Diversity is more than a word, more than an ideal, and more than the attainment of a particular quantifiable goal. Diversity is the realization of difference, and of inequity and understanding of power and privilege. It is balanced by inclusion, the desire to create equal opportunity, and further, realize that a diverse community is stronger, richer and more sustainable than one which actively, or passively, excludes people who are different. Diversity and inclusion create excellence.

Since 2011, the College of the Environment has explored our own diversity landscape through our open Conversations on Diversity. We have learned a lot, including that we have a long way to go. We have also learned that change does not happen overnight, or without the dedication of innovators willing to call for and create change. This award celebrates those individuals.

Goals of the award

  • To formally recognize and support the efforts and impacts of faculty, staff and students taking a lead on diversity and inclusion in the College of the Environment.
  • To support the growth of an active and diverse community that includes faculty, staff and students at all levels and that engages with communities within the College, University and beyond.

Criteria for nomination

Awardees’ contributions should include the following:

  • A leadership role in existing or developing inclusion efforts that connect to and/or support the College of the Environment.
  • An innovative approach to diversity and inclusion within one’s own scholarship, teaching or disciplinary community.
  • Short-term and long-term positive change.

Note: Diversity, as defined by the UW Diversity Blueprint, means groups or individuals with different cultures or backgrounds, including but not limited to race, sex, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, religion and military status. The term diversity is fluid in that the status and representation of groups shift over time, but a central tenet is that some groups are underrepresented and that minority status is linked to power and privilege in the majority groups.


Nominees must be a current student, staff, or faculty within the College of the Environment. Nominees who are not chosen in a given year may be nominated again in subsequent years.

Nomination process

Nominations can be for individuals or groups, and should be submitted in a letter format, maximum of two pages, and must address how the nominee meets the award criteria for this category, and include:

  • specific examples of what makes them extraordinary in this particular award category (e.g., demonstrated leadership or innovative approaches);
  • what the impact(s) have been from the nominee(s)’s efforts (quantifiable if possible); and,
  • the relationship between the nominator(s) and the nominee(s).

For how to submit a nomination and information on all other College awards, visit the Awards page.

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