Students outside Rutgers Law School

Chancellor’s Awards for Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement

Every day, Rutgers University–Camden students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners work to advance the communities of southern New Jersey and the region. The Chancellor’s Awards for Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement honor those who have achieved special distinction in these areas. 

Make a Nomination

We encourage you to submit nominations to recognize the work and strategic efforts of change agents who have contributed to advancing initiatives that drive systemic change and sustainable impact.

Award Categories

  • This award recognizes courses or programs that create outstanding opportunities for engaged civic learning for Rutgers University–Camden students. Examples of potential nominees include courses that integrate engaged civic learning, major programs that integrate a community-based experience or graduate degree programs that incorporate a public interest field component. Nominees will be judged on the degree to which the civic experience advances broader learning goals, the interests of communities are advanced, and community resources are used innovatively and effectively.

  • This award recognizes students who have made noteworthy contributions to communities beyond the campus through their academic and co-curricular work. Nominations may cite students’ engagement in academic courses, internships, volunteer service, and/or paid positions. Nominees will be judged on the depth of their commitment and the impact of their work..

  • This award recognizes a student who exemplifies outstanding service to the Camden community, with special consideration given to students whose engagement is through a health-related field. An award of $1,000 from Cooper University Health Care will be given to this student.

  • This award recognizes individual alumni or groups of alumni for efforts and projects that benefit communities beyond the Rutgers campus. Nominations may cite alumni efforts carried out under the Rutgers banner or those carried out independently. Nominees will be judged on the scope and impact of their work.

  • This award recognizes a community partner organization that has worked with Rutgers University–Camden to bring benefits to communities beyond the Rutgers campus. Nominees will be judged on the impact of their work and the depth and scope of their partnership with Rutgers University–Camden.

  • This award recognizes staff and faculty members for service to communities beyond the Rutgers University–Camden campus and carried out independent of their positions at Rutgers. Nominees are judged on the duration, depth, and impact of their work.

  • This award recognizes faculty whose scholarship involves a reciprocal partnership with the community, meaningfully engages community-based knowledge, and/or provides a direct and tangible benefit to the community in which it was performed. Nominees will be judged on the scope and impact of their work.

  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Award is an annual award created to honor the challenging and intricate task of further transforming our Camden campus community into one that not only celebrates the campus mission but also creates a world-class higher education institution building on a heritage of equity, belonging and inclusion. These individuals will be recognized for providing RU-C with the critical voices necessary for change and for their sustained actions to transform our community by making it an even more diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment and place of employment.

  • This award recognizes outstanding academic courses that advance education about diversity and inclusion. Nominees will be evaluated based upon innovation, depth of focus toward DEI, and impact on course on enhancing diversity and inclusion education on our campus.

  • Award for Scientific Contributions towards Diversity and Inclusion. This award would recognize faculty for outstanding research accomplishments related to diversity and inclusion.

Recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards for Civic Engagement

  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH)
      The Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers University-Camden, led by Dr. Charlene Mires, professor of history, developed a series of experiential learning opportunities that engage and expand student knowledge and service to Camden and the Greater Philadelphia region. Through individualized learning experiences for credit and transitional employment, undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni learn collaborative approaches to programming, education, and training that tap into the region’s rich intellectual and cultural resources to forge new strategies for understanding and communicating the nature of the places where we live and their histories. The learning from this center has engaged students in recovering the diverse history of the residential blocks that preceded creation of the Rutgers–Camden campus. For more information on the Learning from Cooper Street project, The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, and publicly engaged collaborations, visit https://march.rutgers.edu

    Community Engaged Scholarship

    • Dr. Maureen Donaghy (associate professor, political science/public policy and administration)
      In Spring 2022, Dr. Maureen Donaghy engaged in research in three Brazilian cities, focusing on the impact of social housing projects on residents’ lives and political perspectives. Dr. Donaghy has worked with one of the largest national movements for housing, the União dos Movimentos de Moradia (Union of Housing Movements, UMM), for the past 15 years, deeply engaging residents and local leaders to frame her research questions and approaches in ways that will best serve the community and can be used to benefit residents’ lives.
    • Dr. Sheila Linz (assistant professor, nursing)
      Dr. Linz conducts women's mindfulness sessions and leads coping groups in two public housing communities in Camden -- Ablett Village and The Branches. Dr. Linz creates spaces for women who live in these communities to learn skills and coping mechanisms for managing the challenges of their daily lives. Dr. Linz uses photography and group dialogue to help the women deepen their understanding of themselves and their community, with the images and stories collected serving as powerful tools for nursing students to learn how to care for diverse populations as they enter the field of health care.

