Diversity Advocate and Mary Butler awards presented at MLK Celebration
Nebraska Wesleyan’s recent Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration included the recognition of this year's advocates for diversity. Honored were students Quentin Reese and Nile Debebe, Coach Jen Dyson and Professor Mary Hickman.
The 2022 theme for the MLK celebration was "It starts with me." The award winners were noted for embodying an "It starts with me" mentality about diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice work. Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion Wendy Hunt stated, "We all must start with ourselves to make this earth equitable and inclusive for all who live on it. Congratulations to our award winners for the work they have done and will continue to do."
Diversity Advocate awards
Head Women's Soccer Coach Jen Dyson
“Jen has been a leader for diversity in the Athletic Department. Last year she helped create a Staff Diversity committee," said Director of Athletics Ira Zeff. "She also was NWU’s representative on the American Rivers Conference Diversity Committee that developed a conference Unity Statement that is now read before each conference competition.”
Assistant Professor of English Mary Hickman
“Mary has increased our exposure to cultural difference, connectedness, and shared responsibility as human beings. She has helped us move beyond acceptance of perceived difference to curiosity and to empathy which contribute to cross-cultural understanding and peace," said Professor of English Gerise Herndon.
Quentin Reese- senior, exercise science major
Fellow student Dani Wheeler said, “Quentin’s willingness to be a leader in clubs and speak up for others shows their responsibility and initiative to making NWU and Lincoln better.”
Mary Butler award
The prestigious Mary Butler Award recognizes a junior or senior who identifies as a student of color, is in good academic standing and demonstrates the ability to enrich the campus through extracurricular involvement, leadership, responsibility, and concern for others.
Nile Debebe- senior, political science and communication studies major
Assistant Professor of Political Science Zach Baumann said, “Nile is not content to sit in the wings, instead he works for organizations advocating criminal justice and immigration reforms and actively participates in electoral campaigns and social movements. Nile demonstrates initiative promoting civic engagement and enriches campus through his contributions in the classroom and involvement in extracurricular activities.”