Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award

"Diversity is a key ingredient in the excellence of the University of Michigan. When we engage with people from different backgrounds, we learn more and have greater potential to make an impact on our students, patients and society. We cannot be excellent without being diverse."

- President Mark Schlissel

Congratulations to 2015 Distinguished Diversity Leaders! 

Individual Award Recipients 

  • Laura Sánchez -Parkinson , Program Coordinator, NCID
  • Jane Berliss-Vincent, Assistive Technology Manager, ITS (learn more)
  • Catalina Ormsby, Associate Director, UROP
  • Amanda McLittle, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Housing 
  • Elizabeth James, Program Associate, Afroamerican and African Studies
  • Paul Guttman, Director of Construction Services, Plant
  • Shelly Conner, Assistant Dean, Rackham Graduate School
  • Wendi Fornoff, Web Developer, ICPSR
  • Veronica Falandino, Asst. Dir. of Graduate Programs, School of Information
  • Marlanna Landeros, Program Manager, DPSS


DDLA individual awardees are: front, from left, Marlanna Landeros, Veronica Falandino, Jane Berliss-Vincent, Shelly Conner; and back, from left, Amanda McLittle, Wendi Fornoff, Catalina Ormsby, Laura Sánchez-Parkinson, Elizabeth James. Not pictured: Paul Guttman (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

Team Award Recipients 

  • ADVANCE Team

Front, from left: Laura Maihofer, Wendy Ascione-Juska, Cynthia Hudgins, Janet Malley
Back, from left: Benita Threadgill, Sara Bliss, Craig Smith, Shawn Beard, Susan Burk
Not pictured: Keith Herzog

  • Interpersonal Development Inventory Team, U-M Flint


Front, from left: Amged Eidelsafy, Nakshidil Sadien, Menusha Arumugam, Michael James
Back, from left: Helen Phinisee, Daniel Adams, Tess Barker
Not pictured: Susan Gano-Phillips, Scott Johnson, Rushika Patel, Richard Russell, Doron Pratt, Mary Jo Sekelsky, Donna Fry

  • Office of Student Services Team, School of Social Work


Front, from left: Erin Zimmer, Michelle Woods, Betsy Williams, Lauren Davis
Back, from left:  Mary Whitaker, Tim Colenback, Michael McDermott, Micheal Leier, Nyshourn Price, Clarita Mays|
Not Pictured: Michelle Gorton

  • Interpreter Services Team, UMHS


Front, from left: Rita Galin, Courtney Vanderlaan, Jane Miller, Alfreda Rooks
Back - left to right:  Christa Moran, Michelle Harris, Lindsay McCarthy, Brittany Karnes
Not pictured:  Leslie Perez, Angelica Snyder, Oliver Gatonez, Jamie Fidler, Ximena Erickson, Chi-Wei Chang

  • The Student Leadership and Empowerment Committee, LSA


Front, from left: Tina Kokoris, Kelley Emerson, Desiraé Simmons
Back, from left: Kyle Walton, Devon Degraffenreed, Angie Shewa
Not Pictured: Henry Dyson, robbie routenberg, Ashley Wiseman, Shamaila Ashraf, Hind Omar

Do you know a member of the staff, or an entire work team that stands out by demonstrating extraordinary commitment and dedication to diversity at the University of Michigan? Share your story by making a nomination for the Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award.

The Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award was established to shine a light on those staff members who work toward achieving a welcoming, supportive and inclusive working environment. It is intended to celebrate those who embrace the value of diversity and recognize how it helps set the University apart.

As many as ten individual and five team awards will be made each year. Award winners will receive written recognition and money to use for professional development activities and/or training ($1,000 for individual recipients, $2,500 for team recipients to share). This award is made possible by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources to celebrate progress toward creating a welcoming, supportive and diverse environment.

If you have questions about the award, please contact Jennifer Wade at the Office for Institutional Equity: 763-0235.  

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