2023 President's Diversity Awards
The President’s Diversity Awards celebrate members of the Cal Poly community who have exhibited a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus. The awards are an opportunity to recognize members from the faculty, staff, and student communities as well as contributions from a recognized student group/organization and department/unit.
Congratulations to the 2023 Awardees
|Dolores Huerta "Si Se Puede" Award for Transformational Leadership||Adrienne Garcia-Specht, Financial Aid Counselor & Cal Grant Program Manager|
Excellence In Inclusive Design
|Pamela Dougherty, Center for Teaching Learning & Technology|
|Student Award||Kaylee Benting, Liberal Studies|
|Faculty Award||Dr. Tina Cheuk, School of Education|
|Faculty Award||Dr. Ana Cabezas, Counseling Services|
|Dr. Sarah Macdonald, Center for Teaching Learning & Technology|
Latinos in Agriculture
Dolores Huerta "Si Se Puede" Award for Transformational Leadership
Adrienne Garcia-Specht, Financial AID counselor, cal grant & Dream program manager
This year’s, Dolores Huerta “Si Si Puede” Award for Transformational Leadership was awarded to Adrienne Garcia-Specht. Adrienne is a leader of social change and advocacy for underrepresented and marginalized populations at Cal Poly. Her passion for affecting social change, her strive to be anti-racist, and her intersectional, multidisciplinary, activist style of leadership at Cal Poly and in the Central Coast's is the foundation of why she deserves this award. She is a steward and supporter for the Undocumented Student community. Working with the Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success, she co-organized the Undocu Summit, first of it's kind in our community; has helped raise and fund emergency aid for more than 200 Undocumented students and students in mix status families; and now serves as a co-chair for the Universities HSI Task Force, aiding in our ability to become an institution that holistically serves its Latinx Community. Adrienne does not determine her path based on what will be easy, nor does she shy away from things that others have deemed impossible, and in fact she almost always look forward at the possibility of what our campus, what our community and what our world could look like if we were bold enough to say "yes we can." She sees every moment as an organizing opportunity, every person as a potential activist, and every minute as a chance to change the world. Dolores Huerta's rally cry of "si se puede" reflects this recipient’s advocacy and work to create a better community. She is a thinker, advocate, and radical changemaker.
Excellence In Inclusive Design Award
Pamela Dougherty, Center for Teaching Learning & Technology
Pamela Dougherty has shown commitment to inclusion and student success with her workshop “Inclusive Course Design: Implementing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines.” This course has gone beyond its original development for supporting accessibility for students, to supporting students in a multitude of needs and on their journey to success. This course has led to Cal Poly faculty implementing equity and inclusivity into their courses, and in supporting redesigning education to better the learning experience for students. This workshop and Pamela Dougherty have showcased how to step-by-step make education accessible and inclusive for many students.
Kaylee Benting, Liberal Studies, Transfer center student asst.
Kaylee Benting has served the community as Transfer Center student assistant since Fall 2020. She has been an active member even during summer sessions, being available for students virtually over Zoom, and in highlighting intersectionality of students’ identities, as transfer students have a multitude of backgrounds. In her leadership, Kaylee collaborated with campus partners to better support students in finding resources for their intersecting identities. Beyond that, Kaylee serves students through her work when she served on the Dean of Students advisory council, as President of the Association of Transfer Students (ATS), and as a part of the CORE leadership team.
Dr. Tina Cheuk, School of Education, college of science & Math
Dr. Tina Cheuk is a mentor, educator, and supporter of underrepresented students on campus. She has consistently mentored historically underserved communities, uplifting first-generation and BIPOC students. She makes herself available to better fit the schedules of students with dependents, previously was the faculty advisor for the Students with Dependents Coalition Club, and is an advocate for policy changes such as AB-2881 to better support parents who are navigating university. Dr. Cheuk has also supports Educators of Color through her courses and curriculum, focusing on bring equity and inclusion to classrooms by uplifting future educators who are of underrepresented backgrounds.
Dr. Ana Cabezas, Counseling Services, Campus Health & Wellbeing
Dr. Ana Cabezas is a leader in caring for the needs of the people on campus whose identities have been marginalized. As the lead coordinator for Counseling Services’ Diversity and Multicultural Inclusion Coordinator for almost a decade, and as a founding member of the CS Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, Dr. Cabezas’ programming from Undocutalk to ROOTS: BIPOC support group has catered to the specific needs of underrepresented identities. She continues to work in collaboration with campus partners to make these efforts available to more people, and understands the difficulties of holding marginalized identities and navigating mental health and wellbeing.
Dr. Sarah Macdonald, Center for Teaching Learning & Technology
Dr. Sarah Macdonald is a leader in allyship and in helping bring an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion to campus. She has challenged white supremacy culture by bringing a lens of understanding intersectionality and creating series in collaboration with others such as the Examining Whiteness Series with Heather Domonoske. She meets with faculty and staff across campus to bring these programs to groups to uplift diversity, equity, and inclusion and how to better serve underrepresented students, staff, and faculty.
Campus Department Award
University Housing’s team continues to work in collaboration with communities on and off campus to uplift underrepresented groups by using physical spaces on campus to provide cultural and identity communities including APIDA, Black, Latine/x, Native American and Indigenous, SWANA, and Cross-Cultural Scholars. From their work with the yakʔitʸutʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region to share the importance of the Indigenous villages of the local region to their work with Student Diversity and Belonging to support a space for the Native American and Indigenous Cultural Center. They have also worked with the Disability Resource Center to make on-campus housing more accessible and provide better accommodations for students. In addition, they have worked on creating better options for low-income students and providing housing grants, as well as creating a team of Resident Advisors with diversity, equity, and inclusion in its foundations.
Student Organization Award
Latinos in Agriculture (LIA)
Latinos in Agriculture (LIA) is the only cultural club in the Agriculture department at Cal Poly, and serves underrepresented students in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. LIA hosts events such as 26 Hours of Science and Technology in Agriculture every year to bring high school students to a college campus, an opportunity many underrepresented students may not have. These programs show the possibilities in agriculture beyond traditional farm labor for many students and supports BIPOC individuals in connecting with alumni and professionals in the industry, all while taking action in their community.