IUPUC announced its 2023 Excellence in Diversity Award winners at the Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance and Awards Gala, January 28, 2023, hosted by the Bartholomew County Area Branch of the NAACP at Mill Race Center.
Lori Montalbano, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, presented the award for a campus initiative to Jon Padfield, Ph.D., IUPUC Assistant Professor of Management, and the award for a community initiative to United Way of Bartholomew County. These annual awards honor commitment and outstanding efforts toward creating a diverse and inclusive community.
“While challenges remain, and more work is needed to ensure an inclusive society envisioned by Dr. King,” Montalbano said at the event Saturday, “we are pleased to recognize two awardees this evening for their contributions towards equity and inclusion.”
Padfield, who received the Excellence in Diversity Award for a campus initiative, works to upskill black women in leadership positions to use Six Sigma skills in addressing issues that impact the Black community and workforce. Examples include helping people who have been incarcerated for 20+ years reintegrate into society, and the problem of maternal mortality being three times higher among black women than white women. Padfield’s customized Six Sigma training was launched as part of the IUPUC Center for Business and Economic Development cohort in partnership with The Six Sigma Racial Equity Institute (SSREI).
Hill presented the Excellence in Diversity Award for a community initiative to United Way of Bartholomew County, which was accepted by President Mark Stewart, for United Way’s involvement in the Columbus Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. The task force was created to ensure that the city of Columbus is a safe and welcoming place for all residents. It works to identify and address issues of discrimination, prejudice, and bias in the community. In addition, United Way of Bartholomew County supports local organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, including the Columbus Area Diversity Council, the Columbus African American Heritage Museum, and the Columbus Pride Festival.
Recipients of the Excellence in Diversity Award can be individuals, organizations, groups, units, projects, or institutions.
To learn more, visit iupuc.edu/diversity-awards.