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Shown above with the HEED award are LaKesha Alston, Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity; James Gehlhar, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs; Susan McGhee, Associate Dean for Recreation and Leisure Studies; Toya Jacobs, Planning Associate for Institutional Planning, Assessment, and Research; Lenore Pearlstein, Publisher, INSIGHT Into Diversity, Owner and President, Potomac Publishing, Inc.; Lee Workman, Associate Athletics Director for Administration; Jeannette Avery, Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing; Aaron Lucier, Director of Housing Operations; Mike Brown, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology; Jayne Geissler, Executive Director for Retention Programs and Enrollment Services; Rosina Chia, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Academic Initiatives and Professor of Psychology; Beth Velde, Professor of Occupational Therapy and Assistant Dean in the College of Allied Health Sciences; and Marilyn Sheerer, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


ECU recognized for diversity, inclusion efforts

Nov. 16, 2012

By Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

East Carolina University was named today as a recipient of the first Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.

ECU will be featured with other recipients in the December edition of the magazine.

"We are pleased to accept this award from INSIGHT Into Diversity and appreciate the acknowledgment of East Carolina University's commitment to diversity and inclusion," said LaKesha Alston, associate provost for equity and diversity.

"Consistent with our mission, ECU is committed to preparing our students to succeed in a multicultural workplace and global society.

"The university's commitment is evident in our faculty's curriculum and our senior administrators' dedication to keeping diversity a core part of ECU's strategic directions," Alston said.

INSIGHT Into Diversity selected award recipients based on diversity and inclusion initiatives, including all aspects of diversity such as gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community, according to Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of the magazine. 

At ECU, several groups and programs specifically address diversity and inclusion, including the Chancellor's Diversity Leadership Cabinet, the LGBT Resource Office for Students, the Organization of African American Staff and Faculty, the Safe Zone program and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

"We are actively working to build a university community where diversity and inclusion are embedded into the fabric of our institution," Alston said.

Two other North Carolina higher education institutions received the HEED Award – Catawba Valley Community College and Wake Forest University.

"We hope the HEED award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st century higher education landscape. Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus," said Pearlstein.

For a complete list of the institutions recognized, visit

Dr. Marilyn Sheerer, provost of East Carolina University, left, accepts the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, along with LaKesha Alston, associate provost for equity and diversity at ECU.

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