Diversity Award

Questions? Email diversityawards@utsa.edu.

Purpose of Award

The university encourages an environment of dialogue and discovery where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

In keeping with UTSA Core Values, the President’s Distinguished Diversity Awards (PDDA) are annual awards that bestow the highest level of recognition to individuals or groups for work that helps the UTSA community think about and practice diversity and inclusion in creative and collaborative ways. The awards especially seek to recognize efforts to engage students in cross-cultural activities to demonstrably extend their knowledge of communities different from their own and/or to enhance their multicultural competence for working with diverse communities at UTSA, San Antonio, Texas, and beyond. In this sense, we envision the awards to not simply reflect and encourage service to our diverse community, although doing so is sufficient for nomination. Ideally, the awards will also advance UTSA’s academic mission to produce multiculturally experienced community members who then become the country’s multiculturally skilled and inclusive professionals and leaders.

Recipients will receive their award alongside the President’s Distinguished Achievement Awards at the annual University Excellence Awards ceremony held in April.

Award Criteria & Eligibility

Faculty and Staff – Two awards will be given. One award of $1,000 will recognize any individual faculty/staff member. Another award of $1,000 per person (up to $5,000) will recognize a group of 10 or fewer faculty and/or staff members from any office across the university.

Students – Two awards will be given. One $500 award will recognize an individual student. Another $500 award will recognize a Registered Student Organization.

All award amounts are listed before taxes.

All accomplishments by the nominees should have taken place, or culminated, within the past three academic years (2019-2020 through 2022-2023).

Student nominees must be in good academic standing with the university.

Timeline 2022-2023

November: Call for nominations


February/March: Award selection committees review nominations and determine recipients

March/April: Award recipients are notified

April: Award recipients are formally recognized at the University Excellence Awards Ceremony 

Nomination Information

A Diversity Award review committee will focus on this award and be composed of a diverse group of faculty, staff and students, many of which are previous recipients of the award.

Please complete this Nomination Form and submit the nomination form by February 11, 2023. For any questions email DiversityAwards@utsa.edu 


Tips on Developing a Strong Nomination

The PDDA Student Individual and Registered Student Organization Award recipients should display some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Identified by peers, faculty, staff, or the community as a diversity and inclusion champion, embodying UTSA Core Values.
  • Advocates for diverse populations at the university.
  • Promotes and fosters community by either sharing awareness and understanding of how persons or groups identify or by learning about the value of diversity and inclusion for future collaboration within society.
  • Collaborates with key stakeholders such as faculty, staff, and departments, student organizations on campus and in the community to garner support / cast a wider net for their cause.
  • Creates an environment of equity, social justice, and inclusion for students and groups in the university and larger community.
  • Addresses all of the issues aforementioned with the greater San Antonio community and beyond.

The PDDA Faculty/Staff Individual and Group Award recipients should display some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Identified by peers, faculty, staff, or the community as a diversity and inclusion champion, embodying UTSA Core Values .
  • Develops innovative initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion within the university.
  • Serves on programs and activities that promote the development of multicultural understanding and cross-cultural competence.
  • Coordinates and/or implements initiatives that create a supportive/inclusive environment.
  • Creates an environment of equity, social justice, and inclusion for students and groups in the university and larger community.
  • Provides evidence of positive outcomes or impact from their work.
  • Demonstrates connection of diversity and inclusion activities to research and scholarly activities.

The following serve as examples of information to include in the nomination form:     

  • Incorporates a clear statement of importance of diversity and inclusion in group or department mission statement.
  • Recruits, retains, and serves students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups.
  • Increases the retention and graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups.
  • Provides mentoring/advising for students from underrepresented groups.
  • Provides mentoring for junior faculty and staff from underrepresented groups.
  • Develops and implements learning activities that prepare students for a diverse and global society.
  • Integrates diversity into the curriculum.
  • Supports research, service and scholarships in the area of diversity.
  • Provides opportunities or professional development of faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups.
  • Develops activities or partnerships with minority-serving institutions, visiting scholars and guest lecturers from underrepresented groups.
  • Outcomes data regarding any of the above.

