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UW Instructor, Student Receive Commitment to Diversity Award

May 9, 2016
Jason Thompson Commitment to Diversity Award
Cecilia Aragon, University of Wyoming Latina/o Studies Program director, is honored by Jason Thompson during a recent awards ceremony. Aragon received the Jason Thompson Commitment to Diversity Award. (UW Photo)

Cecilia Aragon, University of Wyoming Latina/o Studies Program director, and UW student Robert West, from Cheyenne, recently received the Jason Thompson Commitment to Diversity Award.

Named after the first black Associated Students of UW president, the award is given to a faculty, staff, student or community member who exemplifies a strong commitment to diversity and/or social justice. Nominees are individuals who selflessly worked to serve the greater good of the community or cause.

“To be recognized by my peers, students and staff for work on something as important as diversity, is very special to me. It is really humbling to receive the award,” says Aragon, who also is an associate professor in the UW Department of Theatre and Dance.

At the awards dinner, Aragon gave special recognition to Thompson.

“He spoke of being a social agent of kindness and compassion toward people with diverse qualities, people who have struggled in the face of adversity, racism and discrimination,” she says.

West, a molecular biology senior, will graduate this summer. A committee also selected Laramie resident Connie Coca for the community award. The organization received 26 nominations this year.

All the recognized student organizations that worked with UW’s United Multicultural Council during diversity week in the fall semester were honored during the awards ceremony.

Thompson also gave special thanks to Dolores Cardona, UW associate dean of students, who is retiring this spring.

Thompson is the chief diversity officer for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. He has both a master's and bachelor's degree in sociology from UW, and is a graduate of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School executive training program.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children.

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