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Diversity and Human Rights
phone: 208-885-4285
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875 Peremeter Drive MS 3106
Moscow, ID 83844-3106

Dr. Arthur Maxwell Taylor

Dr. Arthur Maxwell Taylor Excellence in Diversity 2013-2014 Award Recipients

Our President’s Diversity Council Committee on Faculty Recruitment and Retention has long advocated for an Excellence in Diversity Award. As we strive to be a more multicultural organization and in particular make progress on Goal 4 of our Strategic Diversity Plan, we proudly announce the Dr. Arthur Maxwell Taylor Excellence in Diversity Award as a significant step forward in providing structure for our collective multicultural learning and development.

The recipients of the 2013-2014 Dr. Arthur Maxwell Taylor Excellence in Diversity Award are:
  • Gloria Jensen, Coordinator, Disability Support Services
    Gloria JensenGloria Jensen is the Disability Support Services Coordinator at the University of Idaho and was first employed in the fall of 1990. As the coordinator, she is responsible for coordinating programs and services for students with disabilities, including disability-related physical and academic access, and student retention. Gloria is also responsible for providing services and accommodations for students with disabilities in all satellite, outreach, on-line classes as well as all university sponsored programs and services and for coordinating services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students through the provision of interpreting services, speech to text and assistive listening systems.

    Since 1990, Gloria has worked tirelessly on behalf of students with disabilities. Many people think that students with physical disabilities are the only students with disabilities, when in fact, there is a much larger number of students with “hidden” disabilities. Gloria ensures that all students receive the accommodations needed. In an effort to make a more inclusive and accessible place for these students, Gloria has made the greatest impact by demonstrating and promoting a continuous commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus through very tangible actions by encouraging dialogue, promoting reflection, and building community action as well as by inspiring action. Gloria and her team are continuously educating faculty/staff about the ADA and how the accommodations provided meets the required laws. They must keep abreast on technological advancements and the different ways to provide mandated accommodations. She coordinates sign language interpreters for deaf students during class, field trips and many other campus events. She has created a growing captioning program for students with hearing impairments, and an assistive technology program to research new cost effective technologies. Gloria also assisted with the establishment of the Vandal Access Shuttle to provide access to campus for all UI students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Most recently, her work on the UI’s ADA committee and Ubuntu has helped her to raise awareness of the need for equal access as it relates to on-line material which has historically been inaccessible to many students with disabilities. By making others aware of this need for accessibility, these committees are working on ways to give instructors the tools and directive to making their on-line coursework to all students.

    A co-worker stated; “Gloria is thoughtful and aware of the needs and challenges presented to this underrepresented population, and the strengths many arrive with as a result of their struggles.” The Excellence in Diversity Award is meant to celebrate contributions that promote greater inclusion of all people in our campus community and promote understanding and recognition of diversity in educational, service, and outreach opportunities. Gloria works throughout the university to champion the rights of everyone. 

  • Rula Awwad-Rafferty, Professor of Architecture and Interior Design, College of Art & Architecture
    Rula Awwad-RaffertyDr. Rula Awwad-Rafferty, Professor of Architecture and Interior Design in the College of Art and Architecture has taught at the University of Idaho since August 1998. She received her Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1995. Dean Mark Hoversten and Department Head Shauna Corry state that “Rula exemplifies a faculty member who values, practices and teaches inclusivity in the classroom, on our campus, and within the community and the world. From the time she began her graduate coursework in 1990, Rula has been engaged in research and teaching that seeks to increase awareness and provide solutions for issues facing diverse populations. Her work with Mexican migrant farmworkers focused on housing needs in relation to cultural needs, and influenced the focus on her teaching two of the first Core Discovery courses, Cultural Encounters: Spain and the United States and Cultural Encounters: The Latino Story.”

    One of Dr. Awwad-Rafferty’s colleagues, Ellen McKenzie, says that Rula is an inspiration to all of us here at the University of Idaho and within the Moscow community. Every day we see evidence of her commitment and dedication to enhancing life quality for all through her understanding and recognition of diversity in teaching, committee service and service learning. She has championed the rights of people who need an advocate across all cultures and strives to create positive change. She does this not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is part of her beliefs and value set. She is passionate about inclusivity and focusing on “where we can go” to create a world that embraces all.

    Dr. Awwad-Rafferty has embraced hands-on pedagogy to facilitate engagement in a variety of service learning projects that have been successful in helping at risk communities such as Kendrick and St. Maries, the Fort Hall Shoshone Bannock Tribes and people with disabilities here in Moscow. She advocates responsibility in and out of the classroom. Responsible design that pays attention to the commonalities of local and global scales, divergent narratives, pressing needs and visions, interdisciplinary creative problem solving, richness of difference, connectedness, beauty, and inclusive participation of all. As a Service Learning Fellow, a Human Rights Commissioner, a Presidential Diversity Council Committee Co-Chair and as a human being she seeks to forward the concept of responsible design thinking and action not only in the classroom, but weaves it throughout everything she does. She has worked tirelessly on issues of race, ethnicity, gender and religion and has been an advocate for both students and community members.