Past Recipients


Kat Carrillo, Research Integrity (Staff Recipient)
Quyen Do, PRIDE Family Studies Lab (Student Recipient)
UTSA 1882 Dual Language Community Lab Schools Partnership Team: Juanita Santos, Sarah De La Garza, Tiffany Farias-Sokoloski, Michael Vriesenga, Youmna Dbouk, Claudia Garcia, Lucinda “Nicki” Sohn, Lorena Claeys, Kimberly Perez, Belinda Bustos Flores (Faculty/Staff Group)
PRISM (Student Organization)


Lilliana P. Saldaña (Staff Recipient)
Rey Villanueva (Faculty Recipient)
G-Force Mentors (Student Group Recipient)
Microaggressions Awareness Committee: Traci Guinn Buckley, Kalia Glover, Brandi Scott, Yolanda Williams, Vincent Perez, Sara DeTurk, Jessica Dawson, Carol Gonzalez, Alvin Curette, Anne Margaret Trujillo (Staff Group)


Maritza Hernandez (Student Recipient)
Musicians of Business (Student Organization)
Courtney Balderas-Jacob (Faculty/Staff Recipient)
Office of Veteran & Military Affairs: Lisa Carrington Firmin, Michael Logan, William Lansdon (Faculty/Staff Group)


Taylor Waits (Student Recipient)
Kathleen Carter-Stiggers (Staff Recipient)
Sara DeTurk (Faculty Recipient)
Black Faculty & Staff Association: Wanda Guntz, Brian Kelley, Sonja Lanehart, Michelle Skidmore, Yolanda Williams (Faculty/Staff Group)


Sanah Jivani (Student Recipient)
Bilingual Education Student Organization: Leslie Hernandez, Marina Lopez, Melba Ochoa, Marisol Reyes, Natalia Salto, Vanessa Torres, Julissa Vera (Student Group Recipient)
Kelly Nash, College of Sciences (F/S Recipient)
Institute of Texan Cultures (F/S Group Recipient)


Francis Garner (Student Recipient)
Sonia Saldívar-Hull, Women’s Studies Institute, College of Liberal and Fine Arts (F/S Recipient)
African American Studies Symposium Committee: Rhonda Gonzales, Sonja L. Lanehart, Joycelyn K. Moody, Scott Sherer, Deborah Thomas (F/S Group Recipient)



Diego Mancha (Student Recipient)
Feminist@s Unite: Megan Michelle Moran, Gemetria Williams, Solae Villarreal, Natasha Villalobos (Student Group Recipient)
Mimi Yu, East Asia Institute (Faculty/Staff Recipient)
TEAM: Teacher Education Autism Model Center: Lee Mason, Alonzo Andrews, Jennifer Alaniz, Melissa Kaplan, Vanessa Cox, Vanessa Gutierrez, Victoria Escobedo, Katherine Golden, Lauren Ortega, Laura Joann (F/S Group Recipient)


Hannah Beck (Student Recipient)
Mexican American Student Organization: Jose Mario Castillo, Carla Martinez, Ezekiel Perez, Leo Trevino (Student Group Recipient)
Gail Taylor, MBRS-RISE and MARC U*STAR, Center for Research and Training in the Sciences (F/S Recipient)
Tomás Rivera Center: Leticia Duncan-Brosnan, Margaret Floyd, Lisa Johns, Cynthia McCowen (F/S Group Recipient)


Jenna Burns (Student Recipient)
Victoria Garrett (Student Recipient)
Ann Eisenberg, Honors College (F/S Recipient)
Women's Professional Advancement and Synergy Academy: Marietta (Em) De la Rosa, Ann Eisenberg, Marcheta Evans, Rhonda Gonzales, Raquel Marquez (F/S Group Recipient)


Charles Miles (Student Recipient)
Joycelyn Moody, College of Liberal and Fine Arts (F/S Recipient)
Academy for Teacher Excellence: Lorena Claeys, Ellen Riojas Clark, Belinda Bustos Flores, Lucretia Fraga, Norma Guerra, Maria Kaylor, Mary Riedel, Betty Travis (F/S Group Recipient)