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Karina DeCasablanca is a Nursing/Spanish undergraduate student who is being recognized for co-founding the Nursing Veterans Scholarship fund, Nursing Veterans Scholarship Awareness Walk, and serving as the President for Student Nursing Association (SNA). Although Karina’s tutoring of other nursing students is what led her to be nominated, she is being recognized for her resilience and ability to engage with the community.
    • Karina DeCasablancaSumana Gadiraju is being recognized for her work founding the Alliance for Cognitive-Communication, Education, and Support Services (ACCESS), along with an RU-C alum, Annika Liu. ACCESS seeks to help neurodiverse RU-C students find support through social linkages with other students and provides resources and information to the neurodiverse population in South Jersey with other community partners. In addition, Sumana is a Rutgers–Camden Bonner Civic Scholar and is a 2021 Governor's STEM Scholar in NJ. Sumana will be attending medical school in the fall.
    • Tue Ho is being recognized for his leadership as an elected student leader on the Law School’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Working Group, which is composed of faculty, administrators, and students. In that capacity, Tue helped organize multiple community events and workshops that provided critical opportunities for members of our law school community to engage in conversations about race, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression. He is a Rutgers’ Social Justice Scholar, and his past tenures include work with the ACLU and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. His remarkable teaching skills and excellent student rapport aided in his selection for a post-graduate public interest fellowship as his next professional step.
    • Lisa Laffend is being recognized for her pro-bono legal work to the community, both on and off-campus. When applying for law school, the only thing Lisa knew for certain was that she wanted to pursue her degree to assist those who have historically had the hardest time accessing our legal system, such as the indigent population. Lisa has completed over 1000 hours of pro bono service through numerous pro bono projects offered by Rutgers Law School, as well as opportunities off-campus. Lisa has also been instrumental in starting her own projects, such as the Gender Affirming Name Change Petition Project and the Public Insurance Appeals Program. Lisa’s dedication to Philadelphia and its surrounding regions is an asset for the disabled community, those struggling with mental health issues, and other marginalized groups
    • Dolly Marshall has a unique interest area—African American cemetery preservation—which has brought her notable recognition in Southern New Jersey and beyond. As a historical preservation archivist and researcher, Dolly leads many community partnerships related to African American experiences and the African diaspora, bringing this crucial part of history to life for the public. Ms. Marshall is a trustee of Mount Peace Cemetery in Lawnside, New Jersey. Originally serving as a volunteer, over the past four years, she has evolved into a preservation steward and seeks to promote Mount Peace Cemetery’s hidden African American history across the region, state of New Jersey, and nationally.
    • Students of the Expungement Law Project are being recognized for providing Camden-area residents with education, resources, and support in navigating New Jersey's cumbersome expungement process in an effort to help clear their records and provide an opportunity for people to restart their lives as equal citizens in society.
      • Tyler Avon
      • Layla Awan
      • Malcolm Benn
      • Krysta Chotkowski
      • Laura DeFeo
      • Tue Ho
      • Moriah Mendicino
      • Anglesea Newman
      • Samuel Romeo
      • Viktoria Zerda

    Cooper Civic Leadership Award

    • Joseph Mendoza-Martinez, a health sciences student, combines his passion for Camden city’s well-being and health with active participation in medical access advocacy and equitable treatment for immigrant students and teachers. Joseph is being recognized for coordinating bilingual registration at a student-run COVID-19 community vaccination clinic, resulting in the vaccination of 200+ primarily Spanish-speaking residents from medically underserved communities.

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Todd Pisani (GSC’17), who has an MPA from Rutgers–Camden, has played a pivotal role in serving justice-impacted young people through what is now known as the Rutgers Youth Success Program. For over seven years, he has immersed himself in the heart of Camden and effectively built up a program serving over 100 of the most vulnerable youth and their families.

