DEI Champions

April 2023 winners

Individual winner: Julio Leyva

Nominated by Christina Gunn

  • Not only is Julio Leyva a champion of our prospective students, but he is an advocate for our underrepresented populations.
  • He is continuously finding ways to support them through the entire admissions process by making sure our Pell Students know about the Nevada Guarantee or giving a tour to a high school group on a Saturday. We know he will also advocate for a student who might be struggling with the admissions process or who might even need Spanish translation.

Group winner: Lunar New Year Celebration Planning Team, Yi Xuen Tay, Tamia Manning, Aryn Taylor and Keola Wong

Nominated by Dean Kennedy

  • These individuals’ efforts to plan an incredibly well attend Lunar New Year celebration help shine a bright light on the Asian American Pacific Islander identity (and identities) at the University of Nevada, Reno given the visibility of the event and how many people attended.
  • Easily over 600 faculty, staff, students and off-campus guests attended the event bringing visibility to the University of Nevada, Reno as well as the importance of this particular identity (and set of identities).
  • It is events like this that help API community members feel valued and respected within the University of Nevada, Reno, which is critical important during these times when API Hate Crimes continue to increase and impact the API community.

February 2023 winners

Individual winner: Dr. Marquez Wilson

Nominated by Kseniya Zhuzha

  • Wilson developed an innovative therapy group based on the Dungeons & Dragons game to serve students with more severe interpersonal concerns (e.g., social anxiety, autism spectrum).
  • In response to increased social anxiety concerns seen at our center following the pandemic, they are currently developing another innovative group based on improvisation.
  • Dr. Wilson also started the students of color consultation group for clinicians, which helps us obtain additional education and consultation and challenge our biases to effectively serve students of color.

Individual winner: Markie Wilder

Nominated by Jackie Kuhn

  • Markie Wilder has made it her mission to assist Indigenous students in obtaining a University education. Just to name one of her many efforts, she helped 73 Indigenous students receive the NSHE Native American Fee Waiver. There is no doubt that Markie’s continued efforts will only strengthen the University’s connection to the state’s tribal communities.

Group winner: James Beattie & Chai Glenn-Cook

Nominated by Jackie Kuhn

  • The Zombie Paintball event for first-generation and veteran students not only helped students connect and develop relationships with one another, increasing their sense of belonging, but also provided them an opportunity to learn about and connect with additional supportive resources on campus.

December 2022 winners

Individual winner: Sheena Harvey 

Nominated by Jill Karlin

  • Sheena’s DEI efforts have led to a developed DEI strategic plan for the Fitness and Recreational Sports department supporting the goals of the Student Services DEI Strategic Plan.
  • Her work is focused on inspiring students to get involved and engaged on campus. She leads them to finding resources and connections on campus. She is passionate about education and how she can help students succeed.

Group winner: Multiculturalism & Inclusive Excellence Task Force (RLHFS) 

Members: Ashleigh Best, Angelo Casiano, Sean Foe, Angie Granados, Herb Jones, Tamia Manning, Danielle Pellegrino, Toby Toland, Marti Wein, Alex Westby, Dean Kennedy

Nominated by Dean Kennedy

  • As a team for the past two years, this group of individuals have worked tirelessly to remove barriers for students living on campus (and staff), striving for a more inclusive environment.
  • Accomplishments range from increasing options/access for Gender Inclusive Housing, developing Black Scholars and Indigenous Living Learning Communities, assessing physical accessibility of residence halls with RHA, developing inclusive ‘dress code’ guidelines for staff, and many more.

April 2023 nominees

Tamia Manning nominated by Dean Kennedy

  • It is safe to say that hundreds of students, living on and off-campus, have benefited from the work Tamia has led, either through her RA staff, the student leadership committee, or partnering with peers across campus. The similar is true for peer staff members. She is well loved by students and staff alike … much of this appreciate comes from her passion for DEI and creating equitable spaces for everyone to share their voice.

Dr. Marquez Wilson nominated by Nicole Guyette

  • Dr. Wilson is always willing to consult with colleagues and also encourages us to think critically about our positions of privilege and power and how this pertains to our work with students and on campus. This work is not only critical to providing culturally competent care for our students, but also is crucial in ensuring Counseling Services’ accreditation by APA as a psychology internship site, and in training the next generation of therapists to serve students who have been traditionally underserved by mental health providers.

Black History Month Display in Nye Hall - Group, Sean Foe and Shiane Strode nominated by Marissa Seaman

  • Shiane and Sean have encouraged the Nye Hall Leadership Council to create a Black History Month Display that is both beautiful, respectful, informational and educational. There are many famous and lesser known black individuals represented in this display that include information about them and their contributions to the US and their communities. They gave complete creative control to the Leadership Council and helped them create that vision, even advocating and reaching out to other departments to make sure that it was done respectfully and tastefully.

February 2023 nominees

Marissa Seaman nominated by Dean Kennedy

  • Tremendous advocate for educating peers on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. When developing a calendar for department professional development meetings (I.e., “Vision Meetings”) that occur weekly, she has reached out to several campus partners in order to share DEI-related content with the 50+ full-time and graduate staff members.

Maria Carriel nominated by Aryn Taylor

  • She is one of the most active members of our Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion Committee. She recently led the charge in developing diverse programming for our students by organizing a Self-CARE-nival for the spring semester. In reaching out to over thirty campus and regional partners, Maria demonstrated her commitment to providing multiple perspectives on self-care.”

December 2022 nominees

James Cox nominated by Suzanne Turner

  • James is one of the biggest proponents I know of getting underrepresented students access to resources to ensure that they are having a positive experience on campus.

Tamia Manning nominated by Aryn Taylor

  • As a co-chair for the department’s Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion committee, Tamia collaborates with campus and external partners to embrace a wider definition of diversity that discourages systemic discrimination and ableism, and encourages equity and inclusion.

Kamil Shanker nominated by Jackson Collins

  • Kamil welcomes students and encourages them that their degree and career goals are achievable. She takes from her own personal experiences and education and applies it to every student that comes to our office.

Lee Zuk nominated by Chai Glenn-Cook

  • Lee’s commitment to ensuring students, staff, and faculty are seen, recognized, and supported in their identities is unmatched. Their many contributions in working groups, committees, and daily responsibilities have enhanced an environment of inclusivity within the Student Services division and larger campus.

If you know of a peer or group that deserves to be recognized for their DEI efforts, nominate them today!