Ten individuals, five teams honored for contributions to diversity


Recipients of the annual Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award for University of Michigan staff were celebrated Tuesday at a breakfast ceremony in Palmer Commons.

The award recognizes individual staff members and teams for their extraordinary commitment and dedication to diversity at U-M.

“A community celebrates what it cares about. So let’s celebrate, because we truly care about the impact of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources. “As leaders at U-M, I challenge you to continue this work because I am proud of what we are — and what we can be.”

Anthony Walesby, associate vice provost and senior director of the Office for Institutional Equity, served as master of ceremonies and recognized the outstanding support of Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity, inclusion and academic affairs, as well as Thomas, who provided the closing statements.

Established in 2008 as a collaboration between Thomas and former Senior Vice Provost Lester Monts, the award is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources, and administered by the Office of Institutional Equity.

The award 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 in the U-M Health System are eligible.

DDLA individual awardees are: front, from left, Marlanna Landeros, Veronica Falandino, Jane Berliss-Vincent, Shelly Conner; and back, from left, Amanda McLittle, Wendi Fornoff, Catalina Ormsby, Laura Sánchez-Parkinson, Elizabeth James. Not pictured: Paul Guttman (Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

Individual award recipients

• Laura Sánchez​-Parkinson​, program coordinator, National Center for Institutional Diversity

• Jane Berliss-Vincent, assistive technology manager, Information and Technology Services

• Catalina Ormsby, associate director, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program

• Amanda McLittle, director of diversity and inclusion, Housing 

• Elizabeth James, program associate, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

• Paul Guttman, director of construction services, Plant

• Shelly Conner, assistant dean, Rackham Graduate School

• Wendi Fornoff, Web developer, Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research

• Veronica Falandino, assistant director of graduate programs, School of Information

• Marlanna Landeros, program manager, Division of Public Safety and Security

Team award recipients


• Intercultural Development Inventory Team, UM-Flint

• Office of Student Services Team​, School of Social Work

• Interpreter Services Team​, U-M Health System

• The Student Leadership and Empowerment Committee, LSA



  1. Lindsay McCarthy
    on January 28, 2016 at 8:51 am

    The Interpreter Services Medical Interpreter Training Academy Team is from the University of Michigan Health System, not UM-Flint.

    • Jamie Iseler
      on January 28, 2016 at 9:22 am

      This typo has been corrected. Thanks for pointing it out.

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.