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Willena Stanford Diversity Award Nominations Accepted at UW

December 4, 2020

Nominations for the Willena Stanford Commitment to Diversity Award will be accepted through Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. The award honors Stanford, a former University of Wyoming African American and Diaspora Studies instructor.

The award, sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue (MLK DOD) steering committee, is available to any UW student enrolled for the 2021 spring semester. The committee funds the award.

The award was established in 2006 to recognize students who, through their actions, have demonstrated a commitment to enhance and support diversity and equal educational opportunities for all students at UW. The award was created in honor of Stanford, a former member of the MLK DOD committee and a longtime member of the UW faculty. She had a strong commitment to the education of all students and made significant contributions to diversity at the university.

Nominations will be accepted from UW students, faculty, staff and administrators. Nominations should be in a one-page letter with the subject “Willena Stanford Diversity Awards” and sent to Julio Brionez, an MLK DOD committee member, at Questions about eligibility also should be sent to Brionez.

The nomination letter should include the nominee’s name, class standing, major and how the nominee has enhanced and supported diversity at UW. The nominators should include information about themselves, including their names, titles, contact information and relation to the nominees.

A committee will select the winner, and all nominees will be recognized at the MLK DOD virtual award ceremony in February when the annual weeklong celebration will be held. Additional programming information will be available later.

“To make the virtual ceremony feel more personalized and engaging, this year we will reach out to the finalists’ nominators for an optional video compilation that can include the finalists’ peers, friends, family members and nominators,” Brionez says. “We will have resources and support available, if needed.”

The committee will begin compiling the videos the second week of January, he adds.

For more information about the optional video, call Jay McKendall, an MLK DOD committee member, at (307) 766-6492 or email

For more information about the Stanford award or MLK DOD program, call Brionez at (307) 352-9554 or email

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