Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Community Excellence Award

Presented to staff who regularly go above and beyond to create a more inclusive, just and welcoming environment within the college and our surrounding community.

Nominees will embody the values of diversity, equity and inclusion by providing leadership, coordinating diversity efforts, creating and enhancing inclusive climates, and connecting the larger community with their DEI efforts.

Nominees may demonstrate these characteristics in one or more of the following areas:

  • Raising and deepening awareness of equity, inclusion and diversity issues from an employment and service provision point of view
  • Creating a welcoming and supportive campus climate through efforts such as visibility, communication and education
  • Valuing diversity and promoting cultural competency in transformative ways that impact individual/unit/organization/division/department activities
  • Volunteering in communities external to campus to foster, strengthen and promote a just society
  • Demonstrating advocacy for social justice and intercultural awareness
  • Actively engaging in efforts to become a change agent through learning, discovery and exploration

Nomination & Selection Process

Nomination Process

  • Submit a two page, single-spaced nomination letter to Ayana Ledford (
  • Nominations can include up to two additional supporting materials (i.e., testimony from volunteer group or organization, evidence of ongoing personal learning and discovery, flyers from events, etc.)

In your nomination packet, please address the following:


The nomination should detail how the nominee has demonstrated inclusive leadership and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within the CMU community or community-at-large. In addition, the nomination should detail how the nominee’s actions have “moved the needle” in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness. The nomination may also detail how has the nominee demonstrated leadership in diversity-related work, acquired and disseminated resources to support diversity-related efforts, or developed an innovative program or project related to diversity and inclusion (i.e., serves on work groups to address department, college and university concerns, represents the college as a staff liaison, leads on boards for nonprofit organizations and supports their local PTA).


The nomination should detail how the nominee has contributed to critical issues of diversity and inclusiveness within their Dietrich College community or beyond. In addition, the nomination may explain how the nominee contributes to existing activities and projects addressing diversity and inclusion, as well as participates in or initiates diversity and inclusion-related work in areas including committees, community involvement, or community outreach (i.e., volunteer for a nonprofit organization, donating time to help community members that are not affiliated with a community group such as assisting seniors in their neighborhood, fundraising to support local schools, collecting donations for historically resilient groups in under resourced communities and/or volunteering to work election polls or canvas communities).

Personal Growth & Discovery

The nomination should detail in what capacity the nominee has participated in teaching, programming or activities designed to foster or enhance diversity and inclusion (i.e., Better Together Learning Academy, leadership training programs, or consistently engaging in community learning opportunities such as speaker series, workshops or book clubs).