Annual Inclusion and Diversity Achievement Awards and Luncheon

The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at Case Western Reserve University gives awards to members of the university community in recognition of significant contributions toward enhancing the university's commitment to diversity through inclusive thinking, mindful learning and transformative dialogue.

These awards recognize and encourage such contributions that may include promoting respect, building community, establishing effective cross-cultural initiatives and advocating equity and inclusion within the university community. The entire CWRU community is invited to submit nominations and attend the luncheon.

The eleventh annual Inclusion and Diversity Achievement Awards Luncheon will be held in April 2019. Plan to attend the luncheon and nominate a friend or colleague for a diversity award.

Award Categories and Criteria

Faculty Diversity Award

Recognizes a faculty member’s contributions or efforts made 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.

Staff Diversity Award

Recognizes a staff member who promotes a culture of inclusion that encourages relationships and interactions among people of diverse backgrounds. Also, promotes a culture that enhances human dignity, diversity and inclusion on campus.

Undergraduate Student Diversity Achievement Award

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

Graduate/Professional Student Diversity Achievement Award

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

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 various aspects of diversity. This commitment should be evident by proactive actions including, but not limited to, inclusive policies and procedures, workshops and trainings and other undertakings that help to create an inclusive environment within the department/office or unit.

Senior Leadership Diversity Award

Recognizes a university dean, executive or other senior administrators for their contributions to campus diversity and inclusion efforts.

Collaboration Excellence Diversity Award

Recognizes a successful inclusion and/or diversity-related campus collaboration or partnership between departments, offices, institutes, organization and others. The partnerships can be an ongoing or short-term partnership.

2018 Winners

Undergraduate Student Diversity Award: Divya Manoharan

Divya Manoharan head shot

She is a second-year computer science and sociology major at CWRU. Manoharan serves as the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. As a member of USG, she has worked to reform financial aid policies, advocated for the construction of all-gender bathrooms and pushed for the development of a resource center to provide clothing, food and textbooks for students in need.

She is the student representative on the CWRU Diversity Leadership Council and serves as the vice president of the American Mock World Health Organization, where she advocates for policy-based change in the public health sphere.

Graduate/Professional Student Diversity Award: Jaden List

Jaden List head shot

List will graduate this May with a master’s degree from the CWRU Mandel School of Social and Applied Sciences. For the past two years, List has interned in the LGBT Center and established a number of innovative programs. 

List established “Found Families,” a program that works to integrate people in the LGBTQ+ community based on age, religion, socioeconomic status, race and other experiences. Participants form small groups called “families” and connect with each other throughout the month. All family groups meet once a month at a “family reunion.”  In addition, List created “Our Place in Faith,” a program which brought to campus LGBT supportive faith leaders who spoke with students.

Community Leadership Diversity Award: Margaret W. Wong, Esq.

Margaret Wong headshot

Wong is managing partner of Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC and has more than 40 years of experience in immigration and nationality law and legal practice management. Wong & Associates is a nationally and internationally renowned full-service immigration firm.

Wong is a member of the U. S. Courts of Appeals in the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 9th Circuits and a member of the U. S. District Courts of the Northern and Southern districts of Ohio. She is the author of the 2009 publication The Immigrant’s Way and is a frequent speaker on a range of immigration topics. In addition, Wong serves as an adjunct professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and as co-chair of the Immigration Law Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She was the first Asian American to serve as president of the Cleveland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors and has served on various boards. Wong received degrees from Western Illinois University and a JD from the University at Buffalo Law School.

Faculty Diversity Award: Joy R. Bostic, PhD

Joy Bostic head shot

Bostic is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at CWRU and the founding director for the university’s minor in African and African American Studies. She is also a program faculty member of CWRU’s Women’s and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies programs. Her teaching and scholarship focus on such areas as African American religion and culture; religion, healing, and social justice; and womanist/feminist theory. She is the author of the 2013 publication African American Female Mysticism: Nineteenth-Century Religious Activism.

She received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and was later ordained a Christian minister in Evanston, Illinois. In 2006, Reverend Bostic received a PhD in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Staff Diversity Award: AmariYah S. Israel

Amariyah Israel headshot

She is the assistant director of the LGBT Center at Case Western Reserve University. In this role, she organizes programs and events and advises and coordinates on various diversity, inclusion and social justice initiatives.  In addition, she works with student coordinators in the LGBT Center. She has been involved in the CWRU Sustained Dialogue Program, Diversity 360 Program and has helped coordinate the LGBT and Women’s Center Collaborative.

In addition, she facilitates Safe Zone trainings. She has given numerous talks and facilitated workshops on campus on intersectionality, pronouns, preferred names and on how to avoid exclusionary language. She also worked along with the LGBT Director to establish Gender Inclusive Housing at CWRU.

Senior Leadership Award: Lisa Nielson, PhD

Nielson head shot

Nielson is an historical musicologist with a specialization in women’s studies. In 2017, she was appointed director of the CWRU Flora Stone Mather Center for Women. In 2011 she became CWRU’s first Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow. She teaches classes related to her research as well as to the mission of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards of fostering cultural tolerance and diversity.

Nielson is the recipient of numerous awards at CWRU, including the Richard A. Bloom, MD Award for Distinguished Teaching (2012), the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2014) and the Faculty Prism Award from the LGBT Center (2017). She is currently working on her book, Music and Musicians in the Medieval Islamic World: A Social and Cultural History.

Collaborative Diversity Excellence Award: Center for International Affairs and The Alumni Association

The Alumni Association (TAA) and The Center for International Affairs (CIA) of Case Western Reserve University have developed a collaborative relationship, which builds bridges within the university and to partners throughout the world.

TAA-CIA projects include the International Alumni Newsletter, Summer Send-Offs in China and alumni receptions in Brazil and China. Their most recent collaboration, the Study Abroad-Alumni Connections program, connects current CWRU students studying abroad with CWRU alumni living abroad.

Alumni serve as cultural bridges throughout the students’ time abroad and help students leave their university enclaves and experience their host culture. Having a local mentor helps students broaden their worldviews and the program keeps alumni connected to the university. 

Participants of the program develop deeper relationships with the broader CWRU community and learn that they are part of a network that spans generations, backgrounds, languages and cultures.

Key recipients include:

Chamois Williams profile picture

Chamois Williams
Associate Director, Alumni Outreach & Affinity Programs, The Alumni Association
Study Abroad-Alumni Connections Program Coordinator

Tamara Covarrubias headshot

Tamara Covarrubias
Information Specialist, Center for International Affairs 
Study Abroad-Alumni Connections Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Miller head shot

Elizabeth Miller 
Assistant Director, International Student Services, Center for International Affairs
Center for International Affairs-The Alumni Association Liaison