Rollins Announces 2022 Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion Honorees
June 07, 2022
By Stephanie Rizzo ’09
The award honors students, faculty, and staff for efforts aimed at promoting diversity awareness, representation, and inclusion within the Rollins workplace and student community.
Each year, as classes are winding down and folks are finalizing their summer plans, the College’s Diversity Council asks Tars to consider which students, faculty, and staff members have led the charge toward a more equitable Rollins. Since 2010, the Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion has honored individuals making significant contributions to the cause of promoting representation, inclusion, and awareness among the Rollins community. This year’s awardees include a communications specialist turned podcaster, a superstar student activist, and a disability ally.
Presidential Award for Diversity & Inclusion, Staff
Jen Atwell ’11 ’20MBA
Associate Director of Internal Communications
As co-host of Rollins’ Let’s Get LITerary podcast, Jen Atwell ’11 ’20MBA is deepening the conversation on race, diversity, and equity on campus. Each month, she and her co-hosts—Kourtnie Berry ’12, assistant women’s basketball coach, and Sam Vega, director of the Center for Inclusion & Campus Involvement—discuss a new book by a person of color. Listeners can tune in and participate remotely, furthering the College’s mission to tackle topics related to DEI through conversation and scholarship. In her role as associate director of internal communications, she champions the College’s diversity initiatives and helps bring awareness of key issues and milestones to a wider audience.
Presidential Award for Diversity & Inclusion, Student
Carley Matthews ’22
Educational Programs Coordinator, OnePULSE Foundation
Before graduating this past May, psychology major Carley Matthews ’22 held multiple leadership positions at Rollins, including serving as a student coordinator for the EMBARK and Immersion programs and as president of the Black Student Union (BSU). Now she’s an education and community events coordinator for Orlando’s onePULSE Foundation, a national nonprofit supporting LGBTQIA+ causes. Matthews’ activism carries a focus on learning and education, and she seeks to provide opportunities for marginalized voices to grow and be heard within the community. At Rollins, she spent four years creating equitable spaces and implementing support systems for BIPOC students and others, all while maintaining her status as an exceptional student.
Presidential Award for Diversity & Inclusion, Faculty
Assistant Professor of Communication
As the faculty chair of Rollins’ first-ever Disability Empowerment Week, Sarah Parsloe worked with students in her Disability and Social Change class to plan a week’s worth of programming to address issues of systemic ableism in higher education. Parsloe worked with the event’s student chair, Elizabeth Smith ’22 ’24MPH, to build on work the two completed examining real issues affecting disabled persons on campus as part of the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program. Parsloe’s courses frequently involve working and building relationships with community partners, allowing students to team up with mentors and address real problems related to disability, grief, mental health, and more.
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