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 


    The award recipient will be presented with a Western medallion award at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in May. 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

    If you have questions about this award, please contact the Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance Office at crtc@wwu.edu.

    Nomination Process

    Nominations may be made by any university faculty member or staff member.

    The nomination process for the 2024 award is CLOSED. Thank you to those that took the time to nominate a deserving colleague!


    Brandon Joseph smiling broadly wearing a shirt with a colorful native motif and a WWU medallion on a neck ribbon

    Brandon Joseph - Counseling, Health & Wellness

    Brandon Joseph is the director of Student Resilience in Counseling, Health, and Wellness. He provides non-clinical support for students in navigating their college journey and fostering an experience rich in holistic wellbeing. In collaboration with campus and community partners, he has hosted many campus wellness events, initiatives, and programs.  

    As a Koyukon Athabascan and Muscogee Creek scholar and practitioner, Joseph’s work is fundamentally inspired by his Native identity. In 2019, he established the Black & Brown Male Success Collective BBMSC, a research-based program that provides male-identifying students from historically marginalized racial and/or ethnic communities with an affinity space to strengthen connection and belonging. The group has represented WWU at regional and national conferences and hosted several anti-racist workshops on WWU’s campus. 

    Joseph also works to support the Native American Student Union and others in the Multicultural Student Services area. He has served on several campus committees devoted to moving forward conversations of accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at WWU. In 2021, he was appointed as WWU’s first Athletics Diversity and Inclusion designee, charged with overseeing ADEI efforts in Athletics. He also serves on Laural Ballew’s Tribal Advisory Committee.

    Past Awardees

    1 awardee(s) for this year

    2022 Awardees

    Sean Bruna wearing award medallion

    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.