Published: April 20, 2020

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) has announced the three winners of the 2020 Equity and Excellence Awards in student, staff and faculty categories. 

The Equity and Excellence Awards recognize students, staff and faculty who have successfully and effectively worked to promote the principles of making excellence inclusive in teaching, leadership, program management, committee participation, inclusion or community engagement. A celebration honoring the awardees will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 22, at 3 p.m. If you would like to attend the virtual celebration, please contact ODECE directly to request the Zoom link for the celebration. All CU Boulder students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.​

“First given in 1985, the Equity and Excellence Awards stand as one of the longest campus traditions recognizing dedicated faculty, staff and students who give tirelessly to diversity, equity and inclusion endeavors,” said Alphonse Keasley, associate vice chancellor in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement. “ODECE is pleased to continue the tradition of publicly acknowledging this year’s recipients via a virtual ceremony.”

Student Awardee

Graduating senior Olivia Gardner is receiving the student award. She is a double major in ethnic studies and women and gender studies with a minor in leadership studies, and has emerged as a mentor to younger students on social justice and equity matters. Through her work with INVST, she has contributed to initiatives aimed at transforming and lifting up students who come from underrepresented backgrounds both on and off campus. A key member of the Diversity and Inclusion Summit committee, she co-organized highly engaging sessions, and was instrumental in mobilizing members of the University of Colorado Student Government to participate in both the 2019 fall and 2020 spring Diversity and Inclusion Summits.

Faculty Awardee

Scott Taylor, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology (EBIO) who has worked as a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion to establish EBIO's Diversity and Inclusion in STEM seminar, is receiving the faculty award. Taylor also co-organized a multi-department inclusive pedagogy course for graduate students. As shared by one of his colleagues, “Professor Taylor is motivated by a genuine aspiration to make science and academia more welcoming for everyone.” By integrating innovative diversity and inclusion practices into all aspects of his work in EBIO and beyond, Taylor embodies the idea of what it means to be an academic who is truly committed to making excellence inclusive.

Staff Awardee

Joan Gabriele, director of Special Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, is being honored with the staff award. She has demonstrated her intentional commitment to making excellence inclusive at all levels of program operation for decades. Joan understands and oversees high-impact scholarship and grant programs that support both the whole student and the whole student body. Her commitment has led to the development and implementation of inclusive student-centered programming that successfully builds community and honors the “funds of knowledge” all students bring to the learning environment. Since the late 1980s, she has engaged in authentic and ongoing inclusive practices that have been positively transforming for students, staff and faculty at CU Boulder.