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Camden Community Partnership (formerly known as Cooper’s Ferry Partnership) has been a significant, strategic partner with Rutgers-Camden for many years, focusing their efforts on planning and implementing high-quality urban redevelopment initiatives and serving as a convener that brings multiple stakeholders together to develop a holistic approach to Camden’s revitalization. This year they are being acknowledged for their work spearheading A New View Camden. This project was a partnership between Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, Camden Community Partnership, and the City of Camden, wherein large art installations were commissioned with a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, to use public art to bring attention to the problem of illegal dumping in Camden. The art installations helped to re-orient public perceptions of Camden and the city’s environment, engaged residents, and shifted attitudes and policies about illegal dumping here in the city.

    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leadership

    • Prof. Rhasheda Douglas (assistant dean, law) -- A Newark native and first-generation graduate of Rutgers Law in Camden, Assistant Dean Rhasheda Douglas became the inaugural Director of the Minority Student Program (MSP) at the Law School in 2016. The Minority Student Program (MSP) is a nationally acclaimed and highly successful post-admissions program that serves students of any race or ethnicity who are members of groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession, and who have faced discrimination or overcome social and economic hardships. The program takes a proactive approach in helping students to succeed in law school, and Rhasheda had the formidable task of replicating a program that existed in Newark for 50 years here on the Camden campus.
    • Dr. Kwangwon Lee (associate professor, biology) has for the last several years led the Driving Change group, a group of faculty and staff across STEM departments and the entire campus focused on improving inclusion and equity efforts in the STEM fields. Their efforts focus on increasing the number of historically underrepresented students who enter and successfully gain degrees in STEM and on increasing recruitment, retention, and success of historically underrepresented faculty. Dr. Lee has driven conversations, policy, and curriculum changes centered around equity, both by demonstrating and modelling growth.

    Faculty Research Award for Contributions Towards Diversity and Inclusion

    • Dr. David Dwertmann (associate professor, management) is an award-winning and internationally recognized expert in diversity and inclusion. His primary goal through his work is to conduct research that positively impacts employees, organizations, and society. David studies diversity and investigates how organizations shape the social environments in which people work and how to create an organizational climate and provide leadership to successfully employ individuals from marginalized backgrounds. He mostly focuses on groups that are increasingly important but have not received the research attention commensurate with their importance: people with disabilities (PWD) and immigrants.
    • Dr. Oscar Holmes IV (associate dean and associate professor, management) is also an award winning and nationally recognized scholar in diversity and inclusion. Oscar investigates how leaders can maximize productivity and well-being through fostering inclusive environments. As an expert in organizational behavior, he has published and spoken widely on topics ranging from racism, discrimination in personnel selection, heteronormativity, and abusive supervision, to police brutality, stereotyping, compensatory strategies, organizational culture, and some potential limitations of DEI “best practices.” He feels strongly that the epitome of his job is not simply publishing research, but to make his research, and the research of others, accessible to the general public. This has led him to create numerous initiatives, including the Beyond the Mill talk show on campus, his Diversity Matters podcast, and to serve as the co-chair of the campus DEI council.
  • Student Civic Engagement

    • Mallory Carvalho (nursing)
    • Melani Cruz Stokes (criminal justice
    • Dawn Ericksen (law)
    • Josefina Ewins (political science/philosophy)
    • Alexis Hopkins (English)
    • Alexander Iffland (social work)
    • Omar Khasawneh (biology/global studies)
    • Tania Martinez (political science)
    • Sujay Ratna (biology)
    • Morgan Rockmacher (psychology)
    • Shannon Taylor (social work/sociology)

    Cooper Civic Leadership Award

    • Leslie Demark (nursing)

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Amy-Christy Amakihe CCAS’21

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Cooper University Health Care
    • Project H.O.P.E.
    • Lawanda “Wawa” Jones
    • Reverend Dyheim T. Watson Sr.

    Faculty-Staff Civic Engagement

    • Justin Deng (assistant professor, accounting)

    Spirit of Civic Engagement

    • Small Business Development Center
    • Honors College
    • Office of Housing and Residence Life
    • Student Wellness Center
    • Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs

    Signature Partnership

    • Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden COVID Response
    • Rebecca Bryan (director, professional nursing development)
    • Kevin Emmons (clinical associate professor)
    • Margo Wallace (director, Center for Academic, Resources, Engagement, and Services)
    • NJ COVID Service Corps-AmeriCorps Team
      • Norah Behm
      • Sabrina Bertsch
      • Jessica Chamorro
      • Leslie Demark
      • Anastasia Dudzinski
      • Vanessa Lamb
      • Christina Neal
      • Johnnet Reeves
      • Sophia Troccoli
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Dr.  Melissa  Fender
    • Prof.  Angel  Osorio  
    • Ms. Gaylene Gordon
    • Ms. Michelle Lyttle-Storrod
    • Dr. Michelle Meloy

