Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality (CODRE)

Marian Vasser & Dr. Kaila Story 2018-19 Presidential Exemplary Multicultural Award Recipients


I am pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018-19 Presidential Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award and Presidential Exemplary Multicultural Engagement Staff Award:

Dr. Kaila Story

2019 Presidential Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award

Dr. Kaila Adia Story is an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a joint appointment in the Department of Pan- African Studies. Dr. Story has also held the Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Studies position for the past twelve years since coming to the University in 2007. 

Dr. Story has embraced teaching as an opportunity to inspire and transform. She encourages her students to raise questions, probe the unstated, construct new ideas, and critically examine the world, society, and themselves. While at the University of Louisville, Dr. Story has created four courses, (Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, Black Lesbian Lives, Black Feminisms in Action, and Queer Performance), two of which, (Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, Black Lesbian Lives), were used to create the LGBTQ Studies minor housed under the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies major in 2009. Teaching LGBTQ+ Studies has not only been important to student body of the University of Louisville, but to the larger Louisville community as well.

Dr. Story has demonstrated though her teaching, course assignments, podcast and community events that she not only incorporates multicultural and global perspectives within her classroom, but outside of it as well. Through her public platform and pedagogical praxis, Dr. Story reflects the fundamental contributions of diverse groups; encourages and engenders critical thinking, and has utilized a variety of educational strategies and texts to get students engaged.

Marian R. Vasser

2019 Presidential Exemplary Multicultural Engagement Staff Award!

Marian R. Vasser has been a UofL employee for approximately 26 years and has served in multiple capacities.  Currently, she serves as the inaugural Director of Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence, where she works tirelessly to educate and foster spaces that are more inclusive and equitable for all.  Since the inception of this role in July 2016, she has conducted nearly 700 workshops both on and off campus, focusing on various social justice topics such as Implicit Bias, Power and Privilege, Micro-aggressions, Engaging in Difficult Dialogue and more.  Marian has successfully collaborated with campus partners to institutionalize Implicit Bias workshops in most general education courses and departments across campus.  These efforts directly support the university’s goal of truly making UofL a great place to learn and work.  Marian is committed to addressing and exploring effective responses to bias-related incidents throughout our campus.  In addition to facilitating difficult dialogues, she also explores and educates others about effective strategies for restoring environments that are more inclusive and equitable for all.   Marian conceived and directs an Inclusion and Equity Internship program, which is designed to expose college students to the scholarship and best practices concerning social justice.  In addition to developing critical skills, they also develop impressive resume’s as they co-facilitate various dialogues.  She also conceived and directs a Social Justice Youth Summer Camp, which is designed to expose school-aged students (grades 4th – 12th) to social justice scholarship and best practices.  Her work is well-known and respected both on campus and throughout the community as being digestible and effective.

Congratulations to both recipients on receiving this honor.









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