Share Tweet Share Email

Deacon Davis Diversity Award winners named

April 5, 2012

The Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM) at NIU has announce that NIU staff members Suzanne Coffield, Ellen Franklin and Wesley Coats (who is retired) are the recipients of the 2012 Deacon Davis Diversity Award.

Named in honor of Deacon Davis, founder and former director of the CHANCE (Counseling Help & Assistance Necessary for a College Education) Program, the award was created to recognize the significant contributions made to the improvement of the status of minorities on campus by members of the university community.

Suzanne Coffield

Suzanne Coffield

For 20 years, Suzanne Coffield has served NIU in various capacities helping to shape beginning writers and teachers in training.

Her position as director of the Writers’ Workshop allows her to work closely with most CHANCE admits during their first year at Northern and to provide teaching experience for tutors eager to enter the education field.

Since her graduation from the University of Texas in 1972, Coffield’s career has followed a path of teaching, from middle and high school to community college and university.

She welcomes the opportunity to help students discover their potential and paths to academic success here at NIU.

Over 35 years ago Ellen Franklin, assistant to the director of First-Year Composition, joined NIU’s Department of English.

Ellen Franklin

Ellen Franklin

In addition to her administrative work in a large core competency program, she coordinates placement as well as program and university assessment initiatives.

Franklin’s teaching assignments include the core first-year composition courses, the first-year composition courses tailored for international students, and the team-taught practicum for graduate assistants teaching first-year composition for the first time.

Her commitment to developmental writers, recruited and supported by NIU’s CHANCE Program, is demonstrated in her 102/103P classrooms, longstanding administrative presence as program coordinator, and ongoing publication (27th edition forthcoming ) of “Contemporary Voices,” a publication showcasing NIU’s developmental writers’ outstanding work.

Wesley Coats retired from NIU in 2011 after 29 years of service.

Wesley Coats

Wesley Coats

In his position as the senior buyer for Procurement, Coats initiated and coordinated NIU’s Business Enterprise Program that is designed to grow the economic development of business primarily owned by minorities, women, and person with disabilities.

Under his direction, NIU’s Supplier Diversity Program has produced one of the largest university-based networking fairs. In addition to his professional roles, Coats has contributed greatly to the recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff by serving as a mentor, tutor and leader.

The PCSM was established by the NIU Office of the President to assure that NIU consistently and comprehensively will reflect, sponsor, mandate and totally support action designed to enhance the status of minorities.

It is the oldest commission in existence on the NIU campus.

The Deacon Davis Diversity Award recipients will be recognized during the 13th annual PCSM “Friendships Abloom” Spring Luncheon to be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Holmes Student Center Regency Room. Brief remarks and the awards presentation begin at 12:15 p.m.

Guest speakers include NIU President John Peters and student Adam Lopez. The event will also highlight the music of the Luke Polipnick Trio. All are invited to attend this free event.

For more information, contact Roselyn Snell at (815) 753-6038 or [email protected].