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
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
* Multiple recipients may impact the grant amount.
The nomination process for the 2022 award is CLOSED. Thank you to those that took the time to submit a nomination!
Sean Bruna - Anthropology
Sean Bruna, PhD. is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology, with expertise in medical anthropology and health policy. Sean has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago, and M.A. and PhD. degrees from the University of New Mexico, where he was a Health Policy Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
After joining Western in 2014, Sean formed the Medical Anthropology Lab to mentor diverse students that are historically excluded from advanced research. Since joining Western, Sean has advised 38 honors thesis’, self-designed majors, or independent studies, and has served on 31 master’s or doctoral theses committees. Students in his lab research a variety of topics from water practices and policy in Western Kenya, supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals in the Pacific Northwest, video-based type 2 diabetes education for rural Pacific Islanders, and COVID-19 isolation strategies practiced by disabled peoples.
Colleagues, students, and alumni commended Sean’s efforts as a Latinx scholar toward increasing equity and inclusion by bringing together affiliates from multiple and intersecting identities and supporting their self-agency and goals in affirming ways. Sean’s contributions play a critical role in Western’s Strategic Plan by advancing success through deliberate and conscientious mentorship and research, enhancing academic excellence, and increasing Western’s impact in Washington.
2 awardee(s) for this year
Christian 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.
Lucas 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.