Social justice, intercultural awareness and fostering positive relationships are significant reasons as to why diversity is vital to the campus community at The University of South Dakota. Individuals demonstrating these exceptional characteristics were honored on April 9 at the Celebration of University Leadership awards program.
The 2011 Diversity Awards were presented to a member of the USD faculty and staff as well as a USD student, who was honored with the Rosa Louise Parks Award. Nominations were provided by all members of the university community to recognize outstanding leadership in diversity and cultural awareness.
The Dream Catcher Award, which is presented annually to an individual or individuals � through deeds or actions � who represent the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including social justice, equality and the preservation of Dr. King�s �dream,� was awarded to Lana Svien, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Svien�s impact on diversity is evident as she travels regularly with a team to impoverished American Indian Reservations in South Dakota. She continues to be involved with many diversity initiatives, including Sharing the Dream, a local organization committed to employing women, caring for elders and providing work opportunities for widows in Guatemala.
The Vive la Difference Award recognizes a Career Services Employee who supports and fosters diversity on the USD campus. Marcia Harnois, program assistant, Department of Physical Therapy, was cited for promoting diversity efforts on campus. Previously, Harnois served as president of the Campus Diversity Enhancement Group and she has also served as a United Way Board member and as coordinator of the Daffodil Days.
The Rosa Louise Parks Award, given annually to a student who contributes to intercultural awareness, supports diverse activities and demonstrates positive interactions with others, was presented to Marque Snow, a political science and history major from Marion, Ohio. Snow was nominated for contributing exceptionally to increase intercultural awareness by supporting diverse activities and demonstrating positive interactions with others. While at USD, Snow has served as the Black Student Union President, the Campus Diversity Enhancement Group and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity where he has helped orient new diverse students to the chapter.
Award recipients are presented with a certificate and a gift of $50. Recipient of the Dream Catcher Award also receives a unique work of art.