Colorado State University this week presented six top university awards for campus diversity efforts at the ninth annual Minority Distinguished Service Award banquet.
"This afternoon provides a chance to honor individuals who have helped create a learning environment that reflects a larger number of students," said Rajinder S. Ranu, chairman of the Minority Faculty and Staff Caucus and associate professor in the department of bioagricultural sciences and pest management. "It is encouraging to see the support for diversity among administrators, faculty, staff and students."
Henry Solano, U.S. Attorney from Denver, presented the keynote address, "Community Issues and Challenges for the Remainder of the Decade and Into the New Century."
Three individuals received the Minority Distinguished Service Awards for their efforts, including:
- Paul H. Gutierrez, associate professor in the department of agricultural and resource economics, for academic faculty.
- Blanche M. Hughes, director of Black Student Services, for administrative professional staff.
- Mary Ann Sanchez, assistant in the College of Natural Resources, for state classified personnel.
In addition, the committee presented a special recognition award to Romaine Pacheco, president of the State Board of Agriculture, and the staff of Colorado State’s Center for Educational Access and Outreach for their contributions to the enhancement of diversity at Colorado State.
The Graduate School also awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship to Devona L. Dixon, graduate student in the department of design, merchandising and consumer sciences. This is the first time the scholarship has been awarded at Colorado State. The award will be given annually to a graduate student for outstanding achievement in academics and the advancement of minority education. The award includes one year of tuition and a $9,000 stipend. Dixon, a native of Maringouin, La., serves on the Diversity Advisory Board in the College of Applied Human Sciences. Her future career goal is to create a magazine for black teenage girls.
"As Dr. King said in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, we cannot walk alone," Dixon said. "With the help of this scholarship, I can continue to walk, for I have pledged my life’s work to the betterment of black teenage girls."