UT Culture Ambassadors promote positive, diversified campus

August 6, 2010 | Features, UToday
By Kate Wente

You may be wondering why some UT staff members are sporting a new kind of pin around campus. That blue circular pin with the University crest exhibits a new group — the Culture Ambassadors.

Established by Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity, the Culture Ambassadors group is designed to promote a positive and diversified atmosphere on campus.

The Culture Ambassadors group is divided into three committees: the tone committee, which deals with changing the overall quality of communication on campus; the outreach committee that is responsible for interacting with the Toledo community; and the ambassador program committee, which organizes on-campus events to promote the group’s message of good will and friendliness.

The first such event was Meet Your UT Culture Ambassadors last spring with outdoor fun that included food, lawn games, music and the first presentation of the Diversity Award.

“The Diversity Award is designed to recognize one UT faculty or staff professional and one student who have made extraordinary improvements to curriculum program activities or services to assist the University in responding to its commitment to diversity,” said Amelia Acuna, assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admission and leader of the ambassador program committee.

“This year’s deserving recipients were student Tracy Ellis and faculty member Dr. Donald Godfrey,” Acuna said. “We felt Dr. Godfrey [professor of surgery] exhibited extraordinary commitment to the University’s diversity program, as did Ellis with her establishment of the Climb Program, which is a community-based higher education program that enhances preparation for higher education.”

The Diversity Award consists of an honorary plaque and a check for $600.

Another recent Culture Ambassadors’ program was a Mother’s Day jazz brunch with flautist Alexander Zonjic and vocalist Maysa Leak.

Be sure to look out for the Culture Ambassadors’ upcoming event, Music Fest 2010. The music festival will be held on Centennial Mall on Main Campus Thursday, Sept. 2, with live bands, food, fireworks and other activities.

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