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Annual PACME awards honor faculty, staff and students for making VCU more inclusive

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At the 2015 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment ceremony on April 14, Virginia Commonwealth University recognized four employees and a student for making the university a more inclusive place.

Jonathan C. Zur, president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, kicked off the event by calling on members of the audience to think about the paths that brought them to this point in their lives and challenged them to create new paths to inclusion.

“Maybe that means stepping outside of our comfort zones. Maybe it involves speaking up when you would normally be silent, or stepping back if you don’t have trouble sharing your views,” Zur said. “Whatever it is that helps you along your path to inclusion, remember this: Inclusion includes intention. Always.”

The PACME awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing VCU’s commitment to diversity, excellence and inclusion. Four separate awards are designated to recognize students, faculty, staff and administrators. In addition to the award, each recipient receives $500.

“PACME celebrates members of VCU’s academic and health system communities who go beyond the call of duty in promoting our greatest asset — our people who work, live and learn at VCU and other diverse communities,” said Wanda Mitchell, Ed.D., vice president for inclusive excellence. “Diversity is a hallmark of VCU and has helped to propel us towards excellence as a great place to live, learn and work.”

Beverly A. Walker, associate director of the University Student Commons and Activities, won the 2015 PACME Administrator Award.

Rosalie A. Corona, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Education and associate professor in the School of Engineering, won the 2015 faculty awards.

Ashley F. Akers, coordinator of event and meeting services at the University Student Commons, won the staff award.

Ali Salman, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering, won the student award.

Hargraves was also recognized with the Riese-Melton Award, given each year to one of the PACME recipients for contributions to cross-cultural relations. The award is named in honor of the late Walter Riese, M.D., a professor of psychiatry, and his employee, the late Herman Melton. Hargraves received an additional $250.  

Two musical selections were performed by the Black Awakening Choir of VCU, a collegiate ensemble. A reception followed the presentation.

Feature image at top: From the left: Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Education and associate professor in the School of Engineering, was also recognized with the Riese-Melton Award, given each year to one of the PACME recipients for contributions to cross-cultural relations. She accepted the award from VCU Provost Gail Hackett, Ph.D., and Wanda Mitchell, Ed.D., vice president for inclusive excellence.

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PACME award winners join university leaders in a celebration of inclusive excellence. First row from the left: Wanda Mitchell, Ed.D., vice president for inclusive excellence; Ashley F. Akers, coordinator of event and meeting services at the University Student Commons; Rosalie A. Corona, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences; VCU Provost Gail Hackett, Ph.D.; and Jonathan C. Zur, president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.  Second row from the left: Ali Salman, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering; Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Education and associate professor in the School of Engineering; and Beverly A. Walker, associate director of the University Student Commons and Activities.
PACME award winners join university leaders in a celebration of inclusive excellence. First row from the left: Wanda Mitchell, Ed.D., vice president for inclusive excellence; Ashley F. Akers, coordinator of event and meeting services at the University Student Commons; Rosalie A. Corona, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences; VCU Provost Gail Hackett, Ph.D.; and Jonathan C. Zur, president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. Second row from the left: Ali Salman, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering; Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Education and associate professor in the School of Engineering; and Beverly A. Walker, associate director of the University Student Commons and Activities.