2013 DDLA honors conferred among cheering supporters


A full house of enthusiastic celebrants gathered at Palmer Commons on Tuesday to congratulate the 11 individual staff members and five staff team recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Diversity Leadership Awards.

“I want to be the first among many to congratulate the individual and team recipients of this year’s awards,” said Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs.  “I’m very pleased that during my tenure in the Provost’s Office I was able to collaborate with my good friends and colleagues Laurita Thomas and Anthony Walesby to create the DDLA, which recognizes the important and vital role staff play in furthering diversity.”

Walesby, associate vice provost, senior director of the Office of Institutional Equity and event master of ceremonies noted the broad influence of the day’s honorees.

“The individuals, teams, programs, offices and committees that we honor this morning truly embody the spirit of service to the Michigan community and beyond,” he said.

The individual DDLA recipients are:

• Jason Davis, ECE alumni relations coordinator, Electrical & Computer Engineering.

• Chanel DeGuzman, program manager, Student Counseling & Programming — School of Public Health.

• Cora Edwards, clinical research coordinator, Radiation Oncology.

• Gerald Hoff, senior billing representative, U-M Health System Registration & Insurance Verification.

• Leon Howard, residence hall director, University Housing.

• Sharon Lobdell, student adviser/tutoring coordinator, UM-Dearborn Academic Support & Outreach Services.

• Armando Matiz Reyes, research area specialist, Health Behavior & Health Education Department.

• Henry Meares, assistant dean, School of Education.

• Elizabeth Studley, nurse anesthetist, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

• Tom Sullivan, training specialist lead, Facilities Maintenance.

• Lynette Wright, associate director of material and moving services, Plant Operations.

DDLA individual award winners are, from left, Gerald Hoff, Leon Howard, Sharon Lobdell, Elizabeth Studley, Armando Matiz Reyes, Tom Sullivan, Cora Edwards, Jason Davis, Chanel DeGuzman and Lynette Wright. Awardee Henry Meares is not pictured. (Photo by Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

The five team awardees are:

• U-M Detroit Center staff.

• Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Diversity Committee.

• Social & Behavioral Issues in Medicine course team.

• Understanding Race theme semester co-chairs.

• Graduate Student Success Team – Rackham.

“Seeking diversity and inclusion requires a continuing and sustained effort,” said Thomas, associate vice president for human resources. “We need each other to encourage us when the road gets rough. We cannot be all we can be without you.  The university could not be what it is to the City of Ann Arbor or the county, region, state, nation and world without the work you do.”

At Thomas’ behest, the breakfast event ended with a spirited round of applause: “Let’s celebrate these wonderful people, like it was last Saturday, when we all were on our feet, cheering through the entire fourth quarter!”

The DDLA recognizes individual staff members and teams for their accomplishments, and provides a monetary prize — $1,000 for individuals, $2,500 for teams — to be used toward professional development activities.  Staff members on all campuses and UMHS are eligible.


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