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Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award

Accepting Nominations for the Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award

Submission Deadline Date:

February 6, 2015

Recipient Announcement:

February 24, 2015 during the Black History Month Celebration

Send Submission To:

Subject Line:

Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award


Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award

The Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award is designed to inspire people in our community to engage in activities that will make Samuel Merritt University a place where all people will come and learn. The award is named for and honors Dr. Cornelius Hopper, who joined the SMU Board in 1997 and served as its chair from 2000 to 2011. Dr. Hopper has been dedicated to addressing racial disparities in the nation’s healthcare system since 1971.

Who is eligible?

  • All faculty: includes adjunct faculty
  • All staff: includes part time staff
  • All students

Definition of Nominee Categories

  • Individual – Any faculty, staff, student, or an individual affiliated with the University such as an alumna, alumnus, donor or retired employee.
  • Team – Any team or group of University members working collaboratively on a program or initiative dedicated to the achievement of SMU diversity goals; teams are not limited to formal organizational units.

Diversity Excellence Award Application Components (1-2 pages):

  1. Letter of nomination for an individual or team referencing the selection criteria and includes nominee name(s), title(s), and department(s).
  2. Project description: A statement describing the exemplary program, initiative, project, or research that advances the University’s Diversity Plan (see selection criteria below).

Nomination Process

  1. Any SMU faculty, staff, and students can make nominations; self-nominations are accepted.
  2. Nominations should be submitted to  by February 6, 2015.
  3. The UDAC Diversity Award sub-committee will review nominations and make recommendations to UDAC, for the final decision.

Selection Criteria
The selection of the recipient(s) will reflects work around one or all of the five focus areas highlighted in the University’s Diversity Plan and serves as a guide in identifying exemplary research, programs, and initiatives. Nominated projects and programs must advance one or more of the following selection criteria:

  • LEADERSHIP: Leadership in the development and implementation of programs with measurable outcomes for stimulating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive University
  • CAMPUS CLIMATE: Demonstrated efforts that foster an inclusive and supportive campus and/or classroom climate that encourage culturally competent and respectful interactions across diverse groups.
  • RECRUITMENT OF UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS AND FACULTY: Development of innovative methods/strategies around advising, mentoring, recruitment and retention of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff with measurable outcomes.
  • TEACHING AND LEARNING: Research, teaching, and learning grounded in theories, concepts, methodologies, and/or practices that:
    o    Enhance diversity, advance equity and social justice and/or
    o    Contribute to an understanding of cultural differences through infusing the curriculum, co-curriculum with health disparities education and a focus on cultural competency.
  • ALL AREAS: Designed, implemented and/or participated in community service programs or initiatives that advance diversity across or beyond the university community such as outreach, partnerships, clinical settings, and service learning with the goals to deepen cultural competency and provide health disparities education.

Nomination(s) will be evaluated based on demonstrating one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Sustainable Impact resulting in institutional change for achieving diversity.
  • Collaboration with other units, departments, programs, or communities beyond the University.
  • Accountability through assessment that establishes measurable outcomes or improvement.
  • Intersections across multiple dimensions of diversity (**intersectionality).


Award and Recognition

  • An individual awardee will receive $1,000
  • A team will receive $2,000
  • Each awardee(s) will have their name(s) inscribed on a plaque that will be prominently displayed in the Office of the President.
  • Nominees will be announced and presented February 24, 2015 during the Black History Month Celebration. 

    Please send proposals to:
    Subject line: Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award

**Intersectionality addresses an individual’s multiple identities and modalities of social relationships and seeks to understand how various biological, social and cultural categories such as gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and other axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality and inequity.