Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award
The Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Awards recognize individuals or groups who have demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing diversity at Ohio State and to exceeding expectations in implementing the Diversity Action Plan. The program, now in its 21st year, rewards efforts to enhance diversity on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran or military service status, gender identity, economic status, political belief, marital status or social background. Recipients were honored with a plaque and a $1,200 honorarium at a spring luncheon during the Office of Minority Affairs’ ninth annual National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning. The University Senate Committee on Diversity sponsors the awards program in cooperation with the Office of Human Resources.
“OSU Theatre is committed to sharing with the OSU community, central Ohio and the world what diversity is really all about,” one nominator wrote. The Department of Theatre’s exhibitions, productions, and programs provide students with the opportunity to explore diversity issues of the United States, as well as cultural matters from around the world. Diversity is a strong theme within the department’s curriculum, allowing students to receive a global education and broaden their horizons through a variety of guest lectures, performances, and workshops. Another nominator commented, “Students and audiences alike get emotionally connected with the performances, guests, and texts; analyze their experience through guided discovery; and are changed by their theatrical experience.” At the graduate level, diversity has been a primary focus in recruiting Master of Fine Arts candidates. The department’s faculty are committed to increasing the department’s diversity profile by bringing in notable minority guest artists and scholars and providing students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to engage with these individuals. Recent guests include Petr Matasek and Jaroslav Malina of the Czech Republic; African American Broadway designer and alumna Toni-Leslie James; African American actors Herman LeVern Jones and Ted Lange; director Woodie King Jr.; and playwrights Adam and Adrienne Kennedy. One nominator noted, “This department sets the example for living and breathing and embracing diversity, and then pushes the concept out of the box.”