Thursday, August 1, 2019
Mississippi State honored a group of student, faculty and staff members Wednesday, April 4 for actions that enhance campus diversity.
University students, faculty, staff and team honorees received their respective 2018 Diversity Awards during a ceremony hosted by the MSU President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities. The commission is led by committee chair Tracey Baham, associate director of MSU’s Office of Instiutional Research and Effectiveness.
“I believe that when we celebrate our strengths and work on improving our weaknesses we become better as a society,” Baham said. “We all have unique aspects about ourselves and it is because of these unique perspectives that we can survive as a society.”
EXPRESS Yourself! artists and trackers with MSU’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability. The T. K. Martin Center’s project EXPRESS Yourself! (EXperiencing Painting as Recreation & Express the Spirit within YourSelf) uses the techniques of Artistic Realization Technologies to provide a means for Mississippians with the most severe disabilities to feel the power of self expression through art. The trackers being honored are Laurie Craig, a speech language pathologist at the T.K. Martin Center, and Judy Duncan, a case manager at the center. Both Craig and Duncan have served as trackers in the program for more than 10 years. The artists being honored include Amanda Williams and Candace Stephenson of Ackerman, Demetria Gilbert and Dustin Sudduth of Tupelo, Kendrell Davis of DeKalb, Mark S. Jones of Columbus, Monica Heard of Eupora and Shannon Herod of Columbus.
During Wednesday’s ceremony, MSU President Mark E. Keenum thanked the honorees for what they have done to help make MSU a better place.
“Diversity empowers and enriches any institution, as well as the people in it,” Keenum said. “Diversity allows people to come together and communicate when they might not otherwise come together. That communication replaces fear and prejudice with understanding and respect. That’s what diversity does for any institution, and that’s why it enriches any institution.”
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