Faculty, staff, students recognized for inclusive excellence

2014 President’s Diversity Award recipients work toward greater cultural diversity
By Staff

Faculty, staff and students from across the University of Colorado have been named recipients of the annual President’s Diversity Award, which recognizes significant achievements of individuals and academic or administrative units in developing a more culturally diverse, compassionate university community reflective of inclusive excellence.

Awardees for 2014 will be recognized at a reception from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 2 in the first floor conference room at 1800 Grant St. All are invited to attend; RSVP by Tuesday, April 29, to

The 2014 honorees are:

Faculty Award

Leonard Baca, Ed.D., Professor, School of Education, CU-Boulder
Professor Baca is one of the founders  bilingual special education. His innovative work in this field has had a significant impact on how scholars and teachers understand and educate diverse learners.  His pioneering work ended the erroneous placement of language learners being referred to special education services.  In addition, his work enabled language learners with real disabilities to have better access to special education services.

Staff Awards

Dominic Martinez, Ed.D., Director, Office of Inclusion and Outreach, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Dominic Martinez has reached across all University of Colorado campuses and the Front Range community to create a pipeline of underrepresented pre-health students for the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.  He has spent countless hours on each campus counseling underrepresented undergraduate students who are hoping to move on to graduate school at CU Anschutz. He created an Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP) where undergraduates learn about health careers while spending the summer on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Furthermore, his outreach extends to middle and high school students, pairing them with undergraduate mentors that can relate to these young students and demonstrate a path to success. His project has been duplicated by the CU Denver School of Education for aspiring teachers.

Peggy Lore, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Success, Division of Student Affairs, CU Denver
Peggy Lore has been an integral part of the CU Denver community for 30 years and has demonstrated superior leadership and commitment to diversity.  She has developed opportunities for students to create leadership teams and organizations that promote a diverse and inclusive culture and has promoted programs, initiatives and projects in the area of diversity and inclusion.  In addition, her involvement and leadership with countless community organizations has enhanced CU Denver’s image as a school that promotes diversity with a caring staff and a commitment to serving underrepresented students.  Most significantly, she is never too busy to help any student who is struggling, or to congratulate one who is excelling.

Student Awards

Jeffery Almeda, Student, CU Denver
Jeffery Almeda has worked with and across multiple racial and ethnic populations, student groups and political organizations to create awareness around issues of diversity.  He was pivotal in establishing the Latino Professional Network (LPN), a student group  aimed at helping participants receive public speaking skills and other forms of professional development.  In addition, he has served as president of the Muslim Student Association of Auraria and is a former president of the Native American Student Organization (NASO).  He has been active on community committees, events and organizations voicing concerns about immigration reform, voting rights and higher education access.

Juedon Kebede, Student, CU-Boulder
Through Impact the Youth, Juedon Kebede has extended CU’s reach into the surrounding community, making a positive impact on youth of color and helping them envision themselves as CU students.  The program matches a CU student with a local high school student for weekly mentoring sessions about higher education opportunities.  He is also an active presence in the University of Colorado Student Government and has completed a minor in the Leadership Studies program.

Suzuho Shimasaki, Student, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Suzuho Shimasaki performs multiple roles in building the capacity for diversity and inclusiveness in organizations, encouraging and providing opportunities to improve diversity on the CU Anschutz campus and in the Colorado School of Public Health.  She has played a leadership role in developing an innovative approach to creating a safe space for students to seek guidance by facilitating an “Explore Public Health” program to support students of color as they discover possible careers in public health.  She also serves on the Health Equity Commission of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Public Health Association, the Board of Directors of the Mile High Japanese American Citizens League, and The Denver Foundation’s Inclusiveness Project Committee and Basic Needs Committee.

Group Award

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), CU-Boulder
Counseling and Psychological Services has been a pivotal resource in advancing diversity and inclusion throughout the Boulder campus.  The unit provides culturally competent counseling, outreach and prevention services that reflect a strong commitment to diversity. Highlighted among its many initiatives is the Implicit Attitudes program, which has offered extensive presentations on issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, international students, women, ability status, etc.  The Implicit Attitudes program has resulted in the delivery of over 2,000 consultations, presentations and events, as well as the development of video series to address implicit attitudes in the classroom.

Also receiving commendations in 2014:

  • Archie Dalton, Student, CU Denver
  • Bhawana Mohan, Student, CU-Boulder
  • Le (An) Tran, Student, CU Denver
  • Karen Rosenschein, Staff, CU-Boulder
  • Jacquelyn Sullivan, Faculty, CU-Boulder
  • James Walsh, Faculty, CU Denver
  • Student Worker Alliance Program (SWAP), CU-Boulder