About the DCA's

For over twenty years, the Diversity Catalyst Awards honor faculty, staff, students, programs, departments, and student organizations who have engaged in D.E.I. initiatives during the previous academic year, promoting the development of an inclusive and diverse campus community.

The University of Iowa's commitment to a welcoming and inclusive campus is embedded in its policy, practices, values, and mission. The Diversity Catalyst Award recognizes our people's excellence, innovation, and distinctive DEI efforts each year.

We welcome all University of Iowa community members to nominate their peers for this prestigious award. We encourage department administrators to consider nominating those in their unit who have received other diversity awards over the past year.

Award Information, Eligibility, and Information

Award Information

Recipients of the Diversity Catalyst Awards will receive a one-time monetary award and an engraved trophy to commemorate and celebrate their accomplishments.

Who is eligible to receive a Diversity Catalyst Award?

University of Iowa faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and postdocs are eligible to be nominated for the Diversity Catalyst Awards.


Primary Criteria

The recipients of the Diversity Catalyst Awards are exceptional community members who fit the following criteria:

  • The nominee has developed or implemented an innovative program, policy, or activity to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the university; 
  • The nominee's contributions are distinctive and have a positive effect on building respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the university community;
  • The nominee has gone above and beyond his/her job responsibilities.

Additional Criteria

A nominee who exemplifies characteristics that are innovative should:

  • Be creative and unique;
  • Introduce something new to the campus;
  • Approach their task with a fresh perspective that results in new outcomes.

A nominee who exemplifies the characteristics of distinctiveness should:

  • Be readily distinguishable in nature and quality from others;
  • Exhibit excellence in process and outcome.

A nominee who has enhanced diversity, equity, and inclusion within the university and has a positive effect on building respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the university community should:

  • Identify issues of importance to the creation of a diverse, inclusive university community as envisioned in the UI Human Rights Policy;
  • Have the potential to affect or implement long-standing change rather than a one-time event;
  • Enhance the University of Iowa's diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

How to Apply or Nominate

 To nominate a person or group for the Diversity Catalyst Awards, the nominator will need to submit the following items:

The deadline for submitting online nomination forms and letters of support is Monday, February 6th, by midnight CT.

2022-2023 Online Nomination Form

When completing this form, you will need to:

  • Provide specific contact information of each person involved in the nomination, such as the name, title, department/organization, email, and phone of the nominee, nominator, etc.
  • Name up to two individuals supporting the nomination via a letter of support.
  • Demonstrate the nominee's contributions and qualifications in the nomination statement (a portion of the online form) or the letters of support by giving specific examples to describe how the candidate meets the Diversity Catalyst Award criteria.

Nominators are encouraged to provide a nomination statement in the text box provided within the online form in addition to the letters of support.

Letters of Support

The specifications for the letters of support are as follows:

  • These letters must be attached to this nomination form as PDFs or Word documents.
  • The person completing the online nomination form could be one of the two to write a letter of support and/or provide an additional nomination statement via email if one was not provided in the text box while filling out the online form.
  • No more than three letters total, including the statement of nomination, will be accepted per nomination.
  • When multiple submissions for the same nominee occur by separate nominators, each complete nomination submission will be reviewed and considered separately and not combined.

Nomination form

Selection Process and Timeline

A campus-wide committee of peers will review the nominations and determine this year's recipients.


Nomination Applications are due: Monday, February 6, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. 

Award Recipients and Nominators to be notified: Friday, March 3, 2023

In-person Ceremony at IMU Second Floor Ballroom: Thursday, April 27, 2023

Relive the 2022 DCA's

Relive the 2021 DCA's

2021-22 B.U.I.L.D. Certificates

See the faculty and staff who have earned their B.U.I.L.D. Certificates