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President's Awards

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, faculty, and staff.

Two awards may be made each year, one to an individual from among the faculty, students, and staff, and/or a campus unit such as a department, program or office. Nominations are valid for two years.

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

HOW TO NOMINATE:  Write a letter 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. Nomination letters can be sent by email, interdepartmental, or US mail. 

Submit email nominations to Pamm Moore or, send a letter to the President's Diversity Awards Committee of the Diversity Cabinet (attention: Pamm Moore, Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, Building 170, MC 2035; via US mail send to P.O. Box 20551, Stanford, CA 94309). 

DEADLINE TO NOMINATE: Submit all nominations by Tuesday, April 2, 2019:

SELECTION PROCESS: Nominations will be reviewed by the President's Diversity Awards Committee of the Diversity Cabinet. Awards will be presented in Spring.


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. Zheng was honored “for raising the visibility of issues critical to LGBTQ+, transgender and gender-diverse communities at Stanford through her activism and advocacy.” 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.” 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.”

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.”

2015 Recipients

  • Sally Dickson , emerita staff, and currently 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 the development of 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.

President John Hennessy will present the awards at a private ceremony this week.

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."

More details in Stanford Report press release.

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."

More details in Stanford Report press release.

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."

More details in Stanford Report press release.

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.

More details in Stanford Report press release.

2010 Recipients

  • Stephen Galli, professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology
  • The Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

More details in Stanford Report press release.

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

More details in Stanford Report press release.