    Community Engaged Scholarship

    • Dr. Ana Laguna (associate professor, World Languages and Cultures)
    • Prof. Dana Pilla (assistant teaching professor, World Languages and Cultures)
    • Dr. Nancy Pontes (assistant professor, School of Nursing–Camden)

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Nikia Clark
    • Ashlyn Elliott
    • Kimberly Flores
    • Taylor John
    • Claire Newsome
    • Angela Wismar
    • Nidhi Baxi

    Cooper Civic Leadership Award

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • David Roeber

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Mr. Dan Rhoton, Hopeworks Camden
    • Ms. Pamela Grayson-Baltimore, I Dare to Care Association (ID2C)
    • Ms. Kristin Prinn Rose, LUCY Outreach

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Dr. Eliezer Marcellus (Assistant Dean, Office of Academic Advising)
    • Dr. Shanyn Fiske (assistant professor, English)

    Spirit of Civic Engagement

    • Dr. Kevin Emmons (School of Nursing–Camden)
    • Dr. Cameron Whitley (Office of Diversity and Inclusion)
    • Mr. George Wood

    Lifetime Achievement

    • Dr. Washington Hill
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Dr. David Dwertmann (assistant professor, SBC-management)
    • Prof. Steven Pyser (part-time lecturer, SBC)
    • Prof. Meredith Schalick (clinical professor, RLAW)

    Community Engaged Scholarship

    • Dr. Stephen Danley (assistant professor, FASC-public policy)
    • Dr. Charlene Mires (professor, FASC-history and director, MARCH)
    • Dr. Sylvia Perez-Cortes (assistant professor, FASC-Spanish)

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Joanna Gardner
    • Karanveer Pannu
    • Brandon Pugh
    • Liz Ramos
    • Nitan Shanas
    • Melissa Velez
    • Students from Dr. Courtenay Cavanaugh's Violence Against Women course: Justin Addison, Rachel Andrews, Jessica Diperzio, Darris Drennon, Chennel Gardiner, Lauren Giest, Kristina Harris, Bryanna Prentice, Michaela Puryear, Samantha Tompoe, David Velez, Lisa Zibuda
    • Law School VITA Tax Prep Pro Bono Site Leaders:  Spencer Chorney, Jim Clancy, Blair Gerold, Kristen Kispert

    Cooper Civic Leadership Award

    • Shenelle Alexander

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Daryl Johnson CCAS’84
    • Robert Ransom RLAW’16
    • Craig Roscoe CCAS’13, SSW’16

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Camden Lutheran Housing
    • New Visions Homeless Day Shelter
    • Parkside Business and Community in Partnership
    • South Jersey Legal Services

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Diseree Tyler (administrative assistant, Office of Housing and Residence Life)

    Spirit of Civic Engagement

    • Student Heroes: Tammy Meneses, Sehwan (Ricky) Park, Jonathan Perez, Matteo Resanovic, Vanessa Solis-Palma, Corey Zytko
    • Office of Housing and Residence Life
    • Student Health Services
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Dr. Carol Kaufman-Scarborough (School of Business)
    • Dr. Katherine Prihoda (School of Nursing)

    Community Engaged Scholarship

    • Dr. Courtenay Cavanaugh (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Tiara DeGuzman (English/Africana studies)
    • Anthony Doran (business administration)
    • Tooba Hussain (political science/management)
    • Markenzie Johnson (political science)
    • Colin Sheehan (political science/Spanish)

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Jamal Dickerson (GSC’10)

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Legacy Youth Tennis and Education
    • Coopers Poynt School
    • Women Against Abuse
    • Project H.O.P.E.
    • The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Prof. Sarah Ricks (Rutgers Law School)

    Spirit of Civic Engagement

    • Dr. J.J. Cutuli (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)
    • Dr. Kathleen Jackson (School of Nursing)
    • Prof. Kimberlee Moran (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)
    • Events Office
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Prof. Jill Friedman (associate dean for pro bono and public interest, law)
    • Dr. Kwangwon Lee (associate professor, biology)
    • Dr. Jane Siegel (professor, criminal justice)

