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2021 Presidential Diversity & Inclusion Award and Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship


To acknowledge and honor the exemplary efforts of a student, faculty, or staff member who:

  • Increases the appreciation for, and the awareness of the benefits, importance, and relevance of diversity and inclusion.
  • Works to advance the efforts of the university to be more diverse and inclusive, identifies and challenges obstacles, and identifies and builds assets and strengths.

Nominations are Being Accepted Monday, Nov. 16 - Friday, Jan 8 (by 5 p.m.)

Nominations are to be submitted online by completing this simple form. The deadline to submit is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Nominees will be notified on Jan. 11 and will have until 5 p.m. on Feb. 5 to submit their candidate packets.


There will be one (1) award for $2,500, for a faculty or staff member.

There will be up to (2) two scholarships at $1,000 each, for students. 


All current UNF students, faculty, and staff are eligible.

Nomination Criteria

Nominations may be made by any person and nominees may self-nominate. Nominees should be those who engage in diversity and inclusion initiatives, organizational programs, and/or systemic activities and efforts. Nominees should create or enhance opportunities for UNF students, faculty, and/or staff to develop in ways related to diversity and inclusion.

Screening and Selection Procedures

For purposes of the award selection process, diversity and inclusion initiatives are defined as organizational programs, activities, and efforts, designed to promote and support differences in people and society that may include race and ethnic origin, gender, ability, religion, age, education, sexual orientation or other differences.


The selection process includes:

  1. Nominations will accepted between Monday, Nov. 16 and 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8.
  2. The Commission on Diversity & Inclusion (CODI) will contact all nominees Jan. 11 and communicate the information required for a completed candidate packet.
  3. Nominees are required to submit the following documentation by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5. Incomplete or late packets will not be considered by the selection committee.
    • A personal letter written by the nominee outlining the activities and achievements that demonstrate their contributions toward diversity and inclusion [no more than two (2) typed pages]
    • Two (2) letters of reference [each being no more than one (1) typed page]
    • These documents should be emailed to or hand delivered to the President's Office (Attention to: Commission on Diversity & Inclusion)
  4. The award selection committee will review the candidate packages and select two (2) to three (3) nominees to interview. They will then, based off a combination of criteria ratings, select the recipient.

2021 Selection Committee Members

  • Dr. Parvez Ahmed - professor of finance and director of Diversity & inclusion for CCB 

  • Dr. Lev Gasparov - associate dean for COAS (Committee Chair) 

  • Marlynn Jones - director of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion 

  • Christina Levine - director of development

  • Dr. Jennifer Lieberman - associate professor of English 

  • Manny Velasquez-Paredes - director of the LGBT Resource Center 

Award Notification

The selected nominee will receive notification of the award by March 31, 2021. Public acknowledgement and the recipient's award presentation will be made during the Spring Convocation, by the University President or his designee.

Previous Award Recipients

Visit the Award Recipients Webpage to view previous award winners.

For More Information and to Submit Candidate Packets

For more information, email (Alison Cruess).


Nominees will be notified Jan. 11. Once notified, nominees will submit completed candidate packets by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, either by email to or hand delivered to:

University of North Florida

Office of the President, J.J.Daniel Hall, Building 1, Suite 2800

Attention to: Commission on Diversity & Inclusion (Alison Cruess) 

1 UNF Drive

Jacksonville, Florida 32224