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Principles of Community Award

Principles of Community Awards are open! (February 7 to March 6)

The Principles of Community Awards were established in 2014 and recognize members of the Virginia Tech community who exemplify the Principles of Community and have demonstrated an active commitment to Inclusion and Diversity at Virginia Tech. This year, the university will present awards to individuals, departments, groups, and/or initiatives that uplift the Principles of Community.

Nominations may be submitted by alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff members, and community members.

Nominations are reviewed by members of the awards committee including representatives from the Office for Inclusion and Diversity and the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity (CEOD).  Award recipients will be invited to a reception on May 2, 2024, hosted by the President’s Office. Recipients will receive their award at the reception. A monetary gift accompanies each award and will be mailed to the recipient. All award winners will be featured in a community announcement.

Nominations should be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

Contact Stacey Wilkerson for additional information at

  • Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students, groups, and departments are eligible for nomination. Previous award recipients are not eligible for re-nomination until five years have passed.
  • No minimum length of Virginia Tech service is required.
  • Example nominations could include:
    • Programs and/or activities and how these address inclusion and diversity needs and interests at Virginia Tech.
    • Expertise and contributions related to inclusion and diversity.
    • Evidence of communication and networking with diverse communities.
    • Leadership experience.
    • Professional or scholarly activities.
    • Examples of commitments outside of work-related activities.
  • Complete nomination packets should include:
    • The nominee’s name, contact information, and affiliation with the university.
    • A one-page statement (500 words) from the nominator describing the nominee’s commitment to the Principles of Community through their contributions to diversity and inclusion at Virginia Tech.
    • A one-page statement of endorsement (500 words) from a person familiar with the nominee’s work (as described above).
  • Completed nomination packets should be emailed to Stacey Wilkerson at

The candidate(s) will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Provides evidence of a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity in order to foster a welcoming climate.
  • Promotes and facilitates equitable education and social engagement with and between people of varying ethnic or religious backgrounds, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, physical and mental capabilities, etc.
  • Conducts research or implements work practices to create a new and progressive initiative that helps to enrich the lives of all Virginia Tech stakeholders.
  • Exhibits visionary and insightful leadership to confront and resolve inequities through strategic decision-making, collaborations, allocation of resources, or inclusive teaching practices.
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to the Principles of Community that goes beyond the call of duty.
  • 2023 (Long Term Individual Award) - Alicia Cohen
  • 2023 (Group Award) - Shernita Lee
  • 2023 (Long Term Individual Award) - Rebecca Hester
  • 2023 (Long Term Individual Award) - Ellen Banks
  • 2023 (Recent Contributions Individual Award) - Dr. Bing
  • 2023 (Long Term Individual Award) - Homero Murzi
  • 2014 - Jean Elliott
  • 2015 - Karen DePauw
  • 2016 (Faculty award) - Bev Watford
  • 2016 (Staff award)  - Linda Greene
  • 2017 (Faculty award) - Randy Grayson
  • 2017 (Staff award) - Betty Watts
  • 2018 (Teaching/Research Faculty award) -  María del Carmen Caña Jiménez
  • 2018 (Teaching/Research Faculty award) -  Amanda Morris
  • 2018 (AP Faculty and Staff award) -  Latanya Walker
  • 2018 (AP Faculty and Staff award) -  John Gray Williams
  • 2019 (Recent Individual award) - Chris Tysor
  • 2019 (Long term Individual award) - Sam Cook
  • 2019 (Department award) - Department of Religion and Culture
  • 2019 (Group award) - Virginia Dares Team
  • 2020 (Recent Individual Award) - Mae Hey
  • 2020 (Long Term Individual Award) - Carlos Evia
  • 2020 (Group Award) - Latin Link
  • 2021 (Recent Individual Award) - Edward Polanco
  • 2021 (Long Term Individual Award) - Brandy Faulkner
  • 2021 (Group Award) - Graduate Student Success in Multicultural Environments (GSSME)
  • 2021 (Department Award) - Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Graduate Program
  • 2022 (Group Award) - Black Caucus
  • 2022 (Long Term Individual Award) - Tamara Smith
  • 2022 (Recent Individual Award) - Eric Glenn
  • 2022 (Recent Individual Award) - Melissa Faircloth