Recognizing our Diversity Award honorees


Earlier this year, faculty, staff and students were honored through the Presidential Diversity Awards. Led by the six Presidential Commissions on Diversity, these awards recognize faculty, staff and students who go above and beyond to ensure that the KSU community is a welcoming place where all students can thrive.

Due to the pandemic, the original ceremony was postponed. However, late last week, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion conducted a virtual ceremony to celebrate these deserving individuals. This year’s recipients are:

  • Tara McMahon, lecturer of Spanish, received the Carol J. Pope Award for Distinction, which recognizes outstanding efforts of creating an inclusive, accessible, respectful and safe climate for all with disabilities. Tara has been working diligently with Student Disability Services and a current student to ensure equal access is being provided to all KSU students with disabilities.
  • Jordyn Alderman, a psychology major, received the Gender and Work Life Issues Outstanding Contribution Award, which recognizes outstanding efforts toward creating an inclusive climate that encourages increased gender and work life equity and success. Jordyn supports our campus through the Women's Resource Center and regularly serves on panels about empowering and welcoming women and the LGBTQ community into the classroom and other professional environments.
  • Ryan Griffin, a business finance major, received the Mattox Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership, which recognizes support for members of KSU's veteran community. Ryan is often the first point of contact a prospective student veteran or dependent has with KSU and ensures that they receive needed assistance from the university.
  • Darlene Rodriguez-Schaefer, associate professor of social work and human services, is the recipient of the R.O.H. Social Justice Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions toward improving issues around racial and ethnic social justice. Darlene has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making KSU a more inclusive and welcoming university, all while integrating these ideals into her teaching, research and service endeavors.
  • Britt Pickering, a KSU alum and student director of OwlSwap, received the R.C. Paul Excellence in Sustainability Award, which recognizes the outstanding efforts toward promoting environmental sustainability in the educational and operational practices of the campus community. Britt successfully coordinated campuswide events to support those in need of clothing or facing homelessness or food insecurity.

Congratulations to each of our honorees. We are proud of your accomplishments and appreciate your dedication to making the KSU community stronger.

Pamela Whitten


Written By Whitten