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Who are your ‘Beacons of Change?’

Nominations are open for those who have been intentional sources of change at the U, for students either in the classroom or in the community.

Do you know of a person who has gone above what has been asked of them in the last year? Have you observed or benefitted from a program or office that has been an intentional source of positive change for students at the U, either in the classroom or in the community? Recognize their impact by nominating them for a Beacons of Excellence Award. This year’s theme is “Beacons of Change” to mark the significance of their exceptional work.

“We saw so much change in 2020 that it was a shock to our collective system and our U faculty, staff, students and programs continued their excellent work as change agents,” said Dr. Bryan Hubain, associate vice president, Student Development & Inclusion. “Change agents use their privilege or take risks, based on their identity, for the sake of change. They see discrimination, marginalization and oppression and work towards equitable outcomes for others.”

Each year, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Division of Student Affairs recognize members of our campus community who go above and beyond to provide an exceptional educational experience. We invite you to nominate individuals or programs who have inspired and advanced change by raising awareness around marginalized students, creating institutional change and advancing racial justice across campus.


“Each and every one of us is capable of inspiring positive changes to the culture at this institution and in our communities,” said Dr. Beth Howard, director, Academic Advising Center. “We are looking for faculty, staff, students, program, departments, projects or organizations that have been especially transformative so that we may raise awareness of their impact and empower others to act to promote social justice.”

The 2021 recipients will be announced to campus in July with an awards ceremony to be held in October 2021.

The inspiration that we garner from the award winners is long-lasting. The 2020 Beacons of Excellence Award recipients were no exception. Award recipients were honored for rising above the challenges of a pandemic and their contribution positively influencing students’ learning experiences and the campus during COVID-19. Honorees included Dr. Debra Mascaro, Juan Rios, Megan Randall, Student Success Center, Fine Arts Fees (FAF) Grants, REFUGES Program and the Office for Health, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Since 2012, the Beacons of Excellence Awards have celebrated over 55 “best practices” found across campus, including individuals, centers, programs, labs, student groups and more, who have engaged and supported students in extraordinary ways. The overall goal is to highlight the achievements of the many who make the university a beacon of excellence.