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A-State Earns Excellence in Diversity Award for Fourth Consecutive Year


JONESBORO – For the fourth consecutive year, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has named Arkansas State University among 101 institutions of higher education selected to receive the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

Once again, A-State is the only school in Arkansas and one of only three among Sun Belt Conference members to be recognized with the HEED.  Georgia State University joins A-State and Louisiana-Lafayette as the other Sun Belt school to be recognized.

The INSIGHT Into Diversity HEED Award, open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

This year's honorees will be featured in the November issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education.  The HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campus.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — as well as continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion," said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across campus.”

"Each year that we are honored to be selected for this prestigious national award, we are reminded that while we have made great progress, we still have more to do to address change for our students of color and promoting a positive living, learning, and working environment at A-State,” Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said.  "I am very proud of the work done by our Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, and salute Dr. Lonnie Williams for his continued commitment as our vice chancellor over this important area of campus.  Something that is important to stress is this award isn’t simply for what we’ve done in recruiting or for students, but also our continued efforts to expand opportunity for our faculty and staff.”

Williams’ stated significant additions in the past year to expand opportunities for Latinx students, including helping foster the launch of the first Hispanic sorority at A-State, Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Incorporada (SIA), were instrumental in the success of the application. The new AmeriCorps grant for the Neighborhood Red Wolves Community Engagement program strengthened the application with the tutoring aspect for junior high school students in math.

"It may sound obvious, but diversity takes many forms and we must strive to embrace all individuals regardless of their personal background or situation," Williams said.

For more information about the HEED Award, one may visit insightintodiversity.com.”