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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

Annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards recognize the achievements of individuals, departments and organizations to create a more culturally diverse, competent and inclusive KU Medical Center community.

Diversity Award

The annual Vice Chancellor's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards recognize the significant achievements of faculty, staff, learners, departments and organizations that are developing and enhancing a more culturally diverse, competent and inclusive KU Medical Center community.

Each spring, an individual and a group are honored during a special ceremony highlighting their work. The ceremony includes a keynote address focusing on a timely topic, crucial to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our KU Medical Center community.

2022 Awards Ceremony and Keynote Address

Keynote Address 

Keynote Panel Moderator: Dr. Lynn Fisher


  • Maria Alonso Luaces, Ph.D., Education Assistant Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health
  • Dana Baker, MBA, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Colleen Loo-Gross, M.D., MPH, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine-Wichita, Family & Community Medicine
  • Carli Zegers, Ph.D., MBA, APRN, FNP-BC, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
  • Donna Vandivier, MBA, Assistant Director, Facilities Management


Individual Award Winner

  • Kakra Boye-Doe, M.D. Candidate

Team Award Winner

  • JUNTOS – Center for Advancing Latino Health, School of Medicine, Population Health

Past Award Winners

Individual Award: Kristina Bridges, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Individual Award: Jason Glenn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine

Keynote Address: Vice Chancellor Jerrihlyn McGee, DNP, RN, CNE

Individual Award:

Ryan K. Gove, MS, Director of Student Life, Academic and Student Affairs

Group Award:

University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center Outreach Recruitment and Engagement Core Team

Keynote Address: Meredith Gray, MD, Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Micaela Wexler, DO, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Marillac Campus: "Best Practices for Inclusive Interaction and Care for Transgender Persons"

Individual Award: Diana Acevedo

Diana Acevedo was awarded the individual Diversity and Inclusion Award for her extensive work advocating and promoting minority women going into STEM careers. Diana has created programs, mentored numerous Hispanic and Latino students, and provides hands-on guidance to students interested in science and research all while completing her doctoral studies. Diana also recently won the Student Diversity Award.

Group Award: LEND

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities training program was awarded the group Diversity and Inclusion Award for their work increasing inclusion at KUMC and throughout the community. KU LEND prepares graduate and post-graduate level professionals from a variety of disciplines to provide family-centered and culturally competent services to families of children with developmental disabilities. They are an interprofessional team of advocates, researchers and trainers, as well as providers, addressing health care needs throughout the state.

Keynote Address: "Health and Education: A Dreamer’s Perspective"

Individual Award:

Todd Moore was awarded the individual Diversity and Inclusion Award. He is a project director in the Family Medicine department in the School of Medicine where he has been instrumental in recruiting diverse populations for clinical studies. In addition to extensive diversity and inclusion work throughout Kansas City, Mr. Moore has helped facilitate right-time programs at KUMC and revived the annual Black History Month recognition events.

Group Award: Student Diversity Council

Student Diversity Council was awarded the group Diversity and Inclusion Award for providing a safe space for students to bring national conversations on diversity and inclusion to the forefront at KUMC. The Student Diversity Council is an interprofessional group dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion and cultural competency on the KUMC campus. The group has been in existence since the mid-1990s but changed its name and focus in 2013.

Keynote address: "Dr. King and Being Creatively Maladjusted", Kevin Willmott, filmmaker, screenwriter, KU faculty member

Individual Award: Vicki Hicks

Vicki Hicks, School of Nursing, was awarded the individual Diversity and Inclusion Award for her significant contributions to diversity, inclusion and cultural knowledge for the School of Nursing and beyond. In addition to her extensive teaching and international activities, Ms. Hicks works locally with homeless shelters, schools and refugee centers. She initiated the annual poverty simulation, which gives nursing students insight into healthcare issues for lower income and minority populations -  a highlight of nursing students' educational experiences.

Group Award: Office of International Programs

The Office of International Programs was awarded the group Diversity and Inclusion Award for going beyond basic levels of support for KU Medical Center's international community by actively contributing to numerous diversity, cultural awareness and scholarly activities such as the weekly Culture Hour, International Education Week, faculty exchange programs and helping to advance the goals of the diversity and inclusion cabinet.

Keynote address: Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Individual Award: Maria Alonso Luaces

Maria Alonso Luaces, KU School of Medicine Office of Diversity & Inclusion, received the individual Diversity and Inclusion Award for her selfless and far-reaching efforts to improve the environment at KU Medical Center for students, faculty and staff. Dr. Alsono Luaces has led the campus in providing medical Spanish to all students, serving as a faculty member, advisor and mentor, and active contributor to the campus-wide diversity goals.

Group Award: Center for American Indian Community Health

The Center for American Indian Community Health (CAICH) received the group Diversity and Inclusion Award for their steadfast work in building relationships with the American Indian Community to promote health and wellness, offer training and implement successful strategies to bring educational opportunities to future students.

About the Sculpture

Sculpture awardThe Excelsior sculpture was created by local artist Gary Kahle. The design conveys the concept of "ever upward - reaching great heights but continuing to strive for more." The two columns connect to a complete circle, representing how individuals working together can come full circle to do great things.

Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

University of Kansas Medical Center
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Mailstop 2015
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-3319
Fax: 913-588-1412