Dr. Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award

In honor of Dr. Francine C. Childs, the first tenured African American professor at Ohio University (OHIO) and longtime stalwart for social justice and equality, this award represents the most prestigious diversity honor bestowed upon an OHIO student. Recipients will be individuals who promote the principles of social justice, leadership, cultural diversity and service to the campus and/or region. Award recipients are awarded at the Annual Leadership Awards Gala in April.

Dr. Francine Childs was Professor Emerita in the Department of African American Studies at OHIO where she has served in various capacities, including but not limited to curriculum chair (1974–1996), director of summer programs (1975–1978) and department chairperson (1984–1989). This award is named in her honor to recognize and celebrate her significant contributions to the university, her leadership in academia and her role as a change catalyst in the lives of OHIO students.

Selection Criteria

Nominees should be undergraduates of junior or senior status and should have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Student candidates can be nominated by any students, faculty, staff or alumnus. Self nominations are permitted.

Nominations should include a description of how the candidate has advanced institutional diversity and inclusion goals, including:

  • Evidence of leadership excellence in the advancement of social justice and equality within and/or outside the university
  • Evidence of commitment to diversity through campus and community involvement
  • Examples of encouraging and motivating collaborations to promote inclusively
  • Demonstration of creative or innovative work to advance the academic success or leadership capabilities for underrepresented populations (e.g. first generation college students, minorities, women in STEM, etc.)


Award Recipients

Reaija Grice

2023 | Reaija Grice

Reaija has a passion for student-centered experiences, uplifting marginalized communities, and providing equitable experiences for all.

Vincent Eguakun

2022 | Vincent Eguakun

My purpose is to leave Ohio University a place better than I found it. I've translated my experiences in promoting racial equality and diversity through my lived experiences over to my positions at OHIO.

Betty Miller

2021 | Betty Miller

"My NAACP organization created #areyOUaware articles to raise awareness about events or issues facing the Bobcat community including COVID-19, racial inequality, the crisis between Israel and Palestine, and sexual assault. Our new podcast showcases opinions of young Black intellectuals speaking about the importance of voting, intersectionality, and culture."

Diarra Ndiaye

2016-2017 | Diarra Ndiaye

Diarra is enrolled in Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College. She is president of the Golden Key International Society and a tutor at the Academic Advancement Center. She also serves on the Honors Tutorial College Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a second-year LINKS Peer Mentor. Most importantly, she is tireless in her efforts to advance social justice and equality on campus and beyond.