Recipients, chosen by faculty committee, ‘work tirelessly and most times in the dark’ for diversity and inclusion
Students, employees and a unit are being honored for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the University of Colorado Boulder College of Arts and Sciences.
The winners are the recipients of the second annual awards from ASCEND, or the Arts and Sciences Consortium of Committees on Climate, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.
The 2022 winners were selected and announced by the Diversity Committee of the Arts and Sciences Council, which is the primary representative body for the college’s faculty.
Celine Dauverd, associate professor of history and diversity-committee member, said the awards aim to acknowledge the “outstanding work of faculty, staff and students who work tirelessly and most times in the dark” in support of diversity and inclusion.
The 2022 faculty winner is Emily Frazier-Rath, a lecturer of German through the Anderson Language and Technology Center (ALTEC). She is an active member of the Coalition of Women in German, the German Studies Association, the forum for Diversity and Decolonization and the German Curriculum, the Modern Language Association, and the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages/American Association of Teachers of German.
Additionally, she is the executive director of the Black German Heritage and Research Association, a nonprofit dedicated to documenting and supporting the activities of Black Germans internationally and promoting scholarship relating to the historic and contemporary presence of Black people in Germany, Black Germans in the United States and beyond.
The 2022 staff winner is Claudia Numan, whose passion for volunteering is perhaps what best describes her, the committee states. Within a few months of joining CU Boulder as an academic advisor for physics and math students, she volunteered to join the physics department’s Equity, Inclusion and Cookies committee, where she has helped organize many workshops and events designed to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.
She has also volunteered her time as an integral member of the CU Boulder Rural Network, which operates with no budget, and where she “put to work her remarkable combination of expertise and approachability to support rural students who often come from very diverse backgrounds,” the committee states.
The graduate-student winner is Irfanul (Irfan) Alam, a PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who has been instrumental across campus in enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion. Alam has had a particularly large effect in the transformation of curricula, the committee states.
Alam has mentored underrepresented undergraduates through the SMART and the Uplift research program. As the Graduate and Professional Student Government DEI chair, Alam re-designed the DEI award in collaboration with BIPOC students to acknowledge the social-justice efforts taken by students and professionals for their departments.
Alam represented graduate student voices at the IDEA council and was asked by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance to serve as a stakeholder for the Campus Culture Survey. As the Center for Teaching and Learning’s graduate student lead, Alam served as a pedagogical resource for teaching assistants in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Also, as one of the designers of Center for Teaching and Learning’s Just and Equitable Teaching micro-credential program, Alam established a network of faculty and staff members who will mentor participants undertaking DEI capstone projects.
Jordan Lee is this year’s ASCEND undergraduate student winner. Ever since joining CU Boulder in 2019 to study linguistics and geography, she has devoted her boundless energy to the advancement of DEI.
Following the latest wave of violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, she co-founded a group called Unmask the Racism. The impressive work she has done for this student-led initiative includes organizing social media campaigns and workshops designed to raise awareness about the history and contributions of the AAPI community. She has also been a strong advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community.
One of her projects was especially noted by the committee: the Queer Conversations and Cookies event series, which created an empowering space that, in Jordan’s words, “foster vulnerability, authenticity and inclusion.”
The 2022 Departmental DEI Passion Project Winner is the Honors Residential Academic Program (HRAP), which launched a mural project titled "Deeper than Demographics.”
The mural is a visual representation of the HRAP’s goal to depict and integrate the themes of diversity, inclusivity and intersectionality into its community living and learning spaces.
The original concept, which provides the foundation of the mural, is to demonstrate social inclusivity as it is perceived and represented through student voices.
HRAP students participated in focus groups, art workshops and individual interviews to generate information that led to the mural. The mural contains images based on student voices and includes student haikus and framed student artwork, which is updated through an art competition each year.
The Arts and Sciences Council’s ASCEND and Departmental DEI Passion Project Awards are supported by James W.C. White, acting dean, and Patricia Gonzalez, assistant dean of inclusive practice. The diversity committee includes:
- Cecilia J. Pang, theatre and dance, chair
- Aun H. Ali, religious studies
- Celine Dauverd, history
- Kieran Marcellin Murphy, French and humanities
- Stephanie Su, art and art history
- Nicholas Villaneuva, ethnic studies
ASCEND Awards go to faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students who have demonstrated a commitment to the principles and actions of diversity and inclusion in curriculum, creative teaching practice, community building endeavors and/or communication.
Departmental DEI Passion Projects honor a department or unit that has completed a special project that promotes DEI and creates a lasting impact by applying one or more of the following values: creativity, originality, interdisciplinary, social impact and sustainability.