Defender of Diversity

In 1994, the orgnaization now known as Prism: The LGBTQ+ Staff, Faculty, and Graduate Student Association initiated the Defender of Diversity award. It is given each year to an Ally or Allies who have made distinguished contributions to the LGBT community. It has been administered by the LGBT Equity Center since 1999.

The award contains the following quotation.

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man [or woman] stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he [or she] sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
--Robert Kennedy, South Africa, 1966

Award Winners

  • 2019 Shelby Renee Speer, Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Center for Student Engagement & Financial Resources at the Universities at Shady Grove
  • 2018 Alexis Y. Williams, Instructional Development Specialist, Teaching & Learning Transformation Center
  • 2017 Catherine A. Carroll, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct
  • 2016 Erin McClure, Chief of Staff, School of Public Health
  • 2015 Jenna Beckwith Messman, Sexual Health Program Coordinator, University Health Center
  • 2014 Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean, College of Arts and Humanities
  • 2013 Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Chief Diversity Office and Associate Vice President
  • 2012 Deborah Grandner, Director, Department of Resident Life
  • 2011 Sally Koblinsky, Assistant President and Chief of Staff
  • 2010 Cordell W. Black, Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity
  • 2009 C. D. Mote, Jr., President, University of Maryland, College Park
  • 2008 Paul Dillon, Patrol Commander, Public Safety
  • 2007 Donna B. Hamilton, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean for Undergraduate Studies
  • 2006 Laura D. Scott, Organizational Development Specialist, Center for Leadership and Organizational Change
  • 2005 Susan Bayly, General Counsel, Office of Legal Affairs
  • 2004 Nancy Yeroshefsky, Assistant Director for Human Resources, Facilities Management
  • 2003 Gay Gullickson, Professor of History at the University of Maryland and Chair of the University Senate Human Relations Committee
  • 2002 Victor Korenman, Associate Provost at the University of Maryland
  • 2001 Sheila E. Hixson, Delegate to the Maryland Legislature
  • 2000 Marie S. Davidson, Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Maryland
  • 1999 Parris N. Glendening, Governor of the State of Maryland
  • 1998 William E. Kirwan, President of the University of Maryland
  • 1997 Sharon M. Grosfeld, Delegate to the Maryland Legislature
  • 1996 Margaret Alton, Regent of the University System of Maryland
  • 1995 Cheryl Kagan, Delegate to the Maryland Legislature
  • 1994 Hank Dobin and Art Eckstein, Professors at the University of Maryland