The Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion is granted annually to a student, faculty, and staff member.
Established in 2010 as a means of recognizing and honoring students, faculty, and staff for their efforts of promoting diversity awareness, representation, and inclusion within the Rollins workplace and student community, the 2013 Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion was presented to Michael Cardwell ’13, Assistant Professor of Communication Gregory Cavenaugh, and Associate Director of Residential Life Abby Prokop.
Cardwell has served the Black Student Union from 2010-13 as president and treasurer and has served as the cultural organizations representative on the Student Government Association between spring 2011 and fall 2012. He is a member of the Diversity Advisory Council, having worked to promote institutional policies and practices that invite and reinforce inclusiveness by representing the voice of the student body on the Council. He has been instrumental in leading “Diversity Dialogues” through the Office of Multicultural Affairs in which he acted as both a speaker and panelist. During Martin Luther King Jr. week 2013, he played a major role in organizing and leading a Diversity Dialogue titled How Far Have We Come? A Discussion Around the Advancement of African Americans Since the Civil Rights Movement. He has defined his role in the Rollins community by being an out‐spoken ally and partner to the advancement of diversity and inclusion on campus and unafraid to stand up for what he believes to be true.
Cavenaugh holds the chair of the Recruitment & Retention Committee for Faculty from Underrepresented Backgrounds, serving that committee since its inception in 2008 and has been a key person in helping infuse diversity into the recruitment process. He is also a founder and core‐team member of the SafeZone program at Rollins and was instrumental in designing the SafeZone Level 1 Curriculum and providing several SafeZone trainings each year to students, staff, and faculty. He is a true ally to the LGBT community and seeks to educate all members of the Rollins community with an eye toward creating awareness and understanding and to challenge others to interrupt bias and discrimination. As a member of the faculty, he teaches courses focusing on social justice and diversity including a course on Intercultural Communication where he assigns students to have a dialogue with a person who is very different from themselves and to report back on the experience.
Prokop is a strong voice for difference, multiculturalism, and inclusion at Rollins. She founded and serves as co‐chair of PRISM, the campus's first LGBT employee resource group for staff and faculty. She has been an active participant on the Diversity Advisory Council spending many hours outside of her regular duties to help advance diversity initiatives and awareness on campus. She is a SafeZone ally, which allows her to cover sensitive topics with Res Life staff and students. By infusing respect and openness for diversity in her important role as associate director for the residential life, she was able to research and author a proposal for Gender Neutral Housing at Rollins, a project that will be implemented beginning in the fall.