2018 Deacon Davis Diversity Award winners named

For 2018, the Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM) acknowledged the contributions of student Pablo Valencia-Garcia,  Associate Professor Janice Hamlet, Academic Counselor Labrian Carrington, and former director of BELIEF Program and former PCSM Member William C. McCoy. The Deacon Davis Diversity Awards were presented during the Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon held on Wednesday, April 25, at the Holmes Student Center. The luncheon was attended by students, staff, faculty and members of the community.

Pablo Valencia Garcia

To find out more about Pablo Valencia-Garcia, look no further than the very first page of NIU’s website as he is a student chosen for the Huskie Spotlight. He is a transfer student from the College of DuPage. His nominator wrote:

“Pablo exemplifies what this award stands for. Since his arrival on campus, Pablo has been at the forefront of supporting students and giving back to the community. If I am ever in need of assistance, I always think to myself, ‘I will call Pablo.’ He is dependable and does a good job no matter the task at hand.”

Janice Hamlet

Associate Professor Janice Hamlet, “has been engaged in focusing on diversity and inclusion for her entire tenure at NIU,” according to her nominator. As the president of the Black Faculty Association, she encouraged staff to join, and the organization now has the name the Black Faculty Staff Association (BFSA).  Additionally, her nominator added:

“She educates beyond her classroom and has helped to advance the opportunities and education for students, staff and faculty by creating platforms for research, education and tough discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion. She is dedicated to supporting and educating students. She educated and trained Diversity Education Ambassadors through a communication course to prepare them to provide classroom diversity discussions throughout campus.”

LaBrian Carrington

Academic Counselor Labrian Carrington “has great integrity in all he does and has touched many students’ lives with his compassion, wisdom and leadership,” according to one nominator. Another nominator wrote, “Labrian works diligently to make sure students have the tools and skills necessary to succeed on the NIU campus and in life. He also works with [many] minority student groups hosting workshops on topics such as mentoring, leadership and perseverance.”

Former director of the Building Ethical Leaders Using an Integrated Ethics Framework (BELIEF) Program in the NIU College of Business, Dr. William McCoy, previously served as the treasurer of PCSM. His nominator mentioned several awards and NIU press releases about McCoy over the years. An NIU graduate,

McCoy previously served as the president of the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA). The BFSA supports Black faculty, staff and students, and brings “issues important to our community to the attention of the university’s leadership. The BFSA is committed to working with all people to achieve these goals and objectives.” In 2016, McCoy also received the Presidential Support Professional Staff Award for Excellence.

Bill McCoy

As part of the luncheon, Tiffany R. Harper, associate counsel at Grant Thornton LLP, served as the Keynote Speaker. She discussed the history of academic freedom, who has been left out and who needs to be included for the future of academic freedom to be fair. She received Rising Star status recognition by the Illinois Super Lawyers in 2015 and 2016 and the Rising Star Award in 2012. Among numerous other recognitions, she was one of the National Bar Association’s 40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates in 2015 and is considered one of the Top 100 Black Lawyers for corporate bankruptcy and restructuring.

For more information, contact PCSM Chair Felicia R. Bohanon at 815-753-1868 or fbohanon@niu.edu.

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