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President's Awards for Excellence Through Diversity

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Students, staff and faculty of the Stanford Community are invited to submit nominations for the President’s Awards for Excellence through Diversity. These awards honor individuals and programs that have made exceptional contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity (broadly defined) within the Stanford University community. The awards are intended to recognize that a diverse campus community enhances our institutional excellence by broadening and strengthening the university's mission of teaching, learning and scholarship.

The awards recognize contributions to diversity in many aspects of university life. Examples include: development of innovative recruitment programs that attract faculty, staff, and/or students who add to Stanford's diversity (broadly defined); exceptional mentoring of students whose background, experience, and interests contribute to diversity on campus; development and implementation of effective advancement opportunities for our diverse population of employees; development of curricular and/or research projects on topics focusing on peoples' identities, origins and cultures within the United States and globally that enrich students' education in novel ways; and development or enhancement of activities that build community within and among diverse groups of students, staff and faculty.

AWARDS:  Three awards may be conferred each year: one award to a campus unit (department, program, or office), one award to a faculty or staff member, and one award to a student or student organization. Nominations are valid for one year. 

WHO MAY NOMINATE:  Any member of the Stanford community (students, staff and faculty) may nominate an individual or office whose contributions fit the description above.

HOW TO NOMINATE:  Nominations must be submitted during the confirmed application period to The Office of Faculty Development, Diversity and Engagement at  Submit a letter (not to exceed 3 pages) to the President’s Diversity Awards Committee. Nominations must include the name and position of the nominator and clearly describe the exceptional contributions that make the nominee (individual or campus unit) deserving of this award. Submit nomination letters via email to

DEADLINE TO NOMINATE:  The 2024 nomination period ended on Friday, March 29.      

SELECTION PROCESS: Nominations will be reviewed by The President's Diversity Awards Committee and award announcements are made each year in May. 

2024 Recipients

The award recipients are: 

Polly Fordyce, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Genetics  

Matilda Griffiths, Student, Department of Communication, Humanities and Sciences

Ria Calcagno, Student, Department of Political Science, Humanities and Sciences

The SAGE Journey Program

Read more about the 2024 recipients

2023 Recipients

The award recipients are: 

Sherri Rose, Professor of Health Policy

Darion Wallace, Graduate Student, Graduate School of Education

Community College Outreach Program

Read more about the 2023 recipients

2022 Recipients

The award recipients are: 

Peter Poullos, Clinical Associate Professor, Radiology, Gastroenterology and Hepatolis

Sedona Murphy, Ph.D. Candidate in Genetics, Stanford School of Medicine

Residential & Dining Enterprises

Read more about the 2022 recipients

2021 Recipients

The award recipients are:  

Bonnie Maldonado, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Diversity, Taube Professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and of Epidemiology and Population Health 

Diane Chin, Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law, Acting Director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice, Lecturer in Law

Kendal Nicole Beache, Student, Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering

The Critical Consciousness and Anti-Oppressive Praxis Certificate Program (Core Administrative Team: Shaila Kotadia, Brenda Flores, Deb Karhson, Eamon Byrne, Taylor Jones, and Jesse Isaacman-Beck)

Read more about the 2021 recipients

2020 Recipients

The individual winners are Arnetha F. Ball, the Charles E. Ducommun Professor, Emerita, in the Graduate School of Education, and director of its Race, Inequality and Language in Education program, and Michael Ocon, a senior majoring in English in the School of Humanities and Sciences who has been active in several student organizations, including El Centro Chicano y Latino.  

The 2020 program winner is the Leadership Education in Advancing Diversity (LEAD) program in the School of Medicine, led by co-directors Carmin Powell, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, and Lahia Yemane, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics. 

