Terryl Ross, the College of the Environment's Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Terryl Ross
Terryl Ross, UW College of the Environment’s Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The University of Washington College of the Environment’s Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Terryl Ross is the recipient of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA)’s 2020 Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award. ASPA is the largest and most prominent broad-based professional association in American public administration. It has a diverse membership of approximately 8,000 practitioners, academicians and students.

The Gloria Hobson Nordin Award was established in 2003. It recognizes lifetime achievement and effort in the cause of social equity. Candidates are evaluated on three criteria: the impact of their efforts on social equity, the consistency, and level of effort on behalf of social equity and the duration of the effort on behalf of social equity. Ross was nominated by J. Paul Blake, former president of ASPA’s Evergreen Chapter and current District IV Representative on ASPA’s National Council.

“ASPA has an impressive history of being committed to social equity. It’s certainly an honor to be nominated for such an award and even greater to win it. This is one of the most meaningful awards I have received in my life,” says Ross. “My only regret is that I will not get to meet the wonderful leaders from ASPA, in person, and I will not get to see H. George Fredrickson, a former winner of this award. They all know him as the person who came up with the theory of social equity being a “third pillar” of public administration. I know him as the president of Eastern Washington University when I was student body president and he also wrote my letter of recommendation when I applied for my MA at Syracuse University. He’s in his 80s now and I have not seen him in almost 40 years, I can’t wait to give him a hug!”

Ross came to the UW in 1992 as a doctoral student in the Educational and Communication Technology program housed in the College of Education. Immediately noticing room for improvement in the University’s diversity efforts, he created the Multicultural Organization of Students Actively Involved in Change (MOSAIC) and became a member of the newly formed Multicultural Alumni Partnership.

Ross continues his work in diversity and inclusion today as he collaborates with College stakeholders to envision diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across the college. He works to accomplish these goals through empowering the College’s diversity champions, his commitment to environmental justice, and focusing on efforts that will make the biggest impact.

Congratulations, Terryl!