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Marcellus Hill (Class of 2018) 
    • AbdulMaalik Jackson (Class of 2016)
    • Parth Lalakia (Class of 2017)

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Timothy Chatten RLAW’98
    • Roy Jones CCAS’70
    • Bryan Morton CCAS’10

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Camden County Library System/Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez Downtown Branch
    • LEAP Academy University Charter School

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Joseph Sanders (director, OIT)
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Center for Urban Research and Education (Director:  Dr. Paul Jargowsky, professor, public policy)
    • Dr. Stephen Danley (assistant professor, public policy)
    • Dr. Oscar Holmes IV (assistant professor, management)
    • Dr. Patricia Suplee (assistant professor, nursing)

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Angela Ballachino (Class of 2015)
    • Cassandra Kipp (Class of 2015)
    • Michael Van Stine (Class of 2015)
    • Inaugural Cohort of Civic Scholars:  Amy Mallon, Katherine Nguyen, Shaili Patel, Angelica Shaw, and Russell Tichian

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Suzanne Cloud CCAS‘93
    • The Honorable Patrick F. Dugan RLAW‘94
    • Herbert Hinkle CLAW‘74 and Amanda O’Keefe CCAS‘13

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Camden County Women’s Center
    • Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium
    • District Council Collaborative Board

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Dr. Keith Green (associate professor, English)
    • Dr. Julie Ruth (professor, marketing)
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Elizabeth Demaray (associate professor, art)
    • Thomas Knoche (part-time lecturer, public policy)
    • Lauren Silver (assistant professor, childhood studies)

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Rosetta Beltran (Class of 2014; psychology)
    • Brian Gregg (Class of 2016; urban studies)
    • Rutgers–North Camden Schools Partnership ESL Team
    • Rasheda L. Simpson (Ph.D. student, public affairs)
    • School of Law Pro Bono Program VITA Team

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Center for Environmental Transformation
    • Camden City Public Schools North Camden Security Team

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Joseph Canada (assistant professor, accounting)
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Cynthia Dell Clark (visiting professor, sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice): for her course Applied Anthropology, which engaged her students in research to serve Cathedral Kitchen and the Neighborhood Center
    • Eve Biskind Klothen (assistant dean, law) and Joanne Gottesman (clinical associate professor, law) for Citizenship Rutgers, a major learning experience for law students
    • Michael Haeflinger (teaching assistant, English) for his design and instruction of a graduate class teaching MFA students how to teach writing to youth
    • Gayle Porter (professor, business) for her teaching of a graduate ethics, corporate social responsibility, and law class and her design of an undergraduate companion course

    Student Civic Engagement

    • David Bolanos, Class of 2013 and Joseph Harris, Class of 2013
    • Alexis Hayes, Class of 2014

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Carol Beahm, CCAS’73, SSW’81
    • Lynda Hinkle, GSC’08, RLAW’09
    • Atnre Alleyne, CCAS’06, GSC’07
    • Tatiana Poladko Alleyne, GSC’07

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Cathedral Kitchen
    • The Neighborhood Center

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Jonathan Muse (assistant dean, business)
    • Rajiv Gandhi (associate professor, computer science)
    • Wanda Hardy (lecturer, economics)
    • Carmen Pendleton (program coordinator, Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts)
  • Academic Civic Engagement

    • Prof. J. C. Lore (clinical professor, law) and Prof. Kevin Murphy (lecturer, criminal justice): for “Children’s Justice Clinic and Criminal Investigations Practicum”
    • Dr. Joan Mazelis (assistant professor, sociology): for “Social Stratification and Urban Sociology”

    Student Civic Engagement

    • Rutgers–Camden Jumpstart Corps
    • Rutgers–Camden Student Nurses Association
    • Ashlee Garton, Class of 2012
    • Salima Mostafa, Class of 2013
    • Hyun Kyu Seo, Class of 2013

    Alumni Civic Engagement

    • Andrew Podolski, RLAW‘02

    Community Partner Civic Engagement

    • Respond, Inc.

    Faculty/Staff Civic Engagement

    • Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago (Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Administration)
    • Dr. Daniel Hart (distinguished professor, psychology and childhood studies)
    • Prof. Brenda Jorett (lecturer, business)