Presidential Inclusive Excellence Awards


Established in 2013, and led by the six Presidential Commissions on Diversity, these awards honor faculty, staff and students of Kennesaw State University (KSU) whose actions, activities, and/or accomplishments in diversity support the pursuit of excellence towards making KSU a more inclusive and welcoming university.  

Criteria and Nominations


Annually, the six Presidential Commissions on Diversity seek nominations of individuals at KSU whose accomplishments are aligned with the charge of one (or more) of the commissions. Each commission has its own award criteria that a prospective nominee should meet. This criteria also serves as a guideline in the selection of the award recipient(s).

  • The Carol J. Pope Award for Distinction recognizes outstanding efforts of an individual toward creating an inclusive, accessible, respectful, and safe climate for all students, faculty, and staff with disabilities at Kennesaw State University (KSU).

    Nominees should have exhibited longtime leadership and/or advocacy in raising awareness at KSU regarding issues on disabilities. Their contributions should demonstrate a substantial impact on and/or within the KSU community. Examples of such efforts might include, but should not be limited to, the following:

    • Advocating for or on behalf of individuals or groups for disability-related issues.
    • Creating projects and events that promote greater awareness.
    • Designing activities and programs that educate the campus community and foster mutual respect for and among all students, faculty, and staff.

    Current faculty, staff, and students of KSU, who meet the above criteria, are eligible for nomination.

  • The Outstanding Contribution Award recognizes outstanding efforts of an individual toward creating an inclusive climate that encourages increased gender and work life equity and success at Kennesaw State University (KSU).

    Nominees must have demonstrated a sustained and tangible impact on the campus community. Such efforts might include, for example:

    • A record of promoting an inclusive campus environment through the adoption of policies, procedures, and/or curricula that are guided by the principles of diversity, equity, transparency, and shared governance.
    • Promoting activities, programs, projects, and/or training initiatives surrounding gender and work life issues.
    • Developing proactive strategies and engaging in activities that promote KSU as a national leader in the higher education community with regard to how it engages with the issues and concerns related to gender and work life.

    (Include the length of time this individual has been engaged in the activities listed.)

    Current faculty, staff, and students of KSU, who meet the above criteria, are eligible for nomination.

  • The Teresa M. Joyce Award for Excellence recognizes a member of the Kennesaw State University (KSU) community who has made outstanding contributions to the university’s effort to create a supportive environment for its LGBTQ members.

    In order to be competitive, nominations should address as many of the following areas as possible:

    • The nominee’s efforts in ADVOCATING on behalf of the GLBTIQ community.
    • The nominee’s accomplishments in EDUCATING the campus community on GLBTIQ issues.
    • The nominee’s achievement in LEADING structural change efforts.
    • The nominee’s record of INCLUSION.
    • The LONGEVITY of the nominee’s commitment and efforts.

    An award sub-commission from the Presidential Commission on LGBTQ Initiatives will review the submitted nominations. The full commission will review the top three nominations and select the award recipient.

    Current faculty, staff, and students at KSU, who meet the above criteria, are eligible for nomination. (Members of the LGBTQ campus community as well as their allies are eligible to self-nominate.)

  • The Presidential Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity works to shape appropriate plans, mechanisms, forums, and/or events for a continuing dialogue on issues of race and ethnicity at Kennesaw State University (KSU). The R.O.H. Social Justice Award has been named to honor the pioneering contributions toward racial and ethnic social justice by former KSU faculty members: Dr. Rosa Bobia, Dr. Oral Moses, and Dr. Harold Wingfield.

    Two awards are offered by the commission; one to an individual faculty or staff member and one to an individual student. These awards are given to recognize and honor individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions to improving the KSU community, such as:

    • Assisting with developing a vision and/or proactive strategies for addressing sensitive racial concerns that exist on campus.
    • Leading a proactive set of conversations, programs and/or training initiatives to guide KSU’s emphasis on race and ethnicity issues and/or concerns.
    • Advocating for approaches that contribute to KSU becoming a national leader in the higher education community with regard to how it embarks on racial and ethnic dialogue and/or issues.
    • Leading or assisting with activities, actions and/or policies that will lead to an increased understanding and acceptance of diverse viewpoints and perspectives between and among different members and groups of KSU’s diverse community.

    Current faculty, staff, and students of KSU, who meet the above criteria, are eligible for nomination.

  • The R.C. Paul Excellence in Sustainability Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an individual toward promoting environmental sustainability in the educational and operational practices of the Kennesaw State University (KSU) campus community.

