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Reports and Awards

The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion presents to you the  2022 Award Recipients


Facutly Excellence Award Recipients

Pamela S. Allen, MD

Health Sciences Center

To the OU Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the OU DEI Awards Selection Committee, and OU Community at large, I am truly honored to be awarded the 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Faculty Excellence Award. It is my desire to be a cultural change agent in my academic, clinical, research, and community environments. Whether in the classroom, during patient encounters, faculty engagements, directing symposiums, or organizing community initiatives, I believe that celebrating DEI principles and its intentional integration into the fabric of our lives will lead to an enhanced institutional culture. I strive to inspire and support learners and early faculty members, especially those of underrepresented-in-medicine backgrounds, through mentorship; giving them the encouragement to know that their past challenges do not dictate their destiny. Thank you, again, for this prestigious recognition. There’s still a lot of work for all of us to do; and I’m just getting started!

Syeachia N. Dennis, MD, MPH


I am honored to receive the “2022 DEI Faculty Excellence Award” from the University of Oklahoma. I am passionate about this work and excited about what progress will mean for our university and for our communities.  It is a pleasure to work with so many on our Tulsa campus and community partners. 

Dr. Angela Person


I am honored to be a part of a campus community that has come together to lay a strong foundation for a more equitable and inclusive future. Every day, our colleagues, students, and alumni demonstrate incredible tenacity and intentionality—whether re-working curricula to represent diverse perspectives, hosting DEI trainings and listening sessions, fundraising for scholarships, offering informal mentoring, and so much more. In particular, I want to thank the OU DEI Division and the Provost's and President's Offices for their investment in this labor of love. I also want to acknowledge the Gibbs College dean, Hans E. Butzer, and Architecture director, Stephanie Pilat, as well as our faculty, staff, and students, who have partnered to demonstrate an unwaivering commitment to this critical work.

Champion Awards for Outstanding Staff Recipients

Karen Mulkey, MBA, MS APR 


I am honored, humbled and very surprised to receive this award especially as a white woman with the name Karen to top it off.  But, I learned from the best mentors, so from the bottom of my heart I want to thank Drs. Dennis, Pasha, Willis-Wallace, Walker and about to be Dr. Brittany Ladd.  I also want thank Kelli Hayward-Walsh, OU Health Marketing and the School of Community Medicine's Dean Herman and Jonathan Joiner for support.  I  hope one day we can live in a world that recognizes the harm racism, sexism, and all bigotry causes to health and happiness of our fellow humans. We have a lot more work to do, and we all have a responsibility to be a part of that ongoing effort and to certainly keep an open mind.

Jasmine Henry


 I am grateful for being a recipient of the Lifting the Voices of Inclusion award. The biggest honor goes to my team at the GEC who supported the numerous events and programs as well as the students we work with and serve, they have given us the opportunity to attain our overwhelming success over the past few years. I love the work that I do and the people I work with which includes the students, staff, and faculty on this campus who continue to strive to make the campus more inclusive, equitable, and safe for everyone.

Maria Del Carmen Esparza

Health Sciences Center

The University of Oklahoma is important to me. This university allowed me exposure to spaces I never thought capable of achieving. I received my undergraduate and graduate education from OU and then transitioned into a full-time role for the university- the OU community helped me exceed in all these areas. Thank you for allowing me to be my authentic self, which has allowed the celebration to all parts of me. 

Student Advocacy Award

Undergraduate Student Recipients

Nicholas Michael Robbins


I want to thank God, my parents and sister, and all my friends I’ve made at OU, as well as my girlfriend, professors and boss for all the wonderful things you all do in my life. I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without you. And I’m proud to be even consider for the student advocacy award, let alone win it. Thank you very much for this tremendous honor. 

Devin Brown


My underlying aim during these last four years has been to continue the task of current and past students, staff, and faculty of making this campus more of a home for students that don’t find themselves in the majority. I owe my ability to thrive on this campus to those that are still here, those that have moved on from OU, and those that were never granted access to institutions like this in the first place. My trajectory is forever altered by my time at OU and I could never be more grateful. 

Student Advocacy Award

Graduate Student Recipients

Tanara Nicole Ellis

Health Sciences Center

To the OU Community, I am exceedingly grateful for you all selecting me as the recipient of 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Advocacy Award. I am truly honored and I sincerely thank you all for awarding me such a priveledge.

Erika Stone DuBose


Thank you to the University of Oklahoma for bestowing upon me such an honor. Truly, this is a recognition that privilege affords opportunities to promote social justice and address social injustice. I am grateful to the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, for providing such a profound and life-changing experience that led me to my work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In particular I would like to recognize Professor Dallas Pettigrew, who teaches Diversity, the first class I ever took in grad school. And of course thank you to my family: my parents; my husband, Anthony; and especially my five children, who inspire me every day.

Nayifa Nihad


I am incredibly honored to receive the 2021 DEI Student Advocacy Award under the inaugural edition of the Lifting the Voice of Inclusion program. I have been fortunate to have found a support system at OU that empowered me to use my voice to advocate for, and with the various on-campus communities I am a part of, especially the international student community. From speaking at different panels to organizing multiple spaces to highlight the challenges and uniqueness of the international body at OU has always come from a deeply rooted passion within my heart. I cannot think of a better award to receive as I graduate and conclude my time as a student at OU, and for that, I have my community to thank. 

Innovative Programming Award Recipient

Selena: A Drag Tribute


Latino Programs and Services sends a huge thank you to the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for their recognition. We want to send a special thanks to the Gender + Equality Center, the Office of Student Life, and all of our amazing students and campus partners who continue to support the work we do. We're excited to continue brainstorming innovative and engaging ways to celebrate our culture on campus!"

Distinguished Community Engagement Award

Dr. Anna Nguyen

Health Sciences Center

It has been my privilege to serve the community of Oklahoma and in serving this community, I had received more than I gave in terms of personal and professional growth. It is my honor to receive this award. And actually, the person who really deserve credit for this is Dr. Kathleen Dwyer who has been my mentor and support. There are no words that I can express my gratitude towards her efforts. Dr. Dwyer, I want to thank you for all that you do to support me and my scholarly work, I deeply appreciate it. I will “pay forward” what you have done for me by mentoring the next generation of nurses and nurse scientists and using your selfless support as a model.

DEI Trailblazer Award

Brittany Swain


 Thank you to the University of Oklahoma Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department for selecting me as the 2022 DEI Trailblazer Award. I would like to thank my entire department at the Early Childhood Education Institute for the nomination and the opportunity to be a part of the something I am so passionate about and that is DEI work. I would like to give a special thanks to our leadership team for implementing equity driven programs such as, Anti-racism in the workplace, our equity work group and for giving me the opportunity to be present as the DEI representative in all our new hire processes. Last, but not least, thank you to my support group that consists of family and close friends as well my church family Antioch Baptist Church for all the encouragement and constant support. Without you this would not be possible.