Seven graduate students recognized for diversity & inclusion efforts

Monday, May 22, 2017
Seven graduate students and one faculty member were recognized for their contributions to the community at the Graduate Diversity & Inclusion Spring Recognition Banquet on May 12.
Hosted by the Graduate School, the Banquet celebrates the close of the academic year and recognizes diverse graduate and professional degree students for their academic, professional, and service related achievements. 
Steve Halaby, Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, received the Advanced Career Exemplary Service Award for his demonstrated track record of outstanding service and leadership to the Cornell Graduate School community through his efforts to improve diversity, inclusion, outreach, and student engagement.
Josephine Gonzales, Ph.D. student in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, received the Early Career Exemplary Service Award for her commitment to increasing diversity and inclusiveness on campus by recruiting diverse students from underrepresented backgrounds and engaging as a leader in student organizations.
Aravind Natarajan, Ph.D. candidate in microbiology, received the Excellence in Leadership Award for his dedicated work in the GPSA and various student organizations to improve the academic and social experiences of graduate and professional students on campus.
Chris Peritore, Ph.D. student in plant pathology and plant microbe biology, received the Social Justice Award for his commitment to social justice and persistence to improve society through numerous initiatives on campus including GRASSHOPR and the Intergroup Dialogue Project.
Ezen Choo, Ph.D. candidate in pharmacology, received the Community Outreach Award for her commitment to mentoring and engaging youth in science as a longstanding member and current president of GRASSHOPR, and as a member of various other graduate clubs and societies.
Suzanne Pierre and Cait McDonald, Ph.D. candidates in ecology and evolutionary biology, received the OISE Diversity & Inclusion Change Agent Award for their strategic vision and leadership that brought to fruition a successful student-led pre-admission diversity recruitment weekend for prospective students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in ecology and evolutionary biology, and neurobiology and behavior.
Antonia Jameson Jordan, lecturer in biomedical sciences, received the Unsung Hero Award for her mentoring of students in the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine program, and her engagement as a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine's Diversity Committee and as a chapter advisor to the College of Veterinary Medicine's student club and the newly formed Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.