7th Annual Inclusion and Diversity
Achievement Awards Luncheon

Monday, April 27, 2015, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom C

Plan to Attend the Luncheon!
Submit a Nomination for a Diversity Award!

CWRU campus community members will be recognized for their contributions to enhancing and promoting diversity & inclusion on campus.
Awards to be presented include:

  • Faculty Leadership Award

  • Staff Leadership Award

  • Department/Office/Unit Excellence Award

  • Graduate/Professional Student Achievement Award

  • and Undergraduate Student Achievement Award

Deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, April 3, 2015.
Nomination criteria, award descriptions and nomination forms are available here


2014 Annual Inclusion and Diversity Achievement Award Winners

Nearly 120 CWRU faculty, staff and students attended the Sixth Annual inclusion and Diversity Achievement Award Luncheon, which was held on campus on April 14. The annual event provides an opportunity to recognize members of the CWRU campus community who have made significant contributions to enhancing diversity and inclusion on campus.

Winners included (left to right) Graduate/Professional Student Achievement Award, Luis Muniz-Feliciano; Staff Leadership Award, Elfreda “Alfie” Chatman-Walter; Undergraduate Student Achievement Award, Nusaiba Chowdhury; Faculty Leadership Award, Rajesh Viswanathan, PhD.


The 2014 Diversity Achievement Award Winners:

Rajesh Viswanathan, PhD Faculty Leadership Award

He joined Case Western Reserve University in 2008. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research interests include organic chemistry, biochemistry and chemical biology. He is a former Lubrizol Graduate Fellow, Bernard Berk Fellow and MCM Scholar, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is committed to outreach to underrepresented students and works to provide them with research opportunities. He is currently involved in the National Science Foundation funded Bridge to Success Program in conjunction with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). As part of the program, he hosts Tri-C students in his lab, exposing them to research. He has also accepted into his lab and worked with a local high school student during a summer program. He is currently hosting a student from the L’Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane, Martinique, West Indies for a five-week internship.


Elfreda “Alfie” Chatman-Walter, Staff Leadership Award

She is the associate director for Corporate Relations at Case Western Reserve University where she is responsible for raising funds from industry partners for research, sponsorships and philanthropy with specific emphasis in healthcare and diversity. She is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion, which her professional and personal affiliations reflect. Her affiliations include: United Way of Mahoning Valley, the Western Reserve Historical Society, African American Auxiliary, board member for the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation African American Philanthropy Committee and the Consortium of African American Organizations. At CWRU, she serves on the Diversity Leadership Council and the Supplier Diversity Initiative Council. She also regularly supports and works with the campus student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.


Nusaiba Chowdhury, Undergraduate Student Achievement Award

She is a second year medical anthropology major from Garland, Texas. On campus, she is involved in the Sexual Assault and Violence Educators, the Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity for Women and the Anthropology Student Association. She also tutors international students through CWRU’s Educational Services for Students and is an intern at US Together, one of Cleveland’s refugee resettlement agencies. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion issues. Through social media, blogging and initiatives on campus, she works for reproductive justice, rights for marginalized communities and works to break down stereotypes about Muslim women and women in general. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Anthropology or Public Health at CWRU and ultimately wants to work on social justice issues in a health-related field.


Luis Muniz-Feliciano Graduate/Professional Student Achievement Award

Originally from Puerto Rico, he is a 5th year PhD student in the Department of Pathology-School of Medicine. He will defend his doctoral thesis in fall 2014 and is currently seeking a post-doctoral research position in higher education. On campus, he is a member of the Minority Graduate Student Organization and served as president of the organization from 2011-2012. In addition, he has been involved in the School of Medicine’s Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) and as part of the program traveled to Puerto Rico to recruit students to Case Western Reserve University. As part of PREP, he has also hosted minority and non-minority students and organized outings to local restaurants. In addition, he once organized an intramural volleyball team which included Puerto Ricans, Taiwanese, Spaniards and American players. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Wallace Minority Fellowship, Minority Scientist Travel Award from the Annual American Association of Immunologist and also from that association, the Young Investigator Award.

See previous winners



1. Faculty Leadership Award

Recognizes a faculty member's contributions or efforts toward enhancing the goals of diversity, equity, inclusion and multiculturalism at the university, particularly in the areas of teaching, research or service that exceeds the routine expectations of the faculty’s position.

2. Staff Leadership Award

Recognizes a staff member who promotes a culture of inclusion that encourages relationships and interactions among people of different backgrounds, a culture that enhances human dignity, actively diminishes prejudice and discrimination and improves the quality of life for everyone in our community.  


3. Department/Office/Unit Excellence Award

Recognizes an office, department or unit that has demonstrated a commitment to building a workplace and learning space that is inclusive of difference and values diversity of all kinds. This commitment should be evident by proactive actions including, but not limited to, inclusive policies and procedures, workshops and trainings and other undertakings that have helped create an inclusive environment.

4. Graduate/Professional Student Achievement Award

Recognizes a graduate or professional university student who has demonstrated leadership and commitment toward diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism through academic excellence, service, volunteerism and/or research.

5. Undergraduate Student
Achievement Award

Recognizes an undergraduate university student who has demonstrated leadership and commitment toward diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism through academic excellence, service, volunteerism and/or research.