Two students, a professor and a staff member have been recognized for their dedication, inspiration and advocacy for diversity on campus.
Nebraska Wesleyan’s Martin Luther King Day event on January 25th included the celebration of the 2018 Advocates for Diversity. Honored were seniors Jimmy Lowe and Raissa Zuim Dantas de Souza, psychology professor Amy Ort, and assistant dean Candice Howell.
Lowe, an English major from Omaha, was honored with NWU’s Mary Butler Award, which 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.
Lowe is actively involved on Student Affairs Senate, University Choir, Pride Alliance, and serves as a peer consultant for the Cooper Center for Academic Resources, where he helps students improve their academic success. Lowe was highly regarded for his work as a peer assistant in the residence halls, noting his work to connect underrepresented students and provide programming in the residence halls that include a mix of fun with important conversations on social justice issues.
“These programs have had a very positive impact on the communities that Jimmy has served,” said Ryan Davidson, residential education coordinator.
Raissa Zuim Dantas de Souza, a biology major from Brazil, received a Student Advocate for Diversity Award for her involvement in MOSAIC Club where she helped bring to campus Native American speakers, organized a “Fiesta and Friends” event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and her current work in organizing events for Black History Month in February. Nominators also celebrated her work in exploring ride share programs for international and out-of-state students. She is actively involved in Louis Stokes Alliance in Minority Participation (LSAMP), a program at NWU that helps underrepresented students explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and she was celebrated for her dedication to helping students from a variety of backgrounds during chemistry supplemental instruction sessions.
Psychology professor Amy Ort received the Faculty Advocate for Diversity Award and was recognized for her work with NWU’s Action Council of Diversity and Inclusion. Nominators noted her work on transgender initiatives including the development of resource guides for transgender students and best practices for faculty to help make the university a place where transgender students can be safe and thrive. Ort was also recognized for her advocacy for people with varying disabilities including developing a comprehensive safety plan for people unable to use stairs during a fire.
Candice Howell, assistant dean for student success and persistence, received a Staff Advocate for Diversity Award, for her work in challenging stereotypes and ensuring all students are engaged in their academic experience. She was celebrated for her work with the LSAMP program and for creating a bridge for minority groups on campus.