UT Austin Students Earn Diversity Leadership Awards

By Nick Nobel
June 14, 2021

The University of Texas at Austin community members won several Emerging Leaders Spotlight Awards during the recent chapter meeting of the Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (TADOHE). The inaugural awards seek to highlight and acknowledge individuals in higher education who actively support TADOHE’s mission and diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI) as a whole.

Catherine Schlichting, M.Ed. won 2021’s Emerging Leader of the Year Award. The award recognizes a student leader who most noticeably demonstrates initiative, motivation and potential for continued leadership within their community or organization. Catherine serves as senior administrative associate in the College of Pharmacy’s Office of Student Affairs and recently earned her Master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from UT’s College of Education. She actively participates in DEAI events and programs across campus and contributes ideas that advance these themes in the professional Pharm.D. program. She also coordinates the college’s Project Engage Pharmacy Program.

The Exceptional Student Leader Award went to student pharmacist Grace A. Akinyemi. Grace helps with the active recruitment of diverse students in the College of Pharmacy by being a student planner and facilitator for Pharm.D. admissions over the past two years. Grace also has developed educational programs that respond to current events and traumas associated with race-based violence through her leadership role in UT’s student affiliate of the National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). The award recognizes a student who has had a positive influence on the student body and made an exceptional contribution to the community.

Student pharmacist Farhana Hossain earned the Most Involved Leader Award. Farhana has participated in and facilitated several programs and workshops in UT Pharmacy that speak to her commitment for employing inclusive practices and promoting an informed cultural awareness of social justice. In Farhana’s role as co-chair for a Student Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion Committee, she developed insightful programs, assisted in creating focus group opportunities and presented to a historically underrepresented student organization of roughly 100 undergraduate students to encourage their exploration of a career in pharmacy. The award recognizes a student leader who publicly shows involvement in college events aimed at justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

Hollie Yang, M.Ed. won the Unsung Leader Award. Hollie is a Ph.D. candidate for higher education leadership in the College of Education and a co-staff chair for the Asian/Asian American Faculty Staff Association. She has also worked with the vice president of student affairs to discuss ways the division can be more intentional and intersectional when it comes to supporting communities that are not always centered in conversation. The Unsung Leader Award recognizes a student leader who isn’t always recognized for their amazing contribution to their organization or community.

The Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education is a chapter of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and is aimed at leading higher education toward inclusive excellence through institutional change as well as supporting its membership of professionals through support and community. College of Pharmacy Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Skyller Walkes, Ph.D. was recently elected TADOHE president.

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