The 20th anniversary of the Diversity Recognition Awards honored individuals and groups who are committed to fostering inclusive workplaces and scholarship. Since the Diversity Recognition Awards began in 2003, the Diversity Leadership Council has celebrated the efforts of more than 200 individuals and groups at Hopkins who create partnerships with the community, who seek to make their research areas more diverse in topic and in representation, and who foster a welcoming and inclusive workplace. This year’s awards ceremony was held Monday, May 8, and recognized the contributions of 15 individuals and two groups.
With initiatives such as the first and second roadmaps for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the continued development of ambitious goals, and the creation of campus resources encouraging the community to explore their identities, Johns Hopkins is poised to continue making strides in its inclusion endeavors—both in big, universitywide efforts and smaller, individual engagement.
“Johns Hopkins is only able to achieve excellence in creativity, innovation, and research when it is supported by a community of diverse leaders, backgrounds, and voices,” says Katrina Caldwell, JHU’s chief diversity officer and vice provost for diversity and inclusion. “The university administration can provide the roadmap for diversity, equity, and inclusion, but it is the people of Hopkins who will lead the way in achieving those goals. These awards are an important reminder that that endeavor is a day-to-day effort.”
Stacey Marks, diversity program manager at the Whiting School of Engineering, was this year’s recipient of the James Calvin Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As the founding chair of the Staff Access and Inclusion Committee for the Diversity Leadership Council, Marks was recognized for her steadfast support of staff through advocacy efforts over the past six years, particularly in conducting interviews and workshops to understand staff needs and facilitating staff composition reporting.
“I am so delighted that I was able to provide a voice to university leadership and now we have a profound commitment to make changes for the advancement of staff initiatives,” Marks says. “Leadership and advocacy can be uncomfortable at times, but working with university partners and colleagues helped to pave the path for real and sustainable change.”
Ikshu Pandey, a junior studying materials science and engineering at the Whiting School, was recognized for her disability advocacy work and for her service on the Disability Inclusion Advisory Committee.
“One thing I’ve learned through working in disability advocacy is that it’s never too early to use your platform and take up space or amplify the voices of your community,” Pandey says. “Sometimes it feels like society boxes us up and limits its expectations for us depending on our race/ethnicity, but this is why DEI is especially important for younger student populations. The earlier people start embracing their identity, advocating for themselves, and acknowledging intersectionality, the easier it will be to work towards a truly equitable future.”
The Diversity Leadership Council, which hosted the May 8 awards ceremony, is made up of students, faculty, and staff from across Johns Hopkins who work to support the university’s goals of diversity and inclusion. The Whiting School of Engineering individuals recognized at the ceremony are:
- Ikshu Pandey
- Tilak Ratnanather
- Fadil Santosa
- Jeremy Brown
- Misha Kazhdan
- Stacey Marks (James Calvin Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
- Jerrell Bratcher
- Center for Learning Design and Technology