University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Annual Celebration of Diversity

The Annual Celebration of Diversity brings together university and local community members to showcase all university diversity efforts and acknowledge college and individual contributions to realizing the goal of diversity, equity and inclusion. Most recently a breakfast at the I Hotel the first week in November, the 2020 Celebration will be a virtual video event honoring faculty and staff from across campus community.

Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Awards

The Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Awards celebrate the achievements of faculty, academic professionals and civic service employees who made significant contributions in creating and sustaining an inclusive living, learning and working community at Illinois. Each year, awards are given in the categories of Advocacy for LGBT, Excellence in Access and Accommodations, Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity, and Leadership in Diversity.

Named in honor of the past Assistant Chancellor and Director of what is now the Office for Access & Equity, the Larine Y. Cowan Awards were created to reflect the commitment to human rights advocacy, social justice, and diversity that defined her leadership for nearly 20 years at Illinois.

2019 Recipients

The four recipients of the 2019 Larine Y. Cowan Awards
The 2019 recipients of the Larine Y. Cowan Awards. From left to right: Monika Stodolska; Ruby Mendenhall; Amy L. Powell; and M.T. Hudson.

Advocacy for LGBTQ Affairs

Amy L. Powell, Krannert Art Museum, for sustained action to bring forward LGBTQ voices in her work as Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and commitment to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) affairs at Illinois.

Excellence in Access and Accommodations

M.T. Hudson, Office for Access & Equity, for a career dedicated to expanding and improving the utilization of programs by persons with disabilities and advocacy to ensure access for all students, faculty, and staff to the opportunities available to them.

Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity

Monika Stodolska, Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism, for impact on undergraduate and graduate student learning and dedication to interdisciplinary teaching and research on issues related to race, ethnicity, immigration, gender, disability, and leisure.

Leadership in Diversity

Ruby Mendenhall, Departments of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, for innovative research focused on the core processes through which race and social structures affect economic, educational, and holistic health outcomes for African American communities.