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New Faces in Equity and Diversity

Stephanie Saunders, Ph.D.

Stephanie Sanders, Ph.D., is the associate director for Diversity Initiatives at Old Dominion University (ODU) in the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. Before accepting her appointment at ODU she was the assistant director for Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio University (OHIO) where she also taught coursework in Leadership, Civic Engagement and Service-Learning. Dr. Sanders has prior professional experience as a speech-language pathologist in both the private and public sector, serving populations (i.e., early intervention, PK-12, adults) who presented with various speech and language disorders (i.e., aphasia, autism/Asperger, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury).

Through the lens of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, Dr. Sanders academic research agenda examines students who transition from urban secondary to rural predominantly White [postsecondary] institutions. In particular, her research examines contributors (i.e., academic, social, psycho-social, capital, habitus) to positive outcomes (i.e., access, engagement, persistence) for minority and underrepresented student populations.

Her scholarship and professional praxis has been lauded through awards and honors including: Trustees of the OHIO Foundation Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery (2014 Inclusive Excellence: Scholarship, Persistence and Engagement Grant $16,500), OHIOs Board of Regents (2013 Summer Institute for Diversity Education - OHIO Point of Pride), OHIO Black Student Union (2014, 2013 Exceeding Expectations for Faculty Involvement Award), OHIOs Annual Leadership Awards Gala (2012 Outstanding Doctoral Student Leader Award Nominee); the Ohio Diversity Officers Collaboration (2011 Emerging Leader Award) and the Patton College of Education (2009 Outstanding Student Award).

Sanders earned the Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Ohio University. She also holds the master's and bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Central Arkansas.

Pathway Retention Scholarship 2014

Pathway Retention Scholarship

Recognizing that diversity brings innovation, progress, and greater opportunities for all is a cornerstone of the Pathway Retention Award Program. The program promotes the retention of diverse individuals within Old Dominion University. Specifically, the program is designed to provide assistance to students who are on their journey to success, recognizing that their achievements will reflect positively upon the University and that their journey will promote an appreciation and understanding of differences by the University community.

For the past few years, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity has spotlighted the diversity efforts of different colleges from within the University, by choosing individual students from individual colleges to be recipients of the Pathway Retention Awards. As of the 2013-2014 academic year, all colleges at Old Dominion University have had students as recipients of this honor. Starting with the 2014-2015 academic year, we are excited to announce that we are opening the award up to all students across the University.

Although the award is competitively based, students must first meet minimum eligibility criteria which includes full-time undergraduate enrollment as a rising sophomore or above, having at least a 2.5 GPA, and being members of an underrepresented population within their major. Underrepresented populations are comprised of individuals that are unique from the rest of the student population. Examples of underrepresented populations at Old Dominion University include, but are not limited to, students who 1) are significantly older or younger than other students, 2) do not speak English as their first language, 3) are first-generation college students, 4) are single parent students, 5) are of a minority race/ethnicity, 6) are students who have learning disabilities, or 7) work full-time while attending school. These individuals have different goals and reasons for attending ODU. They all have overcome distinctive obstacles that get in the way of their education. They bring unique experiences and insights to their field of study, which can challenge the perceptions of the University community. They cause all of us to assess the world around us differently, sparking innovation, inspiration, and greater understanding. Students meeting basic criteria can compete for the awards by submitting a one-page essay explaining how his/her unique perspective can positively impact the college and the University.

The Pathway Retention Award Program provides food and books for each recipient, for the fall and spring semester of the award-year. Each recipient receives a "Block 160" Meal Plan, consisting of 160 meals per semester and $350.00 flex points that can be used at the ODU Food Court, and Subway, Starbucks, and Chick-Fil-A establishments on campus. Additionally, each recipient receives an Old Dominion University Bookstore Scholarship which provides up to $250.00 each semester for books, class materials, and school supplies. The scholarships, valued at over $3,500.00 each, enable recipients to focus on achieving their academic goals.

Essays are received in the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity at the beginning of the spring semester each year.































Diversity Champion Award Recipients 2013-2014

Twice a year members of our University community who have made significant contributions toward diversity are honored with the Diversity Champion Award.

This is an opportunity to show our appreciation to those who have diligently given far beyond the call of duty; touching the lives of students, co-workers and the community at large. For these honorees, "Diversity" is more than just a word. These individuals clearly demonstrate an appreciation of diversity as a fundamental value to be cherished.

Designed to honor and celebrate individuals who encourage and advance the principles of Inclusive Excellence, the Diversity Champion award promotes the positive impact diversity and inclusion has upon our university community. ndamental value to be cherished.

The Honorees for 2013 - 2014 are as follows:

The Fall 2013 recipients were:

From our University Staff:

Rebecca "Becky" Martin, Student Service Specialist in the Office of the University Registrar

Matthew French, Graduate Assistant Internship and Co-Op Coordinator in the Office of Career Management

From our Faculty:

Dr. Qiu Jin Hailstork, Associate Professor of History and Director of the ODU China Center

Dr. Chris Platsoucas, Dean of the College of Sciences

Dr. David Metzger, Dean of the Honors College

Dr. Danica Hays, Associate Professor & Chair of the Department of Counseling & Human Services

Kaprea Johnson, Assistant Professor or Counseling & Human Services

Our student recipient:

Jessica Farley

And from our Community :

Linda Hyatt Wilson, a volunteer with the ADvisory Board of the Confusius Institute at ODU

Rev. Mark Byrd, New Life Metropolitan Community Church

The Spring 2014 recipients were:

From our University Staff:

Faisal Mahmud, an advisor to the Bangladeshi Students Association of ODU

G.W. Thompson, Director of the Center for Major Exploration

Joe Ritchie, Director, First Year Academic Enhancement in the Department of Advising & Transfer Programs

Miguel Ramlatchan, Assistant Vice President for Technology from the Academic Technology Services

Neudy Nunez, Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives for Off-Campus Housing Services

Joseph Mota, Advising, Academic and Office Support

From our Faculty:

Dr. Oktay Baysal, Dean of the Frank Batten College for Engineering and Technology

Dr. Gary Schafran, Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Kimberley Adams Tufts, Associate Professor for the Department of Nursing

Harry Zhang, Associate Professor in the School of Community and Environmental Health

Dr. Sueanne McKinney, Associate Professor of Teaching & Learning

Our student recipients:

Erin Heller

Tiffnay Palmer

And from our Community:

Dr. Alana Balthazar, Principal at P.B. Young, Sr. Elementary

Diversity Champions 2014

Diversity Champion Award Receipients for Spring 2014

John R. Broderick Diversity Champion Award

G. W. Thompson - President's Diversity Champion 2014

2014 Recipient

The University's dedication to diversity and inclusion is an essential element of our core values as we evolve into a global institution where people of various backgrounds, cultures, abilities and perspectives are enriched by learning, working and socializing together in a dynamic environment

Each Spring the Diversity Champion Award committee has the difficult task of selecting one winner from the exceptional pool of nominees that best exemplifies a commitment to diversity and inclusion and that person is awarded with The President's Award for Diversity

This year's winner is an alumnus and long-time employee who accepts and promotes diversity at all levels His nominator noted that: "He welcomes students, parents, staff and the community at large with all the differences that celebrate our uniqueness. He always sees our differences as unique contributions to society, our community and to ODU. He is open minded and open hearted to our broad set of qualities."

This year's recipient is Mr. G.W. Thompson, of the Center for Major and Career Exploration