This event has historically been held in-person, but has since transitioned to be in a virtual format for the time being. During this event, we invite keynote speakers to give an address about current topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are salient to the University of Iowa.
Following words of welcome and keynote addresses, we recognize and celebrate those who have been presented with an award, scholarship, or honor during this academic year. Specifically, we name and celebrate this year's recipients of:
Diversity Catalyst Awards (Individual and Group)
Alliant Energy & Erroll B. Davis, Jr., Achievement Award
Diversity Catalyst Seed Grant
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Diversity Resources at email@example.com.
Please let us know if there are any accommodations that would increase the accessibility and enjoyment of the virtual Diversity Catalyst Awards.
Join Us for the 2020-2021 Awards!
Dr. Liz Tovar
Executive Officer and Associate Vice President
Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Bios and photos coming soon!
International Student Advisory Board
Native American Council
The selection process was challenging as we had several submissions praising the work of several outstanding nominees. The committee would like to acknowledge and honor all nominees for allowing us to learn about your contributions to promote an inclusive and diverse campus community. We want to thank all nominators for the time and effort you put into your thoughtful nomination. Unfortunately, due to a limited number of awards available, we could not award all nominees for the 2020-2021 year. With that said, nominators, please do not hesitate to resubmit your nomination for next year!
Alliant Energy & Erroll B. Davis Jr. Achievement Award
Karen Ruby Devora Cigarroa
College of Engineering, Iowa State University
Major: Civil Engineering
Karen is a first-generation student studying Civil Engineering at Iowa State University, where she is also a Community Advisor for Helser Hall, Peer Mentor for the LEAD Learning community, Multicultural Greek Council exec member, and a proud member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. Her passion for engineering started in high school when she participated in the Dallas Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program and has grown since then through other internship experiences.
College of Engineering, the University of Iowa
Major: Industrial Engineering
Minor: Business Administration
Born in Vietnam, Hieu grew up in Coralville, Iowa, for most of his life. While he is an industrial engineer, he hopes to use his technical background in a business-oriented environment. He will be interning at Goldman Sachs this summer in their NYC headquarters. In the future, he plans to transition to an international career where he can also further pursue his charity efforts in Vietnam.
Maria Luz Alcala
Tippie College of Business, the University of Iowa
Major: Human Resource Management and Business Analytics
Certificates: International Business and Leadership Studies
Luz Alcala is studying HR Management and Business Analytics at the Tippie College of Business. She is passionate about DEI initiatives and serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ambassador for the Tippie College of Business. Luz is president of MBSA, a mentor and coordinator for the BizEdge program, a peer leader for the Iowa Edge program, and a dedicated Lambda Theta Nu Sorority sister, Inc.
College of Engineering, Iowa State University
Major: Chemical Engineering
Linnea is a 4th-year student at Iowa State University studying chemical engineering and sustainability. She wants to go into the oil and gas industry and use her education and passion for sustainability to find ways to be more sustainable in this industry. Outside of academics, Linnea holds leadership positions in several clubs and works for the College of Engineering.
Seed Grant Recipients
Student Legal Services Immigration Consultation Program
This initiative aims to provide free, high-quality legal advice to students on immigration issues to ease the stress and distraction these legal concerns can cause. Licensed attorneys will provide legal consultations on issues including, but not limited to, family-based immigration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and F-1 visa restrictions.
Amanda Elkins Director and Attorney, Student Legal Services
Rachel Howell Office Manager, Student Legal Services
Alyssa Pomponio Attorney, Student Legal Services
Jessica Malott Malott Law, PLC
2020-2021 B.U.I.L.D. Certificates
See the faculty and staff who have earned their B.U.I.L.D. Certificates
About the Awards
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 policy, practices, values, and mission. The Diversity Catalyst Award recognizes the excellence, innovative and distinctive inclusion efforts of campus constituents.
We welcome all U.I. community members to nominate their peers for this prestigious award and encourage department administrators to consider nominating those in their unit who have received other diversity awards over the past year.
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.
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.
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 goals as stated in the 2019-2021 Excellence through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan.
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:
- Nominations for 2021 have closed.
- Email Letter(s) of Support (max 2) to firstname.lastname@example.org
The EXTENDED deadline for submitting online nomination forms and letters of Support is Thursday, March 18th, by 11:59 p.m. CST.
2021 Online Nomination Form
Nominations for 2021 are now closed.
When completing the 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 2 individuals who are 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 statement of nomination in the text box provided in the online form in addition to the Letters of Support.
Letters of Support
The specifications for the letters of Support are as follows:
- Send these letters as PDFs or Word documents to email@example.com after submitting the online form and before the stated deadline for consideration.
- The person completing the online nomination form can be one of the two people to write a letter of Support or can 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.
A campus-wide committee of peers will review the nominations and determine this year's recipients.
Nomination Applications due: Thursday, March 18, 2021, 11:59 p.m. CST
Award Recipients and Nominators to be notified: Friday, March 26, 2021
Virtual Reception Ceremony: Wednesday, April 21, 2021