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Bentlin named Strand diversity award winner

image of David Strand and Dave Bentlin

President Emeritus David Strand congratulates Dave Bentlin, the 2017 David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award winner.

Dave Bentlin of the Office of the President has been named the recipient of the 2017 David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award at the Founders Day Convocation.

Bentlin has been a committed Redbird for 32 years. As an Illinois State alumnus and an employee, he has been a dedicated community member to the University and to the Bloomington-Normal area. Bentlin earned bachelor’s degrees in mass communication journalism and history and social sciences education at Illinois State University. Bentlin currently works in the Office of the President and has served in various positions over the years. Bentlin has received the ACLU John Hammell Award and was a past nominee of the City of Bloomington’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

He has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community for Illinois State University students, faculty, and staff, and for others in the Bloomington-Normal community. Bentlin currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Campus Climate Task Force, continuing his efforts to increase inclusiveness. Moreover, Bentlin has played major roles in the Bloomington Human Relations Commission, Central Illinois Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Prairie Pride Coalition, and established the Advocacy Council for Human Rights.

Bentlin is a mentor and an advisor to students. Bentlin assisted LGTBQ students to form the LGBT/Queer Studies Services Institute at Illinois State University, which allows students to have a space to express themselves and to meet without fear of judgment. In addition, Bentlin was a founder for the LGBTQIA Support Fund, which raises money to assist Illinois State University students who lose financial support from their families after revealing their gay identity.

Always humble, Bentlin himself will tell you that “the work is its own reward” and “no one does it alone.” Bentlin is described among those who know him as “professional, gracious, and a kind voice to all the individuals he interacts with.”

President Emeritus David Strand, who has served the University as an administrator, faculty member, and mentor at Illinois State University since 1978, established the Strand Diversity Achievement Award.

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