Read more about the 2020 recipients

2019 Recipients

Thomas Kenny, a professor of mechanical engineering who has served as senior associate dean for student affairs in the School of Engineering since 2015, was honored "for promoting efforts in equity, inclusion and diversity at the School of Engineering to create an environment in which all students feel a deep sense of belonging and ownership." The citation also commended Kenny "for partnering with graduate admissions teams to recruit the best students from a wide variety of backgrounds, personally logging thousands of miles to persuade diverse students to consider Stanford for graduate school." Kenny was also honored "for creating and expanding programs, like the Stanford Summer Engineering Academy and the Summer Opportunity program, that improve the transition to Stanford for students from varied backgrounds."

The Clayman Institute for Gender Research, established in 1974, was honored "for advancing gender equality and driving culture change at Stanford and beyond by translating the benefits of feminist scholarship into practical applications." In addition, the citation commended the Clayman Institute "for building community and support among diverse groups of Stanford students, faculty and staff through its Voice and Influence programs and other cross-university collaborations and outreach efforts." It was also honored "for fostering knowledge through its support for gender-related research at all of Stanford's seven schools, as well as by convening leading gender researchers from around the world for conferences, symposia and research collaborations."

Read more about the 2019 recipients

2018 Recipients

John Rickford, a professor of linguistics, emeritus, was honored for "his tireless efforts to expand opportunity for African Americans and other underrepresented students in linguistics, providing personal leadership in recruiting and supporting outstanding graduate students in the field." He was commended "for his mentorship of leading African American linguists across the country, which has enriched the field and has had a national impact far beyond Stanford." The citation also honored Rickford "for his contributions to diversity through his teaching and research in sociolinguistics, including his important work in African American Vernacular English, and his application of this work to pressing social issues in education, housing and criminal justice."

Lily Zheng earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in sociology at Stanford in 2017. Through her activism and advocacy, Zheng was honored "for raising the visibility of issues critical to LGBTQ+, transgender and gender-diverse communities at Stanford." She was commended "for creating impactful understanding and cultural change among students, faculty and staff through her work as a prominent columnist for The Stanford Daily." In addition, the citation honored Zheng "for developing informational resources to support the trans community at Stanford, including the creation of the 2017 Unofficial Guide to Trans Resources at Stanford." She was also commended "for inspiring collaboration between student communities and university leaders in addressing issues of social justice and institutional change."

Graduate Diversity Staff Council was honored "for providing an infrastructure for collaboration and information sharing among staff in support of diversity and inclusion at Stanford, particularly for graduate students." The citation commended the council "for serving as a unifying voice for diversity and inclusion efforts across the campus, connecting staff across all seven schools and key administrative units of the university." The Graduate Diversity Staff Council was honored "for advocating for research-based practices and developing cross-cutting efforts in support of graduate student recruitment and retention." The council was also commended "for providing leadership for key efforts affecting the lives of graduate students, including but not limited to the graduate fee waiver application process, Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Day, partnership programs with peer institutions and summer research programs for promising undergraduates. 

Leland Scholars Program was honored "for creating an effective and welcoming transition program to Stanford for incoming first-year undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college or have attended under-resourced schools." The citation commended the program "for providing an important foundation of community and belonging for incoming students, beginning with a four-week summer residential program and continuing throughout their Stanford years with activities, advising and mentoring." The program was honored "for establishing a place where incoming undergraduates build the skills, confidence and friendships to help them thrive at Stanford and make the most of their educational opportunities at the university."

Read more about the 2018 recipients

2017 Recipients

Ben Barres, a professor of neurobiology, developmental biology, and neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford Medicine, was honored "for blazing trails as a brilliant scholar and researcher, exceptional teacher, academic leader, and as the first transgender man elected to the National Academy of Sciences." The award citation commended Barres "for founding the highly successful Master of Science in Medicine degree program, which brings together a diversity of students in a cohesive learning community to train a new generation of PhD students about human biology and disease." Barres was honored "for courageously, gracefully and forcefully challenging long-held assumptions in his groundbreaking work as a scientist, and in his advocacy to improve diversity in the sciences as part of creating a more equitable and inclusive society for all." He was also commended "for making an enduring and transformational impact on his students, colleagues, our beloved university, and well beyond."

