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Diversity Champion Awards expanded to include UNG faculty and staff

Diversity Champion Awards
The 2018 Diversity Champion Award honorees (from left): Joy Bolt, associate professor and head librarian; Chris Faulkner, head coach, men's basketball; Patrice Parris, head coach, men's soccer; and Kent Norsworthy, head coach, men's and women's tennis.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) Diversity Champion Award, implemented by UNG President Bonita Jacobs, along with Dr. Sheila Caldwell, advisor to the president on diversity, annually recognizes faculty and staff who have made outstanding contributions toward advancing the purpose and goals of UNG's mission of diversity and inclusion.

This year, the Diversity Champion Award has been expanded to include staff as well as faculty.

Dr. Carly Womack-Wynne, associate director for the Center for Global Engagement, was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2017.

This year's honorees are:

2018 Faculty Diversity Champion Award: Joy Bolt, associate professor and head librarian

Dr. Deborah Prosser, dean of libraries; Rebecca Rose, associate professor and head librarian, Cumming Campus; and Amanda Nash, associate professor and head librarian, Gainesville Campus, nominated Bolt for the award.

"When individuals consider diversity, they often think of the broad, prominent forms of race and gender," Prosser stated in her nomination letter. "Joy is hearing impaired and has channeled her experiences in living with her disability in two key directions: raising awareness for and ensuring Americans with Disabilities Act compliance within the UNG libraries while acting as liaison to Disability Services; and serving and supporting diverse populations of students and faculty across the university and beyond."

Bolt joined UNG in November 2013 as associate professor and head librarian on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus. She has a master’s degree in library science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor's degree in studio art from Kennesaw State University.

"I am very humbled by the nomination and support from my colleagues for this award," Bolt said. "What excites me most about receiving it is that UNG recognizes the importance of including those that are differently abled as part of the discussion of diversity at our institution. I feel like I have done many small things for accessibility but can see that those small things can add up to big things and winning this award encourages me to continue to be an activist for inclusion for those with disabilities."

2018 Staff Diversity Champion Award: Chris Faulkner, men's head basketball coach; Kent Norsworthy, men's and women's head tennis coach; and Patrice Parris, men's head soccer coach.

Lindsay Reeves, director of athletics; and Norsworthy and Parris nominated the trio of coaches for the award.

"All three of these coaches have made very conscious efforts to increase diversity among their respective squads during the past three years," Reeves said in her nomination letter. "Collectively, 89 percent of their teams are comprised of diverse populations from 19 international countries and six states."

 Faulkner was named head coach of the men's basketball program in 2003. He earned a bachelor of science in physical education and a master's degree in education from UNG.

"As our university and our world grows it is important that we all see diversity in every person and respect one another for who we are as a people," Faulkner said. "The UNG community as a whole has embraced this concept and it is a great privilege to be on the forefront of those efforts."

Norsworthy is entering his 13th season as head coach of the UNG men's and women's tennis programs. He is a 2001 graduate of UNG.

"We are extremely excited to be recognized for the Diversity Champion Award. The athletic department as a whole has been a proponent for international student athletes attending UNG for years," Norsworthy said. "These student athletes bring a dimension to our program that is invaluable to the fabric of the athletic department. It is a great honor."

Parris has coached the men's soccer program since 2007. He is a 1999 graduate of Georgia Southern University (GSU) with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He received a master's degree in sports management from GSU in 2007.

"Winning the Diversity Champion Award is an honor, it confirms our ability as coaches to identify student-athletes from backgrounds different from our own," Parris said. "Our diverse population of student-athletes leads toward educational growth and opportunities, and understanding of different cultures and the ability to innovate for UNG."

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