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Diversity Awards Presented During Convocation of Scholars


JONESBORO – Four individuals who have demonstrated commitment to achieving a more diverse environment at Arkansas State University were recognized during Convocation of Scholars as recipients of the 2017 Excellence in Diversity Awards.

The Excellence in Diversity Awards program is an annual recognition of individuals or academic units who have demonstrated the highest commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion on the A-State campus as well as the Jonesboro community over the past year, according to Dr. Maurice Gipson, assistant vice chancellor, Office of Diversity.

The recipients this year are:

  • Skyler Jones, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, and president of the Student Activities Board.

  • Ja'von Long, a senior criminology and sociology major, and president of the Black Student Association.

  • Dr. Dixie Keyes, professor of mid-level education in the College of Education and Behavioral Science, and director of the Arkansas Delta Writing Project.

  • LaGanzie Kale, founder and manager of KLEK-FM, the first minority-owned radio station in Jonesboro, and a 2003 A-State alumnus.

Recipients of the Excellence in Diversity Award are selected by a university committee from among a slate of nominees. 

Gipson was joined by A-State Chancellor Doug Whitlock to recognize the recipients and present each one with an engraved plaque during a university reception at Cooper Alumni Center.

Also, five members of Brother 2 Brother and four members of the Circle of Trust received student leadership awards.  Chris Davis, coordinator, Office of Diversity, made the presentations.

Members of Brother 2 Brother who were recognized are Xavier Flowers, Cameron Cooper, John Thompson, Dominick Tolbert and LeDarius Patterson.

Members of Circle of Trust who were recognized are Elizabeth Lewis, Diana Smith, Marlana Robinson and Maya Reed.

Gipson presented Chancellor Whitlock with the first Champion of Diversity Award in recognition of his contributions and commitment to the A-State diversity program.  Whitlock, who is president emeritus of Eastern Kentucky University, is serving as A-State's interim chancellor.

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Skyler Jones (center) accepts the Excellence in Diversity Award from Dr. Maurice Gipson (left), assistant vice chancellor for diversity, and Dr. Doug Whitlock, chancellor.


Ja'von Long (center) with Maurice Gipson and Doug Whitlock


Dr. Dixie Keyes (center)


LaGanzie Kale (center)