Equity & Inclusion Achievement Award

The Equity and Inclusion Achievement Award* recognizes a student, staff, faculty member or office for outstanding contributions to advancing inclusive student, faculty or staff success, enhancing academic excellence, and/or increasing Western’s impact in Washington within the context of equity and inclusion. These contributions should align with one or more of the goals and values articulated in Western’s Strategic Plan.

* Previously called the Diversity Achievement Award

Selection Criteria

To be considered, the individual must demonstrate one or more of the following criteria, within the context of equity and inclusion, while aligning with Western’s Strategic Plan:

  • Advancing student, faculty or staff success
  • Enhancing academic excellence
  • Increasing Western’s impact in Washington 

Award/Recognition

The award recipient will be presented with a Western medallion award at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in June. The award typically includes a $1,500* grant for use in research, teaching, or professional enhancement, made possible through the WWU Foundation.

* Multiple recipients may impact the grant amount.

Award Administration

Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance Office

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by any university faculty member or staff member. All nominations must be submitted via the online form.

The nomination process for the 2021 award is now CLOSED. Thank you to those of you that nominated a colleague.

2021

Photo of Christian Urcia, University ResidencesChristian Urcia - University Residences

Christian Urcia first came to Western Washington University in 2013 working as the ACUHO-I Graduate Intern for Conferences and Guest Housing in University Residences.  He returned to Western in 2014 to serve as the Resident Director of Mathes Hall and later as the Apartment Coordinator for Birnam Wood and New York Apartments.  Christian is currently an Assistant Director in Residence Life and has provided vision, leadership, and mentorship to students and staff over the last two years in this role.  Christian is also providing campus leadership as the President of the Faculty and Staff of Color Council (FSOCC).

Christian’s commitment to equity and inclusion is evident through initiatives working to serve underrepresented students and staff.  Christian has provided leadership in the areas of recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse staff, providing education through authentic dialogue throughout trainings and his work on the Campus Wide Dialogue committee, supervision of the Inclusion Assistant program, creation of Western’s first food pantry, and the development and implementation of Swipe Out Hunger.  Christian also serves on the Bias Response Team at Western and continues to transform the policies, structures, and practices at Western to create an equitable and just teaching, learning, and living community.


Photo of Lucas G Senger, CBE & CFPALucas Senger - College of Business and Economics, MBA Capstone, Management; College of Fine and Performing Arts, Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation, Music

Lucas G Senger is a first-generation college going Latinx senior instructor in the College of Business and Economics (CBE) where he co-designed the CBE’s MBA Consulting Capstone, and the College of Fine and Performing Arts where he co-authored the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation minor. Both programs are driven by developing equitable organizational ecosystems, ensuring diverse learning communities, empowering creativity, centering human focused design, and building adaptable structures for change.

Lucas’ Equity and Inclusion work at Western spans the university. He is a member of Western's Social Justice and Equity Committee, having served as co-chair from 2018-2021. He is faculty advisor to the Black and Brown Male Success Collective, an organizer of the Campus Wide Dialogue Series on race and a member of Western's Structural Equity Team. Lucas is a founding member of the SJEC team leading the Community Anti-Racist Workshops for WWU faculty, a cohort-based program designed to engage and evolve the curriculum and classroom practices of Western faculty. Within multiple divisions at WWU he has led the development and formation of AEID committees and programs. Lucas is also an Ashoka Change Leader at Western Washington University, connecting the campus to a global network of change oriented academic institutions. Lucas is committed to contributing to Western’s pursuit of justice and equity, and in ensuring the safety and success of all those in our learning community.


Past Awardees

2020

Photo of Shevell Thibou, Western LibrariesShevell Thibou - Western Libraries

Shevell Thibou completed her B.A. and M.Ed at Western Washington University, and joined Western Libraries in January of 2012. During her time at Western she has served in various positions including the Learning Commons Coordinator, Assistant Director of the Learning Commons, and Head of the Teaching-Learning Academy. She currently occupies the role of Director of Teaching and Learning while serving as an instructor in the Adult & Higher Education graduate program.   

Shevell’s contributions align particularly well with Western’s goals to foster a caring and supportive environment where all members are respected and treated fairly, and in Western’s pursuit of justice and equity in its policies, practices, and impacts. Shevell looks forward to continuing her collaborations within the Social Justice and Equity Committee, the Structural Equity & Bias Response Team, and other opportunities focused on dismantling the inequities present within our teaching and learning community.