The Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award recognizes an office, program, or department that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made consistent contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion at UT. The office, program, or department will have implemented sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives that are linked to their mission.
The award is named in honor of Marva Rudolph, an associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of Equity and Diversity who passed away in 2014 after more than twenty years with the university and more than thirty years of dedicated work in diversity and inclusion.
College of Communication and Information
The College of Communication and Information, headed by Dean Mike Wirth, is the recipient of the first Marva Rudolph Diversity Award for the breadth and depth of its diversity efforts on both the college and campus levels. Since 2007, the college’s Diversity Student Leaders Society has provided “an open and accepting community for students of all backgrounds, races, genders, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations” and uses educational opportunities to promote understanding, according to the nomination. The DSLS is open to all interested students, both in the college and across the university. In just the past year, the society’s major events have included a Diversity and Inclusion Week featuring keynote speakers, open forums, discussion sessions, and workshops; an Experience Diversity Banquet honoring a prominent individual who has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion; philanthropy projects for local at-risk groups; professional sessions on resume writing and interviewing skills; and leadership training and development. The college’s leadership has worked with its faculty to promote diversity in their classrooms and their coursework, and has developed ways to measure and track their progress. The college also has boosted its recruitment and hiring of diverse faculty members and its identification and cultivation of diverse candidates for future faculty positions. A Diversity Committee has been formed to make recommendations on how the college can reach its diversity goals. These efforts also have resulted in greater fundraising success, with the college’s development team securing external gifts to support its diversity programming.