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McCleary-Gaddy named DEI Champion

headshot of Asia McCleary-Gaddy, PhD. (Courtesy photo)
Asia McCleary-Gaddy, PhD. (Courtesy photo)

The National Diversity Council has named Asia McCleary-Gaddy, PhD, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and assistant professor in the Louis A. Faillace Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, as the winner of its DEI Champions Award.

The DEI Champions Award honors professionals who are passionate about creating an impact in the field of diversity and inclusion. Diversity champions continue to put diversity first through visionary leadership and commitment to fostering change for ages to come.

The award highlights individuals who have demonstrated dedication and continuing commitment to advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplace and have fostered positive communication and actively promoted inter-group relations among persons of different races, ages, ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious backgrounds, or physical and mental abilities.

Additionally, recipients participate in a variety of corporate and community events that promote mutual respect, acceptance, cooperation, or tolerance, and display the ability to value and respect diverse points of view and varied ways to approach issues and topics.

“This award means that someone can see the impact of the work that myself and my team with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are doing,” McCleary-Gaddy said. “We often call ourselves the small but mighty team — meaning we are small in staff but intend to be mighty in our impact. To know that someone is directly impacted by the great work that we are doing, and feel motivated so much to nominate me for this award, is just beyond encouraging. At times, this job can be very challenging, but moments like this make it worth it.”

McCleary-Gaddy was recognized for the DEI Champions Award at the 2022 Health Equity & Inclusion Conference, held virtually Sept. 13-15.

Following her graduation with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology at Rice University, McCleary-Gaddy completed her master’s degree and PhD in experimental social psychology from the University of Vermont. She joined the faculty at McGovern Medical School in January 2020.

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