Two Named 2016 Faculty/Staff Ally Award Winners

School of Medicine Dean Toni Ganzel was named the LGBT Center's 2016 Faculty/Staff Ally Award winner for the Health Sciences Center and Diane Whitlock of the Office for Diversity was named the winner for the Belknap Campus during Pride Week this year. Ganzel was presented her award during a meeting of the Council for Academic Officers on November 1, while Whitlock was honored during the Pride Week Keynote Address on November 3.

Whitlock has worked at U of L for over 30 years, and for the last 15 years as assistant to the vice provost for diversity and international affairs. In that role, she's touched the lives of countless students, faculty, and staff. In March, she helped raise funds for the Rustin Community's immersion trip to Alabama by performing in drag at PINK; she traveled with Rustin students the year before to support them in learning about the civil rights movement; she has helped organize interfaith services each year during Pride Week and led a team assembling gift packets for new LGBT students. And as part of her academic work this year, she focused on the needs of LGBT students of color and delivered an important set of recommendations to the LGBT Center about ways to better serve their needs.

 One student nominator had this to say about her contributions. "She is an incredibly beautiful person who brightens your day with her support. Using both humor and motherly love, she has always supported the LGBT Center and Shades in making sure we create an reinforce a welcoming environment for students."

Dean Ganzel has established the School of Medicine as a national leader in teaching students to be great care providers for LGBT patients. Under her direction, the school's eQuality Project brought together LGBT Center staff with the Office of Undergraduate Medicine and Office for Community Engagement and Diversity to infuse the curriculum with LGBT competencies established by the American Association of Medical Collages. She also commissioned a survey to assess the climate for LGBT students, faculty, and staff and presented certificates to graduates of the LGBT Health and Wellness Competency Certificate program. Stacie Steinbock, director of the LGBT Center's satellite office at the Health Sciences Center, says Ganzel's leadership has been a key to success. "There is a reason we are national trailblazers and without a doubt it's Dean Ganzel's vision and courage in moving us forward. She deeply believes this is the right thing to do and never wavers in her support."

The LGBT Center introduced the ally awards in 2008 to honor the work of faculty and staff who have helped create an environment of inclusion for LGBT people. Candidates for the award can include any U of L faculty or staff member- LGBT, straight/cisgender, questionsing, or those whose orientation/gender identity is unknown- who is making positive decisions and speaking for LGBT people at U of L. Past winners include:

2008 Provost Shirley Willinghanz and Vice Provost Mordean Taylor-Archer
2009 Nancy Theriot and Julie Onnembo
2010 Michael Anthony
2011 George Howe
2012 Michelle Clemons
2013 David Wigman
2014 Laine Lopez
2015 Sam Marcosson, Susan Sawning, and Amy Holthouser

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