Equity & Inclusivity Recognition: President's Diversity Awards


The Central Washington University (CWU) Diversity Awards recognize the work of people or groups who have made positive, observable, and sustainable impacts on diversity, inclusion, equity for the campus and/or wider community. We are looking for examples of outstanding individuals or groups who made a real difference and progress towards an equitable campus or community environment.

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

Awardees receive a certificate and a personalized engraved glass award during the annual diversity awards celebration.

Submit a Nomination

Award Categories

There are five different categories for nomination, an award is presented to a nominee within each category.  You will be asked to choose one from the below.

  • Student – A person enrolled at least one quarter in the current academic year at CWU.
  • Staff – Any non-instructional employee, non- academic departments, or functional groups comprised primarily of non-instructional employees at CWU.
  • Faculty – Any employee whose primary responsibility is to teach course(s), academic departments, or functional groups comprised primarily of instructional employees at CWU.
  • Alumni – Any person who completed their studies at CWU.
  • Community Member – A resident of Kittitas County.

  • 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.

Evaluation Criteria 

Any CWU employee, student, alumni, or a Kittitas County resident can submit a nomination. The nomination requires identifying and speaking to one or more of the criteria below. The Diversity Awards Committee, using the criteria below, will review the nominations based on the collaborative effort and positive impact on the campus or community.

  • Demonstrates outstanding efforts to promote and actively support an environment free from bias and discrimination.
  • Enhances inclusion and equity by advocating and working in partnership on events, programs, and other such social justice related opportunities.
  • Demonstration of sustained commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.
  • Implements innovative methods for actualizing the values of diversity, inclusion and equity through wide-ranging activities.


Nominations open by early February and will close March 8th. Award recipients will be contacted and then announced by early April.

  • Individuals can make multiple nominations, however a separate form must be completed for each nomination.

  • Only complete nomination forms are considered.
  • Choose only one award category (e.g. Student, Community member).
  • The strongest nominations include more than two letters of support. Letters can be included together in a single nomination form or in separate forms.
  • Must choose at least one evaluation criteria describing the nominee's actions that fulfill the criteria.
  • To begin, click on "Nominate" button below.

Submit a Nomination

Nomination Questions – Sigrid Davison sigrid.davison@cwu.edu
Award Celebration Questions – Kandee Cleary delores.cleary@cwu.edu