GSE proudly represented at annual PSU diversity awards

2017 Diversity Award recipients (left to right): Judy Bluehorse Skelton, Aslihan Alkurt, Samuel Henry, Ebony Oldham, and Tara Cooper. Not pictured, Virginia Luka.

The annual PSU Diversity Awards were held May 23, 2017, at the Native American Student and Community Center on the PSU campus. 

Samuel Henry is only the second person tapped for the Vice President’s Global Diversity Award. Carmen Suarez, PSU Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion, conferred the award to Henry, who was also featured as the keynote speaker at the celebration. Henry is an associate professor emeritus in the Curriculum and Instruction (CI) department and has worked at PSU since 1992. During his tenure, Henry served as chair of that department, was the GSE doctoral program coordinator, and was the director of the Intercultural Initiatives for the Center for Academic Excellence. In 2010, he was named to the Oregon State Board of Education as a member and served that group as chair. In 2016 he was nominated to Governor Brown’s Oregon Quality Education Commission.

Aslihan Alkurt is the recipient of the 2017 Graduate Student Diversity Award. She is a native of Turkey and is currently working on a CI master’s degree. She works closely with Henry, who proudly nominated her for this award. Alkurt also works in Senator Jeff Merkley’s office in Portland.

GSE alumna Judy Bluehorse Skelton, ’08, was selected for the PSU Faculty Diversity Award at this year’s event. She is a senior instructor of Indigenous Nations Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a graduate of the Leadership for Sustainability Education program.

Also collecting honors at the Diversity Awards celebration was GSE graduate student Ebony Oldham who was honored by the Commission on the Status of Women for her essay submission.

GSE alumna, Virginia Luka, ’16, received the President’s Diversity Award for Distinguished Staff. She is an advisor for PSU’s academic and pre-professional groups in the Student Activities and Leadership unit of Student Affairs. Luka is a graduate of the Leadership for Sustainability Education master’s program.

These individuals join GSE’s Tara Cooper, who received the President’s Diversity Award for Distinguished Staff at the event. She is the sixth GSE faculty member to earn the President’s Diversity Award. The other five are: Esperanza De La Vega (2016), Samuel Henry (2015), Lynda Pullen (2010), Julie Esparza Brown, and Yer Thao.

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