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A-State Receives Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for Second Year


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University has received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — A‑State will be featured, along with 93 other recipients, in the November 2019 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

“We have worked diligently to improve our diversity and community engagement efforts, and to see Arkansas State named a recipient of the HEED award for the second year in a row is great evidence of the progress we are making in these areas,” Damphousse said. “I want to commend Dr. Maurice Gipson for his hard work in this area."

A-State is the only university in Arkansas to achieve the award.

"We're very pleased that efforts by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement have been recognized again with the HEED Award," added Gipson, vice chancellor for the division.  "The selection by Insight Into Diversity magazine is based on a number of factors, including A‑State's work with both students and faculty."

Gipson pointed out some of the division's most significant accomplishments that helped form the basis for the award.

The "A-State Inspire" program introduces incoming freshmen from diverse backgrounds to resources and involvement opportunities at Arkansas State.  Through team building, resource seminars and campus exposure, freshmen prepare for active leadership roles.

The "Future Faculty" initiative increases the number of underrepresented minorities in the faculty ranks.  Through this initiative, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement invites promising non-tenure track A-State instructors or promising graduate students to participate in an intensive program that prepares them for tenure-track positions and assists with completion of the terminal degree.

"A-State Advance" provides on-going support for pre-tenure and tenure-track faculty members from underrepresented populations.  A-State Advance is a rigorous, cohort-based program that assists participants through the tenure-track process.  Cohort members will receive targeted programming and coaching from senior tenured faculty members as well as participate in yearly enrichment activities with the campus community.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine, explained the significance of A-State's HEED Award.

“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 — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.  We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day.”

Insight Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts.

In addition to its online job board, Insight Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of exemplary programs.

Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of Insight Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.

For more information about the 2019 HEED Award, one may visit insightintodiversity.com.

More information about Arkansas State University is online at AState.edu.

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Maurice Gipson
Dr. Maurice Gipson