Established in 2018, this award recognizes a member of the support staff who demonstrates adept skills in engaging across differences among the communities in which they work. It honors efforts to actively work to make Michigan State University a more accessible and welcoming place by understanding the complex, intersectional nature of identity, and employing such knowledge to improve the student, faculty, academic staff, and support staff experience. 

The recipient of this award should be someone who makes it a practice to seek an understanding of differing perspectives and is sensitive to the value diversity brings. While actively employing inclusive practices, they are passionate about making the College of Arts & Letters accessible to people of all abilities, and they demonstrate a genuine commitment to welcoming all students, faculty, and staff and offering a sense of belonging to minoritized/marginalized individuals and groups.  

The award recipient with receive a $750 award and be recognized with a citation and an award plaque.


Diversity is represented by minoritized/marginalized people at the table. 

Inclusion is making sure minoritized/marginalized groups have a voice. 

Equity is listening to that voice – making sure that the needs and ideas of minoritized/marginalized groups are understood and (supported or provided) for in the College of Arts & Letters. 

Justice is advanced by removing the systemic barriers that created exclusion from the table in the first place. 


The nominee must be a CAL support staff member . 

Eligibility is limited to every five years. 

Nominations and letters of support are encouraged from students, staff, and faculty from across campus who have direct knowledge and experience interacting with the nominee.


To be considered, the nominee should exhibit on-the-job performance that champions and demonstrates an ongoing passion for equity and justice and fulfills the award criteria. 

  • Regularly seeks to understand and is sensitive to differing perspectives. 
  • Is creative in their efforts to design solutions to make the College of Arts & Letters accessible to people o all abilities.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to fostering a welcoming environment for minoritized/ marginalized students, faculty, academic staff, and support staff. 
  • Actively employs and cultivates inclusive practices in day-to-day service. 


Complete the NOMINATION FORM. Along with the nomination form, please upload the nomination letter and up to 3 letters of support – 2 pages or less. Group letters are welcomed. For assistance or questions regarding the form or process, please contact Melissa Staub. 


The nominee must meet the eligibility requirements. Each nomination will be rated by a committee of five using a rubric based on the award criteria. Nomination and supporting letters will have names, titles, and departments redacted to avoid unintended bias or preferential scoring. Distinctive achievement in each category of the award will constitute the strongest case for selection. The committee will be cognizant, however, of particularly outstanding achievement in any one area. The finalist will be submitted to the Dean of the College of Arts & Letters for final approval. 



2018 – Tanner Schudlich
2020 – Brian DeVries
2021 – Ivette Dyunslager