The Office of Multicultural Programs and Services (OMPS) announced the 2012 recipients of the Delores P. Aldridge Excellence Awards. The 10 award-winners included both students and faculty members.
College freshman Akshay Goswami and Calvin Li received the First-Year Excellence Awards.
College junior Uma Chidambaram and College sophomore Stephanie Yates received the Leadership and Service to a Diverse Community Awards as did College seniors Paul Choi and Dana Toy. OMPS awarded the Community Building, Diversity and Intergroup Relations Award to College sophomore Dohyun Ahn and College senior Bianca Copello while College senior Jessica Probst received the Diversity Research Award.
Maureen Sweatman, the associate director of engaged learning for the Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP), received the Staff Excellence in Mentoring Award.
According to Donna Wong, who serves as the assistant dean of Campus Life and director of OMPS, the University began giving out these awards in 1983 to “recognize achievements by outstanding students from underrepresented racial or cultural backgrounds.”
These awards, she explained, honor Grace Towns Hamilton Professor of Sociology and African American Studies Delores P. Aldridge. Aldridge, who founded the University’s African American and African Studies Program in 1971, is the first female African-American faculty member at Emory.
“I really believed I received the award based upon the importance of the group I’ve been studying,” said Probst, who received the Diversity Research Award. Probst studied the “historical influence of hip-hop culture on underclassmen of color living in an inner city environment,” a group that, according to her, does not often receive academic consideration.
A committee comprised of administrators from OMPS as well as other Campus Life offices — such as the Office of Student Leadership and Service and the Office of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Life — and the Office of Religious Life and Office of Admissions select recipients each year based on nominations.
Wong noted that undergraduate students can nominate themselves or other students for awards.
Students can also nominate faculty and staff members for the Mentoring Award.
The selection committee receives nominations from mid-February to early March and chooses award recipients based on the criteria of each specific award as well as “their rankings of the nominees and thorough discussion of candidates per category,” Wong explained.
Student nominees must meet a 3.2 GPA to qualify for these awards, according to Wong.
In addition, once a student is nominated, OMPS will notify him or her to fill out form that asks the student to list their extracurricular activities and leadership or service experience.
They must also send a resume and personal statement to OMPS.
Faculty and staff award recipients are chosen on the basis of their “[excellence] in advising and mentoring of students,” Wong said. Sweatman, who won the faculty award this year, served as the associate director of the Emory Scholars Program for nearly 10 years before her work with the OUCP.
“It’s an affirmation of the work I’ve been doing for 10 years to be nominated for [the Staff Excellence in Mentoring] award,” Sweatman said. “To be nominated by students means a lot to me because it’s at the heart of what I do.”
— Contact Stephanie Fang.