Union honored for diversity efforts, STEM leadership

Publication Date

Union has been named a winner of a HEED Award by Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

This marks the third straight year the school has been honored by the magazine, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Award recipients were selected based on their institution’s ”exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on their campuses, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.”

Union is among more than 90 schools selected for the honor. The winners will be featured in the magazine’s November issue.

“We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED award recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, the magazine’s publisher. “Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across a campus.”

Diversity remains central to Union’s institutional identity and mission and is a key priority of the College’s Strategic Plan. This includes advancing efforts to recruit exceptional, diverse faculty and students; building a learning environment that fosters democratic values, social responsibility and ethical understanding; and nurturing a community that encourages socially responsible innovation.

The College’s commitment to diversity is the focus of a cover story in Insight’s October issue, “Union College: Where Diversity Always Has a Seat at the Table.”

“Making sure that diversity is written into our institutional priorities and goals inform how we make decisions about how money is spent and about governance decisions. It doesn’t just sit on a shelf,” President Stephen C. Ainlay says in the article.

Shortly after he became president in 2006, Ainlay created an Office of Campus Diversity and Inclusion and an Office of Multicultural Affairs.

“Union is more inclusive than we have ever been before, but it has taken intentional work, strong leadership and strategic vision to create a campus climate where everyone can succeed,” said Gretchel Hathaway, the College’s chief diversity officer.

Insight also recently recognized two Union faculty members with its 100 Inspiring Women in Stem Award. Ann Anderson, the Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Mary Carroll ‘86, professor of chemistry, were among those honored for their work in making a difference in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Anderson and Carroll joined Union in 1992.