Join us in congratulating the recipients of the Presidential Diversity and Inclusion Award and Scholarship.
Dr. Christopher Janson, associate professor and director of the Center for Urban Education and Policy, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Presidential Diversity and Inclusion Award. Janson has been instrumental in a number of innovative projects and initiatives that include starting a fully funded cohort designed to attract students from underrepresented backgrounds, Bridges Summer Camp for rising high school juniors to create access points to UNF and nurture explorations into teaching careers, Jacksonville civil rights history teach-ins, Jacksonville lunch counter sit-ins, Ax Handle Saturday learning walks, a community arts gallery where diverse artists from UNF and the community show their work, facilitating sharing/recording of segregation and desegregation stories from the community, Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project and developing Community Learning Exchanges on culturally sustaining practices.
Rodney Ellington and Nagat Khalifa were selected as this year’s recipients of the Presidential Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship. Ellington, graduating with a masters in higher education administration this spring, implemented a summer bridge program that introduced 13 low-income, first generation high school students of color to UNF and gave them a first look at a true college experience. He founded a non-profit organization to help support young professionals across the nation through networking and professional development events, providing scholarships and funds to cover college application and testing fees. Ellington is currently conducting a research study at UNF to understand more about the satisfaction and college experiences of undergraduate Black and African American students. Khalifa, working towards a degree in sociology and international studies in the Hicks Honors College, shared her experiences about immigration and refugees as a speaker at Jacksonville Women’s March and Rally. She advocated to legislators on “Muslim Capitol Day” in Tallahassee for Muslims, immigrants, refugees and incarcerated women. Khalifa participated in the American Civil Liberties Union Advanced Institute in Washington D.C. to focus on immigrant and women issues and was a speaker on the “Panel of Difference” at the OneJax Metrotown Institute. She helped organize the fall exhibition of the Yellow House, a place where art plus action creates change, by helping women write and translate their stories.