TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Indiana State University officials gathered Friday to recognize employees and students who are leading the way to make campus more inclusively excellent.
First presented in 2016, the annual Inclusive Excellence Award recognizes outstanding efforts and significant contributions toward creating diverse, inclusive, equitable and socially just departments and communities. Nominees are identified for their commitment and dedication to serving students, as well as creating a more equitable workplace. Awards are selected by the President’s Council on Inclusive Excellence.
Venita Stallings, an adviser in University College, was presented the staff award. The Bayh College of Education’s Colleagues Helping Implement Lifelong Learning (CHILL) was recognized with the student organization award.
“To the students and Venita, who is a long-serving quality colleague on campus: This is an important moment,” said ISU President Deborah Curtis. “It’s not just to thank you. It’s a ‘well-done’ for the work you’ve done. You’ve become role models for others.”
CHILL provides education majors the opportunity to engage in mentorships that build a community based on professionalism, leadership and collaboration through an innovative, cross-curricular approach. The organization strives to create opportunities for students to offer firsthand accounts of their own experiences in the teacher education program at Indiana State.
“Thanks for taking the time to recognize what we do in the community and for our fellow education majors,” said Andrew Brown, a middle school math teaching major from Crawfordsville, Ind.
Rana Johnson, who joined the Indiana State staff Sept. 1 as the associate vice president of inclusive excellence and strategic planning, served as the luncheon’s emcee.
“As I work with administrators, faculty, staff and students at ISU to develop tactical programming, strategic best practices and unique partnerships, I endeavor to ensure that our university is an institution that others wish to imitate — but can never duplicate,” Johnson said. “I must also highlight the Inclusive Excellence Committee Members and the important work they do — oftentimes going above and beyond their daily responsibilities to promote equity and inclusion across the campus community — as well as the local community of Terre Haute. Your work does not go unnoticed. I thank you. We thank you!”
Curtis praised Johnson for her “amazing set of experiences and credentials” and said she was glad to call her a colleague.
“I’m so grateful to Dr. Johnson for putting her stamp on the way we’re going to engage. This is the start of something really big,” Curtis said.