Tenth Annual President's Diversity Awards

Celebrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Central Washington University

The President's Diversity Awards recognize and honor individuals within our community who have shown outstanding commitment to equity and belonging in five categories—student, staff, faculty, community, and with the Bobby Cummings Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominations are accepted through February 1, 2024.

Reserve Free Tickets for the Event

A Committment to Positive Change

The President's Diversity Awards recognize the work of people or groups who have made positive, observable, and sustainable impacts on diversity, inclusion, and equity for the campus and/or wider community.

The intent is to make visible the sometimes hidden or unacknowledged efforts made to address social inequalities. CWU President Jim Wohlpart wishes to honor individuals who have worked to create diverse and inclusive environments.

Award Ceremony

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: SURC Ballroom

Ticket Information

Admittance is free, but tickets must be reserved through Wildcat Tickets to attend.

Criteria for Nominations

Nominees should demonstrate exemplary leadership, turning ideals of equity and belonging into practical, actionable initiatives. This commitment may be evident in various areas, such as:

  • Recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  • Multicultural programming and learning opportunities.
  • Community outreach and collaboration.
  • Advocacy leading to positive, observable impacts on campus and in the larger community.


Past Award Recipients

  • 2019

    • Student Award – Samuel Gutierrez, president of Brother 2 Brother, a campus organization that assists participants, mostly young men in need of guidance, to excel academically, socially, culturally, professionally, and in the community.
    • Alumni Award – John Haroldson, who graduated from CWU in 1986, and became the first Latino elected as district attorney in the state of Oregon. Haroldson is chair of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute Board and has mentored a number of Latinx CWU students.
    • Faculty Award – Teresa Divine, associate professor of Law and Justice at CWU, who is being cited for her commitment to social justice. Divine helped establish the Black Graduation at CWU and serves as advisor to the Black Student Union and as a mentor to a number of CWU students of color.
    • Staff Award – Natalia Thomas, who serves as student services generalist for CWU’s Westside Student Life. Thomas has been actively involved in advancing community-based service initiatives at the centers including helping to organize campus celebrations honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., helping to develop an Alternative Thanksgiving Dinner at the Lynnwood Center, and facilitating the establishment of First Generation Week in collaboration with Edmonds Community College.
    • Staff Award – Jason Berthon-Koch, CWU’s police chief, who also works closely with students groups such as Brother 2 Brother, for whom he is an advisor, and the Black Student Union. Berthon-Koch is being recognized for his commitment to diversity and to policing without bias.
    • Community Award – Pastor Jen Stuart of the First United Methodist Church in Ellensburg, who helped establish Central Washington Justice for Our Neighbors, a clinic to assist those with immigration questions or issues.
    • Community Award Honorable Mention – Rolf Williams, owner and manager of Jerrol’s, who is being lauded for his years of support for the Kittitas County Parent to Parent organization. The group offers emotional support and information to families raising children with special needs.

  • 2020

    • Student Award – Jessica Hernandez
    • Alumni Award – Mal Stewman
    • Faculty Award – Dr. Michel O'Brien
    • Faculty Award – Dr. Susana Flores
    • Staff Award – Verónica Gomez-Vilchis
    • Community Award – Tylene Carnell
    • Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Bobby Cummings

  • 2021

    • Bobby Cummings Lifetime Achievement Award - Keith Champagne
    • Monica Medrano
    • Manuel Rodriguez
    • Adrija Basu
    • Grace Inae Blum
    • Chong Eun Ahn
    • AJ Cooper
    • Andy Parks
    • Bruce Tabb, Mayor; Nancy Goodloe, Deputy Mayor; and Nancy Lillquist, Councilmember.
    • Della Gonzales
    • Joey Packer
    • Dawn Alford

  • 2022

    • Bobby Cummings Lifetime Achievement Award - Lucinda Carnell
    • Difference Maker - Kremiere Jackson
    • Hope Amason and Natashia Lindesy
    • Yukari Amos
    • Chris Bigelow
    • Miriam Bocchetti
    • CWU Public Safety
    • Josue Q. Estrada
    • Andres Moreno-Bonito
    • Tiffany Smith

  • 2023

    Bobby Cummings Lifetime Achievement Award - Dr. Kandee Cleary


    • Dr. Tennicia Dacass
    • T. Andre Feagin
    • Dr. Sayantani Mukherjee
    • Dr. Darci Snowden
    • Dr. Christina Torres-Garcia


    • Fiona Corner
    • Mishel Kuch
    • Jessica Murillo-Rosales Davis
    • Joe Ritchie
    • Kendall Smart


    • Mariah Minjarez
    • Paige Hall
    • Luis Reyes
    • Manny Valencia


    • Melany Peterson and T. Andre Feagin

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