Diversity-Specific Awards

The following awards recognize students who are devoting their efforts towards the celebrating and promoting cultural diversity and education in addition to demonstrating student leadership and service at Vanderbilt.  Students who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply for these awards.

Accolade: The Chancellor’s Diversity Award

Accolade recognizes a rising senior whose academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities contribute to the diversification of the Vanderbilt student body. Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student and be scheduled to graduate May of 2016. Questions regarding the award may be directed to Lyn.Fulton-John@vanderbilt.edu

Imani Award: James Lawson Award for Leadership: The Rev. James Lawson Award for Campus and Community Leadership

The Imani Award honors the Rev. James Lawson, who served as a faithful and determined leader in the African-American community during the Civil Rights Movement and is still very active today, including teaching here at Vanderbilt. Imani is the Swahili word for “Faith.” Funded by the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, this award recognizes a graduating senior who has continuously been an integral part of campus life and has demonstrated an outstanding capacity for leadership and devotion to Vanderbilt. The winning senior receives a monetary award and a plaque. The award will be given at the Magnolia Awards ceremony on Monday, April 13, 2015.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to jeff.s.king@vanderbilt.edu or frank.dobson@vanderbilt.edu

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Leadership Award (formerly the “Muliebrity Prize”)

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Leadership Award honors an undergraduate or graduate student(s) who demonstrates leadership in activities that contribute to the achievements, interests, and goals of women or that promote gender equity.  Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, and/or advisors; students may also nominate themselves or their peers.  The award will be given at the annual Magnolia Awards Dinner coordinated by the Student Leadership Development Office, where the honoree will be presented with a certificate and small cash award.  Questions about this award may directed to emily.c.hickey@vanderbilt.edu

Reverend Beverly A. Asbury Award for Interfaith Dialogue

Reverend Beverly A. Asbury is an outstanding person who served Vanderbilt University with honor and distinction for nearly 30 years as chaplain, Director of Religious Affairs and as an adjunct professor at the university’s Divinity School. In addition to his involvement in civil rights since his youth, Rev. Asbury brought to Vanderbilt a sense of life, commitment and tolerance that changed the culture on campus forever. Reverend Asbury has also contributed his knowledge and expertise as a founder of the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lectures, Vanderbilt Martin Luther King, Jr. Series, the Vanderbilt Holocaust Art Collection, and Project Dialogue. Working with students of different faiths, traditions and races, Rev. Asbury would build All Faith Chapel to give a space for diverse and welcoming worship on campus. A true humanitarian and bridge builder, Rev. Asbury brought together students, staff, faculty, and the community in conversation when it was needed most.

Undergraduate students whom exhibit the mindset of Rev. Asbury in work towards interfaith dialogue are encouraged to apply for the Rev. Beverly Asbury Award for Interfaith Dialogue.  Members of the Vanderbilt Community are also encouraged to nominate candidates whom they believe would be praiseworthy in this category as well.

Questions?  Please contact Mike Zimmerman at mike.zimmerman@Vanderbilt.Edu

Robert Peter Pratt Memorial Award

The Robert Peter Pratt Memorial Award was established at  Vanderbilt University in 1991 to honor Robert Peter Pratt (1954-1991),  associate director of Undergraduate Admissions and long time leader in  promoting diversity within the student population. This award is presented to the Chancellor’s Scholar of junior or senior standing  whose accomplishments best exemplify Robert Peter Pratt’s commitment to  diversity and unity, leadership and cooperation, warmth and openness,  and unselfish service to others.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to Lyn.Fulton-John@vanderbilt.edu

Susan Jung Award

This award is given by the Asian American Student Association (AASA) and Masala SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange) to honor an undergraduate junior or senior in the Asian American Community who has shown outstanding commitment and passion to Vanderbilt through cultural and/or political education. The award honors those who exemplify the vision of Susan Jung ’88, who founded AASA upon the principle of unity through diversity in the fall of 1986.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to Alyson.Farzad@vanderbilt.edu

Thomas M. Weser Award

This award was established in 1989 in memory of Thomas M. Weser, a German exchange student who was killed while attending Vanderbilt. Each year, the Weser Award recognizes an international student who has demonstrated an unusually strong commitment to intellectual life, cross-cultural appreciation, and personal integrity.  Non-Vanderbilt community recommendations should be emailed to isss@vanderbilt.edu with the subject line THOMAS WESER Recommendation and then the person’s name who is being recommended in the text of the email.  Questions regarding the award may be directed to radhika.reddy@vanderbilt.edu

The Walther Award for Vucept Excellence

The Walther Award for VUcept Excellence (WAVE) was established in 2014 to recognize the hard work, dedication, and influence of Student VUceptors serving as undergraduate peer mentors in the programmatic initiatives of The Ingram Commons and College Halls.  The WAVE award is presented annually to up to five Vanderbilt undergraduate students, who have served at least one semester in the VUcept organization.  Students can choose to apply for the award using one of the four categories listed below.

  • Diversity Awareness – for commitment to furthering diverse perspectives among students in transition
  • Creativity – for commitment to innovative and effective approaches to student peer mentorship
  • Student Success – for commitment to providing appropriate guidance and resources to students in transition in order that they may achieve academic success and personal well-being
  • Faculty Engagement – for commitment to modeling engagement with faculty inside and outside of the classroom

All students who, at the time of application, have completed their first year or their third year (lifers) as VUceptors will be automatically considered for two specific awards (listed below). These applicants must complete one additional essay question.

  • Lifer Award – Students serving in the VUcept organization for three years who demonstrate excellence in the role will be eligible for this award
  • New VUceptor Award – Students completing their first semester in the organization who make a compelling argument about what they have learned are eligible for this award

Questions regarding all WAVE Awards may be directed to natalee.erb@vanderbilt.edu.

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