James Jordan, senior manager of regional and diversity outreach at the Stanford Alumni Association,  was honored "for fostering a spirit of family throughout the Stanford community on campus, across the country and around the globe in his professional responsibilities and volunteerism." The citation commended Jordan "for championing diversity and inclusion in his many years at the Black Community Services Center and now at the Stanford Alumni Association." Jordan was honored "for deeply engaging alumni through organizing the groundbreaking Stanford Black Alumni Summit, through meaningful and ongoing collaboration with the Stanford National Black Alumni Association and its regional clubs, and through broadening the university's outreach to alumni of color." He was commended "for his distinct and sincere commitment to service, his infectious enthusiasm, and his enduring dedication to all members of the Stanford family on campus and beyond."

The Diversity and First-Gen Office was honored "for envisioning equity, empowerment and authentic engagement between all Stanford students." The citation commended the office "for providing campus leadership to consciously and actively affirm intersectional identities and foster intergroup relationships." The Diversity and First-Gen Office was honored "for the special focus on enriching the experiences of first-generation and low-income students by supporting their academic and social transitions, empowerment and community building." The citation commended the office "for connecting students to mentors, academic support services and other resources, which has resulted in such positive outcomes that the office has become a model program for peer institutions." The office was honored for its contributions to Stanford's diversity landscape and "for ensuring that all members of our community understand they belong here."

Read more about the 2017 recipients

2015–16 Recipients

Sally Dickson, emerita staff, and special assistant to President John Hennessy. When she retired from Stanford in early 2015, she was the associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of educational resources. She also served as associate vice provost for faculty development.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs within the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Its mission is to promote a unified community of inclusion, respect, and excellence through developing a student body, staff, and faculty that reflects the diversity of our national communities and international partners. The award cited the exemplary leadership of Jerry Harris, associate dean of the office.

Read more about the 2015–16 recipients

2014 Recipients

Sheri Sheppard, professor of mechanical engineering, and the Burton J. and Deedee McMurtry University Fellows in Undergraduate Education, for "championing the importance of designing more diverse teaching materials – course activities, examples and questions – that incorporate a wide array of fields and cultures" and for "serving as a trailblazing role model for women in engineering."

The LGBT Community Resources Center for "fostering a strong and diverse LGBT community" making Stanford "a safe and welcoming campus for all."

Read more about the 2014 recipients

2013 Recipients

Hannah A. Valantine, MD, professor of medicine (cardiovascular) at the Stanford University Medical Center, and senior associate dean for diversity and leadership in the School of Medicine, for "creative and consistent efforts to recruit and retain women and underrepresented minorities."

Robert M. Gray, the Alcatel-Lucent Technologies Professor in Communications and Networking in the School of Engineering, Emeritus, and professor emeritus of electrical engineering, for "many years of leadership and advocacy for equity and diversity in engineering."

The ASSU Community Action Board, "for creative and consistent efforts to build bridges across the many diverse communities at Stanford."

Read more about the 2013 recipients

2012 Recipients

Fernando S. Mendoza, a professor of pediatrics at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, was honored "for creating a range of programs supporting diversity in medicine" at Stanford School of Medicine.

DARE Doctoral Fellowship Program was honored "for its conscientious efforts to diversify the academic pipeline through the creation and development of university-wide programs."

Read more about the 2012 recipients

2011 Recipients

Albert "Al" Camarillo, professor of American history, the Miriam and Peter Haas Centennial Professor in Public Service, and special assistant to the provost for faculty diversity

The Biomedical Association for the Interest of Minority Students (BioAIMS), which represents graduate students from all 13 biosciences PhD programs and departments within the School of Medicine and the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Read more about the 2011 recipients

2010 Recipients

Stephen Galli, professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology

The Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

Read more about the 2010 recipients

2009 Recipients

Noe Lozano, Associate Dean of Student & Diversity Affairs in the School of Engineering — Student Affairs

Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, a multi-university collaboration funded by the National Science Foundation

Read more about the 2009 recipients