The Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer Award recognizes a student or group for promoting cultural diversity and enrichment on campus.
An outstanding PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, Michael Oliver has made important contributions to UT’s diversity efforts. His doctoral research focuses on examining racial differences in aspects of well-being and psychological resources for combating stress. He has presented preliminary results from this research at regional and international conferences and is the first author on a wellness and diversity paper recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Health Psychology. Oliver has been a member of the Diversity Council in his department for the past three years, helping to implement components of the diversity plan. As a result of these contributions, he was asked to serve as a graduate student liaison for diversity issues. He also served as the graduate student representative on a biological psychologist search committee, where he helped members keep issues of diversity in mind during the selection process. Oliver is dedicated to mentoring students as both an academic advisor within his department and the biopsychology lab manager.