Awards honored student commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

The Diversity First Leadership Awards honored the leadership and commitment of students to make an impact on campus and in their communities. This year’s awards totaled $30,000 and were presented to 15 undergraduate students at the Diversity First Showcase on March 9, 2021. The awards offered recognition for student leaders that demonstrate a personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the OHIO community and beyond. Students were selected for awards based on their ability to articulate their impact and skills as a leader through their resume and interview submission. Through participating in the showcase event, students were able to enhance their networking skills through dialogue with over 40 recruiters representing 30 different companies. Students also received feedback from coaches at the Career and Leadership Development Center as part of the application process.  

K.J. Russell won both an Outstanding Leader Senior award and the College of Business Suit and Tie Award. Russell said, “This award will go toward furthering my education through a dual-degree program with a master’s in sport management and a Juris Doctor.”

The event gave Russell the opportunity to feel praised for what he does on Ohio University’s campus and made him even more aware of the impact he makes on campus. 

“The most important thing that I have learned through The Diversity First Leadership Awards is that individuals like myself that lead these organizations and other activities on campus are never really looking for a reward of any kind but are mainly just trying to make a difference just like everybody else. To see that our efforts are recognized in such a big way and to give out scholarships of $1,000+ is incredible and so appreciated.”

Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Tamika Williams, helped bring the event together and directed the online award ceremony.

“Looking at solely the support that Tamika and the CLDC gives to students across campus is incredible. The application process and the event itself provided us with a place and opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally while also enhancing our leadership skills. I was inspired to apply for this award by all the other great leaders on this campus. To be recommended to put my name in the same breath as individuals that do so much for Ohio University and the community as a whole was fantastic and only inspired me to do more and continue to lead,” Russell said.

“This will also only inspire more individuals to apply in the upcoming years, which means even more great candidates and individuals that are doing their part on the leadership side of things,” he added.

The Diversity First Leadership Awards recognized students at various places in their careers at OHIO, as leadership is a process and looks different for everyone depending on their class year, area of study, involvement, and specific skills. Students interested in learning more about The Diversity First Leadership Awards are encouraged to visit OHIO’s CLDC website to learn more about opportunities for growth.

screenshot of event

2021 Winners

Leader on the Rise (First-Year Students)

Sedric Granger Jr

Brenna Cromwell

Young and Gifted (Sophomores/Juniors)

Cydney Granger

Sarah Ladipo

Reaija Grice

Maria Benitez Iglesias

Myles Wortman

Outstanding Leader (Seniors)

Shalyn Foster

Mercy Muthee

K.J. Russell

Isabella Philippi

Micaylah Nash

We See You (Surprise Awards)

Jaylen Braxton

Kevin Lockett

College of Business Suit and Tie Award

Micaylah Nash

K.J. Russell

Keishon Lanier

April 14, 2021
Mellisa Goodnite