Allen College Receives Inclusion Award

March 27, 2014

altOn March 27, Allen College received the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber (GCVAC) Inclusion Award. Given at the GCVAC annual awards banquet, the award honors employers in the Cedar Valley who have made significant achievements in championing inclusion and diversity in their businesses and organizations. Allen College won in the small/medium (1-200 employees) category.

Gwen Timmerman, community liaison for Tyson Fresh Meats and chair of the award selection committee, said the committee was impressed by Allen College’s stable, ongoing efforts regarding diversity and inclusion.

“We liked how they deal with not only gender, not only age, not only ethnicity,” Timmerman said. “They factor in all those things, and it’s very impressive.”

The recognition comes several years after Allen College established goals to help its academic community become increasingly diverse and inclusive. Over the past five years, Allen College has established an Office of Diversity Services (ODS); established a Diversity Advisory Council; and brought in speakers and programs to help faculty and staff embrace diversity.

Dr. Jerry Durham, Allen College chancellor, said Doreen Mingo, assistant professor and director of the ODS, has been a leader in the College’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Doreen was instrumental in our receiving a federal grant that has supported students from diverse backgrounds and made high-school students more aware of and prepared for nursing career opportunities,” Durham said. “Assistant professor Christina Ortiz has also been supportive, and the leaders of the College have voiced strong support of our diversity goals.”

Mingo is proud of what they’ve accomplished in a short time. “We think that diversity is a marker of excellence, and we strive to be excellent in all that we do. This award shows that we’re slowly and steadily moving toward these goals,” Mingo said. “I think it’s a wonderful honor and a testament to Allen College’s commitment to make a difference.”

There is still much work to be done on the journey toward diversity and inclusion, Durham noted. But Allen College’s efforts to keep moving forward are part of why it was selected to win the award. “We liked how they had a vision for the future,” Timmerman said. Durham said the recognition is most valuable for the message it sends to the community.

“It is really wonderful to be recognized in a public way for the many efforts that are underway at Allen College. The recognition also signals to the communities we serve that faculty, students and staff from diverse backgrounds will be welcome in our academic community."

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