Thirty-two receive awards recognizing inclusive excellence

The Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and the Graduate and Professional Student Diversity Council presented the 2023 Distinguished Awards at the Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Awards and Recognition Celebration on May 16 in G10 Biotech.

This annual event recognizes the excellence represented within the graduate community and celebrates students for demonstrating leadership and commitment to advancing efforts around diversity, inclusion, outreach, and student engagement.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate the work our community is doing to make Cornell a better place for all,” said Sara Xayarath Hernández, associate dean for inclusion and student and faculty engagement. “We are so proud to celebrate this year’s awardees.”

Faculty and staff were also recognized with awards for their unwavering commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion and promoting the growth and personal and professional development of graduate and professional students who represent the diversity of the Cornell community.

2023 Award Winners:

  • Exemplary Service Award – Early Career Student: Cátia Dombaxe, biomedical engineering doctoral student; Gustavo Alvarez, mechanical engineering doctoral student; Rikki Laser, psychology doctoral student; and Wicia Fang, psychology doctoral student
  • Exemplary Service Award – Advanced Career Student: Ari Broad, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology doctoral candidate; Karla García-Martínez, biomedical and biological sciences doctoral candidate; Kimberly Hochstedler, statistics doctoral candidate; Ky’ara Carr, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology doctoral candidate; and Maya Martiossyan, materials science and engineering doctoral candidate
  • Excellence in Leadership Award: Alaa Farghli, genetics, genomics, and development doctoral candidate; Alexandra Khlyustova, chemical engineering doctoral candidate; Chloe Cheng, biomedical and biological sciences doctoral candidate; Jenn Houtz, ecology and evolutionary biology doctoral candidate; and Kara Zielinsky, biophysics doctoral candidate
  • Social Justice Award: Claire Malcomb, industrial and labor relations doctoral student; Dyese Matthews, fiber science and apparel design doctoral candidate; Héctor Loyola Irizarry, biomedical and biological sciences doctoral candidate; and Jawuanna McAllister, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology doctoral candidate
  • Community Outreach – Individual Awards: Camille Holmes, biomedical and biological sciences doctoral candidate; Caroline Steingard, microbiology doctoral candidate; and Dahae Julia Jun, psychology doctoral candidate
  • Community Outreach – Organizational Awards: GRASSHOPR and Vaccination Conversations with Scientists
  • Unsung Hero Award: Jeannine Crouse Hagadorn, economics graduate field assistant, and Araceli Lucio-Forster, microbiology and immunology lecturer
  • Faculty Champion Award – Junior Faculty: Heather Feaga, assistant professor of microbiology; Julia Dshemuchadse, assistant professor of materials science and engineering; and Karen Jaime, assistant professor of performing and media arts
  • Faculty Champion Award – Senior Faculty: Caroline Yancey, associate professor of practice of public and ecosystem health and associate dean of international programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Michelle Duguid, associate professor of management and organizations and associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the Johnson College of Business

“Although there is still a lot of work to be done, for me, this award is an acknowledgement of the social changes that need to be made to make sure everyone is able to pursue a career in the sciences,” said biomedical and biological sciences doctoral candidate Héctor Loyola Irizarry, who was awarded the Social Justice Award. Irizarry has worked to increase equity in science both inside and outside of the Cornell community.

Creating a welcoming space for all students is a priority that Karen Jaime, assistant professor of performing and media arts and winner of the Faculty Champion Award – Junior Faculty, shares.

“I am honored to receive the Faculty Champion Award,” she said. “It is a recognition and affirmation of the work I devote to ensuring that my students have a safe place to land where they are supported, mentored, and cared for in ways that are often challenging in places such as Cornell. This award is about those students and how much they inspire me to continue to do the work that I do, both within and outside of the classroom.”

Students in attendance were also recognized for achievement in the areas of academics, funding, community service, and milestones and completion. Members of the Graduate School Deans’ Scholars, Graduate Student Ambassadors, Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, and NextGen Professors Program were also acknowledged.

Read the story on the Cornell University Graduate School website.

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