University Community

Ohio University awarded Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for fourth consecutive year

Ohio University has been awarded the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine for the fourth consecutive year.

Presented to U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, the HEED Award recognizes OHIO’s ongoing initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity across all campuses. OHIO and 100 other recipients will be featured in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

“It is an honor for Ohio University to be recognized for the fourth year in a row by INSIGHT Into Diversity for our efforts and commitment to embracing diversity and creating inclusive spaces for all of the OHIO community,” Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Gigi Secuban said. “We know that the work of creating a diverse and inclusive community is way more than a set of boxes to check and we are fully dedicated to continuing this work through educational programs and strategic initiatives that seek to ensure that all Bobcats feel welcomed and empowered here at OHIO.”

OHIO’s HEED Award recognition coincides with a pivotal time for the University. During a time of change, OHIO is refocusing on core strategic priorities that ensure access, inclusion, and success. In support of campus-wide inclusive excellence, OHIO continuously implements and deploys multi-faceted strategies related to recruitment, retention, student leadership development, academic success, inclusive pedagogy, diverse faculty mentoring, and proactive campus-wide diversity and inclusion education as part of its Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to diversity and inclusion for the fourth year in a row,” Ohio University President Hugh Sherman said. “We will continue to provide opportunities and initiatives that advance diversity, equity, and inclusivity throughout the entire OHIO community.”

There are several different initiatives on campus designed to help students know they have a place of support, and to highlight the voices of people from various backgrounds, including gender, race, LGBTQ+ identity, and religious and spiritual beliefs, along with others. Some programs include the Diversity Leadership Ambassador Program, Women Leading OHIO, and the Diverse Junior Faculty Mentoring Program, which provide spaces for different constituencies, including students, staff, and faculty, to feel empowered by personal experiences and professional mentorship opportunities.

OHIO also hosts many events that support diversity and inclusion efforts on campus. One of these is the annual week-long Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration that honors the life of Dr. King through multiple events focusing on racial justice, equality, and educational achievement. This year’s celebration included a drive-in brunch, highlighted as an innovative program by Insights into Diversity, silent march, keynote addresses, and a trivia night.

The University also hosted events for Women’s History Month in March, including an art challenge, a fireside chat with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, the Celebrate Women Conference, and other events to celebrate the many contributions of women. During Black History Month in February, OHIO also hosted a variety of events with the featured event being “A Conversation with Donna Brazile,” an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, and vice chair of voter registration and participation and former acting chair at the Democratic National Committee.

With pedagogical initiatives such as the Inclusive Pedagogy Academy (IPA), the Division works with partners across campus to promote inclusive teaching and learning, whether it is remote, hybrid or in-person instruction. This year, IPA assisted and aided in several OHIO members receiving the Ohio College Teaching Consortium Inclusive Teaching Endorsement by hosting a qualifying panel where OHIO faculty discussed how they navigated the realities of the important and challenging work of inclusive pedagogy into teaching.

In June of 2021, Ohio University recognized Juneteenth as an official University holiday and hosted the inaugural Juneteenth Celebration with a variety of community events. And earlier this year, the Division launched the Make Respect Visible campaign that provides the University community with expectations for engaging across differences.

To learn more about OHIO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit

October 1, 2021
Staff reports