Recipients of 2013 Excellence in Diversity Awards Announced

January 15, 2013

Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) will recognize the InterFaith Forum Columbus and Carol Kostrzewsky, coordinator of career services at IUPUC, with its 2013 Excellence in Diversity Awards on Monday, January 21.

The recognition is part of the university’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the Columbus Learning Center, located at 4555 Central Avenue.

Each year, the university recognizes and honors those who have demonstrated commitment and outstanding efforts toward creative a diverse and inclusive community. Recipients are selected from external (community) and internal (campus) nominees including individuals, organizations, groups, projects, or institutions.

The InterFaith Forum Columbus (IFFC) was recognized for their diverse focus on religion and spirituality. The group facilitates programming to explore different faiths and traditions, diversity education, conflict resolution, and peaceful coexistence among peoples of all religions. Members include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Unitarians, and others.

IFFC programs run the gamut from quiet observances to festive events featuring foods from around the world. In the past year, they hosted a public forum on Israel, Palestinian, and Middle Eastern affairs, a public forum on health and spirituality, and a lecture featuring an international expert on world religions and conflict resolution.

Kostrzewsky, who serves staff advisor for the university’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), has
been instrumental in facilitating greater awareness and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and related issues among students, faculty, and staff for several years. Her efforts have enabled IUPUC students to gain new perspectives on topics and situations they might not otherwise encounter on a small campus in southern Indiana.

A passionate mentor and resource for all IUPUC students, Kostrzewsky’s work has led to campus programming like World AIDS Day recognitions, trips to hear national speakers at IUPUI, film screenings, and more.

Nominations for the 2014 awards will be accepted in November and December. Nominees may include external and internal candidates who demonstrate a commitment toward respect and equity for all peoples, empowerment of underrepresented voices, and appreciation of diversity.

Nominees should:

  • Engage in meaningful diversity activities beyond their own areas of responsibility in order to encourage excellence through inclusion in the IUPUC community.
  • Display leadership in advancing diversity on campus and/or in the community.
  • Demonstrate efforts that foster a more inclusive and equitable learning and work environment.
  • Show evidence of inclusive teaching and/or program development beyond one’s responsibilities.
  • Conduct research and/or creative activity related to the experiences, realities, and/or contributions of persons from less-represented populations.
  • Provide leadership in programming, training, or other experiences which serve to advance diversity and inclusion at IUPUC.

For more information, contact Dr. Marwan Wafa, vice chancellor and dean, at 812.348.7226
or, or Dr. Sandra Miles, director of student services and campus diversity officer, or 812.314.8539.