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Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award

Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award

The Dr. Marva Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award recognizes an office, program, or department that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made consistent contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion at UT. The office, program, or department will have implemented sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives that are linked to their mission.

The award is named in honor of Marva Rudolph, an associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of Equity and Diversity who passed away in 2014 after more than twenty years with the university and more than thirty years of dedicated work in diversity and inclusion.

To be considered for this award, units must meet the following:

  1. Office, programs or departments must submit a narrative, which clearly outlines their diversity achievements.
  2. Office, programs, or departments that have completed and submitted a diversity plan to Chancellor’s Council for Diversity and Interculturalism (CDI) will be given preference.
  3. Preference will be given to departments or units that sponsor activities with other campus units.

Deadline for 2019: February 15, 2019

Nomination Form:

Please download the form to your computer first and then complete it.

Click Here To Download The 2019 Form

Past Awardees

2016: Educational Advancement Program

The Educational Advancement Program is making great strides in the university’s ongoing efforts to enhance campus diversity and inclusivity.

The EAP is a federally–funded program that provides supportive services to first-generation students, low-income students, and students with disabilities. It has been in existence at UT since 1978 and falls under the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

This program currently serves 250 students and has changed many of their lives in remarkable ways. EAP staff are committed to advancing the education of their diverse student participants through academic advising, tutoring and workshops, and other resources.

Without the resources provided by the EAP, many of these students would not be able to attend college. Because of the motivation they received from the EAP, many of them have realized they can go on to graduate school.

“These classes helped close the gap in education, which seemed like a never-ending reality for many of us,” a former EAP graduate wrote in his nomination letter.


2015: Haslam College of Business Office of Diversity and Community

The Haslam College of Business Office of Diversity and Community is leading the way in the university’s ongoing efforts to enhance campus diversity and inclusivity. The well-established program celebrates the efforts of students, faculty, and staff involved in broadening the viewpoints and dialogue about diversity. Faculty and staff encourage students to better understand that diversity means more than race and that building a greater awareness of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds is critical to working in today’s global marketplace. Central to the office’s mission is recruiting diverse applicants. The office’s annual ten-day summer camp—Business Education for Talented Students, or BETS—is a cornerstone program that exposes students from underrepresented or economically challenged high schools to the business world with the help of area business partners. More than 150 students have participated; sixty-four enrolled in UT, and forty of those ended up majoring in business. The office also facilitates the college’s partnership with the Knoxville Area Urban League’s National Achievers Program, which provides high-achieving students with opportunities for personal and professional development. From its newsletter and diversity job fairs to staff workshops and college-wide Safe Zone training, the Office of Diversity and Community is making a difference every day.

2014: College of Communication and Information

The College of Communication and Information, headed by Dean Mike Wirth, is the recipient of the first Marva Rudolph Diversity Award for the breadth and depth of its diversity efforts on both the college and campus levels. Since 2007, the college’s Diversity Student Leaders Society has provided “an open and accepting community for students of all backgrounds, races, genders, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations” and uses educational opportunities to promote understanding, according to the nomination. The DSLS is open to all interested students, both in the college and across the university. In just the past year, the society’s major events have included a Diversity and Inclusion Week featuring keynote speakers, open forums, discussion sessions, and workshops; an Experience Diversity Banquet honoring a prominent individual who has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion; philanthropy projects for local at-risk groups; professional sessions on resume writing and interviewing skills; and leadership training and development. The college’s leadership has worked with its faculty to promote diversity in their classrooms and their coursework, and has developed ways to measure and track their progress. The college also has boosted its recruitment and hiring of diverse faculty members and its identification and cultivation of diverse candidates for future faculty positions. A Diversity Committee has been formed to make recommendations on how the college can reach its diversity goals. These efforts also have resulted in greater fundraising success, with the college’s development team securing external gifts to support its diversity programming.

List of Awardees

Year Awardee
2016  Educational Advancement Program
2015  Haslam College of Business Office of Diversity and Community
2014 College of Communication and Information