Beverly Nance, a 25-year employee at Illinois State University, has been named the recipient of the 2011 David Strand Diversity Achievement Award.
Nance is the 18th recipient of the award, which was established and endowed by President Emeritus David Strand to honor a faculty or staff member whose efforts result in heightened sensitivity to diversity on campus.
“I was very moved by the fact that I was nominated to receive the David Strand Diversity Award by my immediate supervisor, Amy Roser, Associate Director of University College,” Nance said. “I appreciate so very much her show of support for me and my work. In addition to being very surprised, I felt extremely honored and humbled when I learned I was selected to receive the award. Receiving this award feels like a huge stamp of validation for the efforts I have made over the years on behalf of the University to assist students in achieving their academic goals. Also, I am especially honored to receive an award established by David Strand, a man I greatly admire and respect for numerous reasons, one being his strong commitment to diversity and minority retention.”
Nance will be honored at the Founders Day Convocation and will receive a check and her name on the Strand Diversity Achievement Award plaque on the Wall of Fame in the Bone Student Center.
Nance has held the positions of director of the High Potential Students Program, coordinator of the Minority Student Academic Center and is currently the coordinator of Targeted Retention Services for the Julia N. Visor Academic Center. She started at Illinois State in 1986 as an academic coordinator for the Minority Professional Opportunities program and also held positions in the Summer Enrichment Program for Academically Talented Minorities and the University College Academic Enrichment Center.
“Over the past 25 years I have administered programming to assist the University in its efforts to increase the retention of minority students,” Nance said. “During that time, such programming has undergone countless changes in terms of funding, staffing and scope of services. An important change that has occurred in recent years is the physical relocation of programs and services targeting underrepresented students from the fringes of campus to areas with significant student traffic and higher visibility. Additionally, the quality of service and the number of students served increases when a broad variety of academic support services are offered collaboratively in one facility such as the University College Julia N. Visor Academic Center.”
In one of the nomination letters for the award, Nance was praised for her entire career focus on “assisting students, especially students from underrepresented backgrounds,” and “ensuring that students had a welcoming place to call home.” Her “direct one-on-one impact with students” was described as “the hallmark of Nance’s career at Illinois State,” which led to students saying that the impact Nance made on their lives was instrumental in their academic success. Another nominator said Nance “has supervised many graduate assistants and young minority professionals, providing mentoring, support and guidance.”
Past recipients of the Strand Diversity Achievement Award are Alison Bailey, Nancy Tolson, Christopher Horvath, Kim Pereira, Marilyn Boyd, Maria Canabal, Madeleine Hoss, Ming-Gon John Lian, Maura Toro-Morn, Louis Perez, Ron Strickland, Julia Visor, Savario Mungo, Paula Ressler, Ronald Swan, Ricardo Cortez Cruz and Rick Lewis.