    The nominee will have demonstrated consistent leadership in addressing sustainability issues and works to implement sustainable practices on our campus, with tangible results. Examples of such efforts might include, but should not be limited to, the following:

    • Designing or coordinating campus sustainability initiatives such as green building projects, commuting alternatives, energy and water conservation measures, farm-to-campus programs, etc.
    • Advocating for the inclusion of sustainability perspectives in campus planning and policy making.
    • Contributing across the curriculum by promoting sustainability content in courses and academic programs throughout the university.
    • Creating projects and events that promote greater awareness of KSU's sustainability efforts (e.g. energy and water conservation, commuting alternatives, farm-to-campus programs).
    • Designing informal educational activities and programs to inform students, faculty, and staff about ways to foster sustainable practices at KSU and the communities it serves.

    Current faculty, staff, and students of KSU, who meet the above criteria, are eligible for nomination.

  • The Mattox Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership is designed to commend and recognize an individual whose vital and instrumental contributions support, represent, and make it a personal duty to assist members of Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) veteran community.

    Nominees must have taken a comprehensive approach with impeccable character to have a positive influence at KSU with regard to the veteran community. Examples of these actions may include:

    • Commendable selfless service, while maintaining a standard of excellence in professionalism when developing camaraderie among campus and community partners.
    • Outstanding volunteerism for the veteran community above and beyond established expectations.
    • A keen and personal interest in advocating for and representing the veteran community to enact positive outcomes while serving as a leader/affiliate of a veteran service organization.
    • Personal contributions that have been emulated by others in recognition of awareness and participation in external veteran related events, programs, and/or activities.

    Current faculty, staff, and students of KSU, who meet the above criteria, are eligible for nomination.

Past Recipients

  • 2023 Jason Rodenbeck

    2022 Mary Margaret Cornwell 

    2021 Sarah Cox

    2020 Tara McMahon

    2019 Bonna Lenyszyn

    2018 Dr. Joya Carter Hicks

    2017 Dr. Ibrahim ElSawy

    2016 Ms. Karyn Alme

    2015 Ms. Eileen O’Laughlin

    2014 Ms. Jordan Cameron

    2013 Ms. Jill Sloan

  • 2023 Dr. Darlene Rodriguez

    2021 Dr. Sarah Holliday

    2020 Jordyn Alderman

    2019 Allan Fowler & Shakira Bell

    2018 Dr. Roneisha Worthy

    2017 Dr. Cassandra Race

    2016 Dr. Nancy Reichert

    2015 Dr. Elizabeth Boyd

    2014 Dr. Laura Davis

    2013 Ms. Flora Lowe-Rockett

  • 2023 Darian Hailes

    2022 Oliva Maley

    2021 Dani Alexander

    2019 Dawn Baunach

    2018 Officer Charles Dicken

    2017 Dr. Sarah Holliday

    2016 Mr. Robert Sherer

    2015 Ms. Jessica Duvall

    2014 Dr. Michael Sanseviro

    2013 Dr. Teresa Joyce

  • 2023 Dr. Sanjuana Rodriguez

    2022 Sydney Goode 

    2021 Dr. Tristan Glenn

    2020 Dr. Darlene Rodriguez-Schaefer

    2019 Alexa Vaca & Dr. Neysa Figueroa

    2018 Dr. Griselda Thomas & Savannah Bronson

    2017 Dr. Debarati Sen

    2016 Dr. Judy Brown Allen & Ms. Ramona Devonish

    2015 Dr. Ernesto Silva & Ms. Tiffany Smith & Mr. Roderick Williams

    2014 Dr. Flora Devine & Mr. Yen Rodriguez

    2013 Dr. Jesse Benjamin

  • 2023 Dr. Vanessa Slinger-Friedman

    2022 Britt Pickering 

    2021 Seth Moore

    2020 Britt Pickering

    2019 Pegah Zamani & Lauren Kimsey

    2018 Edwin Akins

    2017 Ms. Christine Rube

    2016 Mr. John Anderson

    2015 Ms. Robin Taylor

    2014 Ms. Jodie Sweat

    2013 Dr. R.C. Paul

  • 2021 Kyle Wilkens

    2020 Ryan Griffin

    2019 Julian Saviano

    2018 Mr. Micheal Redd

    2017 Ms. Glenda España

    2016 Dr. Bob Mattox

    2015 Mr. Percy Ivey & Ms. Dawn Ramsey

    2014 Mr. Jonathon Dotson

    2013 Mr. Derek Ridings

  • 2023 Noelle Ford

    2022 Jay Powell

    2021 Amani Johnson

    2020 Revi Woody

  • 2023 Black Musicians Coalition

  • 2023 The College of Humanities and Social Science

  • 2023 Office of Fiscal Services

2023 Photos