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Malott Commons Dining Hall, Scripps College

The Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Awards Ceremony was held at Balch Auditorium, Scripps College on Friday, April 15th from 3:30-5:00 pm. This event celebrated the recipients of the 7C Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The Claremont Colleges Diversity Teaching Award recognizes those who regularly and effectively address issues or concerns related to diversity and inclusion through their classroom practices and curriculum.

The recipients of the Diversity Teaching Award include Professor Roberta Espinoza, professor of Sociology at Pitzer College and Lenny M. Seligman, professor of Biology and Associate Dean at Pomona College. Professor Espinoza was honored for her courses that foster interactive student-led learning and community-based service learning. One of Professor Espinoza’s classes partners with the Admissions Office to host an event which exposes 60-80 low-income minority students at local high schools in Montclair, Ontario, and Pomona to the small liberal arts college experience.

Professor Seligman specializes in the use of molecular genetic approaches and their applications in the field of biotechnology. Professor Seligman has also won a Pomona Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Claremont Colleges Diversity Mentor Award honors the active support of students, staff, and/or colleagues from marginalized identities and backgrounds and their work to ensure the success of our community as a whole. The recipients of the Diversity Mentor Award include Linda Perkins, Associate University Professor and Director of Applied Women’s Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate Program at Claremont Graduate University and Shahriar Shahriari, professor of Mathematics at Pomona College.

Professor Perkins was honored for her scholarly work on the history of black students in elite institutions of higher education, talent identification programs, and the history of African American women’s higher education. She served as the Director of the Africana Studies Certificate program at CGU from 2007-2014, during which she revived this interdisciplinary program and has an opportunity to work with, and mentor students.

Professor Shahriari was recognized for his commitment to bringing more students from underrepresented groups into the fields of mathematics. In 2015, he received the mathematical Association of America’s Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching in Mathematics. Professor Shahriari’s work has been published in scholarly publications. He has also been honored four times with Pomona’s Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Vijay Pendakur of California State University, Fullerton was the keynote speaker at the event. This keynote was addressed to community members engaged in the work of transforming our universities and colleges to be more inclusive, justice, and even liberating for marginalized students. By blending critical race theory, personal storytelling, and inspirational provocation, Dr. Pendakur inspired and empowered audience members. The keynote began a dialogue about how we sustain ourselves while we do the important work of campus change and community mobilization. After the talk, the audience members left with new challenging ideas to consider as they continued to do their great work, as well as with a deeply restored sense of vitality and resilience.
The achievements of these four faculty members have positively impacted the lives of students, faculty, and staff alike. Their tireless dedication to increasing and fostering diversity and inclusion at The Claremont Colleges has been appreciated by the host of community members who nominated awardees from across the 7Cs.