DASS Honors Diversity Champions

The Division of Applied Social Sciences Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) Awards Ceremony was held earlier this month. The event honored students, faculty and alumni, and was presented by the DASS IDE Awards Committee. See photos from the event on CAFNR’s Flickr. Receiving awards were:

Keondre Harrison, a senior in hospitality management. For Keondre’s capstone course he was required to preplan, plan, execute and conduct a post-event analysis. Keondre created a seminar surrounding diversity and inclusion in the workplace, featuring a panel of leaders within our community knowledgeable about the topic. To promote the events, Keondre reached out to DASS faculty, staff, and students, the local high schools, as well as local businesses with an invitation to attend the event. Nearly 48 people attended the event April 24, and it received rave reviews for its relevancy and timeliness.

Anadil Iftekhar, a PhD student in rural sociology. Anadil’s PhD research studies how migrant Muslim women in central Missouri assimilate to the U.S. through community gardening. Anadil’s desire to share the importance of finding community in a new country conveys her passion for increasing awareness for the challenges faced by migrants. During her time as a PhD student, she has been active in starting the CAFNR International Engagement Program to support international students. She serves a mentor in this program and has matched incoming international students with current students to guide them in choosing housing, arriving on campus, and scheduling flights. Additionally, she regularly schedules grocery store rides for new students without cars. Within the DASS Graduate Student Association, Anadil co-wrote a document for incoming students to address topics such as cell phone services and banking set up in the U.S. At the University level, Anadil has been active in the South Asian Student Association, serving as a representative to the campus-wide Graduate Programs Committee where she was an advocate for South Asian graduate students and their needs.

Corinne Valdivia, professor and director of the interdisciplinary international development minor. Dr. Valdivia’s research interests focus on transformational changes that shape people’s livelihood decisions and sustainable development. She has studied the livelihoods, entrepreneurship and integration of Latino newcomers in the Midwest; how Andean societies adapt to globalization and climate change shaping their rural landscapes; and innovative pathways for smallholder farming in Africa. She was a founding member of the Cambio de Colores Conference and is the current interim Co-Director of the MU Cambio Center, which leads research and outreach on Latinx and changing communities. Dr. Valdivia shares a deep purpose for doing research to impact policy and maximize welfare for the common good.

Andrea Woolverton, BS, Agribusiness (’02), PhD, Agribusiness (’07). Dr. Woolverton worked as an economist within USDA Economic Research Service and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Currently, she resides in Nicaragua where she is the co-founder of Twin Engine Coffee. She and her husband recognized that nearly all of the world’s coffees are grown in the world’s poorest countries and sold to exporters who reap the profits that could stay in the producing countries. Twin Engine Coffee partners, grows, selects, roasts, and packs single-origin coffees at the source in the heart of Nicaragua and sells the product all over the world. 400% more of the coffee’s value remains in Nicaragua when it is sold abroad through Twin Engine Coffee. Through her work and entrepreneurship, she is addressing poverty and providing opportunities in Central America by positively impacting the lives of coffee farmers in Nicaragua.