COSAM News Articles 2020 December COSAM OIED names 2020 Inclusive Excellence in STEM Award winners

COSAM OIED names 2020 Inclusive Excellence in STEM Award winners

Published: 12/01/2020

By: Matthew Gonzales

The COSAM Office of Inclusion, Equity and Diversity (OIED) has awarded the 2020 Inclusive Excellence in STEM Faculty award to Dr. Stephanie L. Shepherd, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences, and the Inclusive Excellence in STEM Student award to Abby Beatty, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences. About her recognition, Abby Beatty stated, “I honestly can't think of any award I have ever received that means as much as this one.”

This award, first given in 2019, is intended to recognize distinguished and exceptional faculty, staff, and students who have shown exemplary efforts to promote inclusion and diversity. The OIED annually recognizes both a faculty or staff member and a student who have demonstrated tremendous leadership in advancing Auburn University’s mission to build a more diverse and inclusive climate within COSAM. Importantly, each winner of the Inclusive Excellence in STEM award is also granted up to $250 of financial assistance by the OIED to sponsor an event or program designed to continue the award winner’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion within the college. “I love that part of the award is the opportunity to do some more outreach,” said Abby Beatty, highlighting the importance of continuing the work that earned her this award in the first place.

In that vein, 2019 Inclusive Excellence in STEM Student award winner Hayleigh Hallam has begun implementing the event she designed. Specifically, Hayleigh is leading a student book club that focuses understanding and addressing racial disparities in healthcare. During the holiday break, students will read and discuss Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care by Dayna Bowen Matthew. The book club will culminate on February 4th, 2021 with Ms. Hallam hosting a panel discussion of professionals that can expand on topics in the book including health disparities, implicit bias, and how the structure of the healthcare system contributes to these issues. This event will be open to all students, faculty, and staff. 

Furthermore, 2020 Faculty winner Dr. Stephanie L. Shepherd has begun planning her event. Specifically, she will screen Picture a Scientist, a documentary highlighting the inclusion of and discrimination against scientists who are women. Following the screening, she will host a panel discussion focusing on the inclusion of women in the STEM fields.

Learn more about this year’s Inclusive Excellence in STEM award winners here.
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