Karen Mitchell, Professor of Communication Studies
  • Inez Murtha, Director of the Academic Learning Center
  • Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure, Professor of English Language and Literature, Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Tony Stevens, Director of Educational Talent Search

For more information on those honored with the Diversity Matters Award, please click here.

More information and photos from the 2011 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity will be posted as they become available.

At 2011 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity, the Diversity Matters Fair will Provide Opportunities to Showcase Initiatives

As part of the third annual Town Hall Meeting on Diversity, a new Diversity Matters Fair will be held.  The purpose of the fair is to allow departments, student organizations, divisions, and other units across campus to showcase their diversity-related initiatives.  The fair will be held on Thursday, January 20, from 12 to 4 p.m. in the Maucker Union Ballroom.  The Town Hall Meeting will be held in the same location from 2 to 5 p.m., and Town Hall Meeting participants will be able to visit displays from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. as part of the meeting's agenda.  The fair will also be open to the public from 12 to 2 p.m.

Each participating group will be provided with a table and two chairs, and if needed, access to electricity.  There is no charge to participate.  If you wish to participate and highlight your initiative, please forward the following information to Amy Kollasch at name of sponsoring department or organization, name or title of the initiative, name and contact information of the person responsible.  If you have any questions, please contact Amy Kollasch in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 273-2467.


2011 Town Hall Meeting

Members of the UNI community are encouraged to save the date for the 2011 Town Hall Meeting on Diversity.  Under the sponsorship of the University's Diversity Council, the meeting will take place from 2pm to 5pm on the afternoon of Thursday, January 20.  All UNI community members are invited to help UNI reach its vision of a campus where diversity enriches every aspect of campus life.  An agenda will be distributed to the campus community in advance.

Contact with any questions.

2010 Town Hall Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Town Hall Meeting on Diversity on January 21, 2010.

Congratulations to the winners of the Inaugural Diversity Matters Award, who were announced at the meeting.

Award winners : Roland Carrillo, Rita Carrillo, Angel Banks, Reg Pecen, Chris Edginton, Janet McClain, Gloria Adams, and Juanita Wright.  Not pictured: Martha Reineke and John Somervill

For more information on the individual winners' contributions to diversity, click here.

2009 Town Hall Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Town Hall Meeting on Diversity on January 22, 2009.  The meeting gave me an opportunity to further explain the organizational approach we’ll be using to address diversity at UNI.  The main entities include: the Diversity Council to provide leadership and coordination; the Diversity Advisory Committee to provide input and ideas; and College Diversity Councils to help meet specific goals and objectives.  While these groups have specific responsibilities, all of us here at UNI are responsible for making our campus welcoming and supportive to all; for connecting us to diverse communities here and around the state; for enhancing the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff; and fostering the success of all in this environment.  My vision is to see us arrive at a UNI campus where diversity is so well understood and well achieved, and so enriches every aspect of campus culture, that ‘initiatives’ are no longer needed.

To become involved in UNI’s commitment to diversity, please contact any member of the groups listed above or Continue to watch the Diversity Matters web site for updates of the actions of these groups.  If you have information you would like to share through the Diversity Matters web site, contact the Office of Compliance and Equity Management at 3.2846 or

To view the presentation slides from the meeting, click here.  Names of the members of each of the councils and committees are included in these slides. 

President Benjamin Allen
January 2009