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Commitment to Diversity Awards

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The winners of the 26th annual Commitment to Diversity Awards have been announced. The awards, sponsored by the Dean of Students Office, recognize students, registered student organizations, faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding curricular and co-curricular programming, service and research that exemplifies the University’s commitment to diversity.

This year’s winners were honored in a ceremony April 6 at the Bone Student Center.

Undergraduate Legacy of Leadership Award – Muriel Dorsey

Dorsey is a junior and completed the ISULeads Leadership Certificate Program in 2013. During her time as president of the ISU Law Club, she increased the diversity of the club and executive board.

Graduate Legacy of Leadership Award – Lydia Reitz

Reitz has been president of the Sigma Delta Pi-Eta Upsilon Honor Society since May 2012. She has applied for grants which have helped the chapter with community outreach programs in elementary schools and with non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

Outstanding Faculty – Marinelly Castillo

Castillo is the faculty advisor for Illinois State University’s Spanish Club. She established the Alma Latina Award in 2009, which acknowledges an outstanding member of the Spanish Club each year. She has also organized trips to Latin America with a focus on volunteering in local schools, orphanages and indigenous villages.

Outstanding Staff – Michael DeGeeter

DeGeeter works with international students at Illinois State University through the English Language Institute. He has led trips to the ISU Planetarium, hosted traditional Thanksgiving, Halloween and other holiday parties, and organized field trips to Springfield and Chicago.

Outstanding Organization Member – Vanessa Ortiz

Ortiz is a freshman and has been a member of Illinois State University’s Spanish Club since fall 2013. She has participated actively in Cultural Nights, The Day of the Dead, weekly Conversational Hours, ISU Homecoming Parade and Holiday Party/Mexican Festivities.

Outstanding Registered Student Organization – The Black and Latino Male Movement

The Black and Latino Male Movement collaborates with the Illinois State community, local business owners/professionals and colleagues from surrounding college campuses.

Outstanding Established Program – College Mentors for Kids

College Mentors for Kids promotes higher education, culture and diversity, and community service to underprivileged students at elementary schools. The program helps volunteers learn firsthand the factors that lead to educational and life success for students.

Outstanding New Program – Zumba Fiesta

Sponsored by Illinois State University’s Spanish Club, Zumba Fiesta provides leadership development and support for underrepresented organizations in the Bloomington-Normal community. It raises money for local charities such as Western Avenue Community Center in Bloomington and Center for Hope Pantry in Normal while incorporating Latin dance and promoting healthy habits.

Student Partner in Diversity – Aric Faulkner

Faulkner served as a facilitator for the 2013 Diversity Retreat, a one-day event focusing on diversity issues such as race, gender, social class and sexual orientation. He also served on the Black and Latino Male Summit planning committee.

Staff Partner in Diversity – Jose Marroquin

Marroquin currently serves as the faculty/staff housing liaison for the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) and was an advisor for their trip to the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute in Chicago. He is also a member of the Multi-Ethnic Cultural and Co-Curricular Programming Advisory Committee (MECCPAC).