Nominations open for Inclusive Excellence and Belonging Campus Award

Last year’s award recipients, Omar Montoya, Director for the Gateway Program Seminar, and Jessi Smith, Vice Provost & Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is excited to announce nominations are now open for the Inclusive Excellence and Belonging Campus Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at UCCS by a staff or faculty member. Recipients of this honor receive $500 and a commemorative award at the Annual Campus Award Ceremony on April 16, 2024.  

This award is open to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and achievement in advancing the UCCS DEI Strategic Framework Pillars. The DEI Strategic Framework Pillars serve as the foundation of UCCS’ commitment to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture at UCCS. Each of the five pillars encompass the overarching institutional priorities guiding our DEI strategic actions at UCCS.  

  • Pillar 1: Campus Culture of Belonging: Increase institutional agency and action toward a greater campus culture of belonging through inclusive practices, affirming social interactions, and socially just educational opportunities.   
  • Pillar 2: Inclusion in Teaching, Research, and Service: Enhance UCCS’s academic DEI infrastructure through innovative practices that promote inclusive pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, and diversity in research and scholarship.   
  • Pillar 3: Diverse Student Access, Retention and Persistence: Increase access, retention, persistence, and graduation rates of marginalized, underserved, and/or underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students.  
  • Pillar 4: Diverse Talent Foundation and Pathways: Increase diverse talent resources, opportunities for advancement/promotion, and retention strategies for marginalized, underserved, and/or underrepresented staff and faculty.  
  • Pillar 5: Equity in Community Engagement and Partnerships: Promote and advance greater DEI community engagement through local and regional collaborative partnerships and philanthropic opportunities.  

“The Inclusive Excellence Award is designed to honor and recognize campus partners who are actively engaged in centering DEI as a critical mission-driven value at UCCS,” said Vice Chancellor Rame Hanna. “Our goal in fostering an inclusive campus culture can only be achieved through community partnership and collaboration. We hope this award can serve as one of many ways to celebrate the profound contributions of our community members across campus.” 

Omar Montoya, Director for the Gateway Program Seminar, and Jessi Smith, Vice Provost & Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, were awarded last year for their ongoing commitment to creating Inclusive Belonging at UCCS.

Nominations are accepted through Friday March 17.  Submit nominations here.  If you have additional questions, please email Sloan Gonzales at [email protected] .

Details on the award criteria can be found on the UCCS Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage.