Center for Multicultural Education

Diversity Matters Award

Diversity Matters Award:

Developing understanding and appreciation of society’s human diversity is an essential component of an excellent education and a foundation for responsible citizenship.  At the University of Northern Iowa, we seek to vigorously pursue the creation and maintenance of a diverse, respectful, and inclusive work and education environment in order to prepare the university community and its members for a constantly evolving world.

Diversity describes the rich differences that people bring to the University of Northern Iowa community.  It can refer broadly to culture, identity and ideology, or more specifically to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, gender identity, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, marital status, national origin, or veteran status.  Diversity is a dynamic concept, shaped by history, and changing as our understanding of the world and its people evolves.

Started in 2009 by President Benjamin Allen, the Diversity Matters Award is presented in recognition of dedication and service to the University of Northern Iowa in advancement of its diversity-related goals.  This award has been revised since then, and only students and student organizations are eligible at this time.

The Diversity Matters Award is awarded through collaboration between the Dean of Students, the Chief Diversity Officer, and Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice. .

Criteria:  Recipients will have demonstrated a high regard for diversity and inclusion by demonstrating one or more of the following:

  • Outstanding commitment to the value of diversity

  • Efforts to promote an environment free from bias and discrimination

  • Outstanding leadership in areas of social and/or cultural understanding, local, or regional community involvement

  • Exemplary contributions to the success of campus-based outreach efforts

  • Collaborations leading to increased knowledge or understanding related to diversity

  • Efforts to educate all students to insure that they are prepared to live and work successfully in a diverse world

  • Efforts to maintain a welcoming and supportive environment for all 

Selection factors will include, but will not be limited to, the relative impact of each nominee’s contribution on the university’s diversity efforts; relative merit of contribution to a critical area of diversity and/or community; and length/duration of contribution.


Award recipients will be announced at the 2020 Student Leadership Awards Ceremony.


Nomination Process:

Nominations may be made by students, staff, or faculty at any level.  Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominations will be available from January 20, 2020 through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 10, 2020 through the linked form plus the specified attachments.