UCL’s annual Inclusion Awards took place on Thursday 15 July 2021 and saw UCL staff and students celebrating the fantastic equity, diversity and inclusion work taking place across UCL.
The Inclusion Awards are a way of highlighting people who are making a difference to equity, diversity and inclusion at UCL, and is a chance to recognise what they have achieved.
The awards were sponsored by Challenge Consultancy and also from a personal donation from Sir Stephen Wall, former Chair of UCL Council. The event celebrated the achievements of nearly 100 nominated colleagues and teams from across the institution.
Winners were announced in 7 categories:
- 1. Provost’s Award for Embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
This award recognises an individual’s or team’s effort to embed EDI into mainstream work; through their approach and undertaking of all tasks, be it day-to-day tasks or larger projects.Winner: Prof Anna Cox - Division of Psychology & Lang Sciences, Faculty of Brain Sciences
Nominated by Ciara Wright, Faculty of Brain Sciences, who said:
“As Vice Dean of EDI, Anna has transformed the entire governance and approach to EDI within the Faculty of Brain Sciences; Appointed Equity Leads to cover 5 protected characteristics: disability, ethnicity, gender, religion/belief and LGBT+, each of which is contributing towards the intersectional EDI strategy that Anna has developed.”
Highly commended award winner: Dr Xine Yao
Nominated by Prof Helen Hackett and Regina Co, Faculty of Arts and Humanities
“I hope it’s evident from all the above how tirelessly and on how many fronts Xine works for EDI goals. In the English Department, she is an inspirational role-model for students who are women and people of colour, and an invaluable source of support for female and LGBTQ+ colleagues. She has made significant contributions to the diversification and inclusivity of our teaching and our research culture, and has galvanized departmental conversations on issues of equality and social justice.”
- 2. Sarah Guise Award for Catalyst for Change
This award recognises a person or a team doing things differently by incorporating EDI values into the way they work resulting in a positive shift in organisational culture.
Staff category winner: Library Services EDI Committee
Simon Bralee, Library Services Department, who nominated the EDI Committee for their newsletter, said:
“The newsletter has had amazing impact. For example, the first newsletter was read over 600 times. A colleague from Library Services said: "I’ve just read the EDI Newsletter and I just wanted to say that it was excellent. So much of what I read hit home, the newsletter is going to be an incredible resource for the Service."
Student category winner: Sarah Wong - UCL Medical School, Faculty of Medical Sciences
Nominated by Jayne Kavanagh, Faculty of Medical Sciences
“Sarah (Guise) would have loved Sarah (Wong’s) innovative and transformative work. In my fifteen years at UCLMS I have never known a single student to have had such a huge impact on the curriculum, and on faculty and student attitudes and skills. Sarah has made us all more inclusive and culturally conscious doctors.”
- 3. Sir Stephen Wall Award: Inspiring Role Model
This award recognises a person who has taken the opportunity to engage with staff, speaking openly about their personal experiences in a visible forum that encourages and champions diversity and inclusion in a way that new and existing staff can relate to.Staff category winner: Dr Sarabajaya Kumar - Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences
Nominated by Megan Vaughan, Caroline Garaway and Sahra Gibbon, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences
“Focusing on the complex intersectionality of inequalities, Dr Kumar very courageously used her own personal example, recording diaries of her day-to-day life under COVID restrictions and relating this to larger themes and theories. This took her some way out of her academic comfort zone and involved making herself very vulnerable in a psychological sense. The student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many students made contact with her outside of the classes to express their appreciation.”
Student category winner: Morgan Palton - UCL Cancer Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences
Nominated by: Annarosa Muscatelli Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement), Kate Brooks and Sonia Buckingham, Faculty of Medical Sciences
“Her fierce authenticity inspires those around her to be themselves, “I do not try to fit in, I do not dumb down my blackness...I am unapologetically myself because I love myself and I love being black”. This enables her to inspire the young people on a similar journey to her own, as well as to her colleagues in the Cancer Institute and UCL more widely. Morgan’s willingness to help and her openness about her own experiences is helping to lay the foundations for progression towards a more equal and diverse community.”
- 4. Embedding Accessibility Award
This award recognises an individual or team’s effort to embed accessibility into mainstream work, in so doing delivering a more inclusive experience for disabled students and/or disabled staff.
Winner: Pip Jackson - Estates Division, Professional Services Division
Nominated by Jennifer Rode, UCL Institute of Education:
“While her formal role is to ensure estates are accessibility, Pip goes well beyond her job description to ensure physical accessibility on campus. She does more than ensure accessible doors and toilets, which are the core focus of her job description. She goes beyond that and shows initiative and leadership to ensure disability and accessibility are taken into account as we transitioned online and then safely return to campus.”
- 5. Departmental Award for EDI Excellence
This award recognises a UCL department or division (including PS) that has demonstrated the most EDI commitment and impact over the past year
Winner: Chemistry Department EDI team, Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Nominated by Rebecca Sibley, Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
“The Chemistry EDI team has demonstrated commitment to EDI for a number of years, and this commitment to EDI has continued to help foster a sense of community and belonging within the department and UCL during a challenging year.”
- 6. Staff Equality Network Member of the Year Award
This award recognises an individual for their voluntary contribution to a staff equality network, recognising impactful activities and commitment to EDI
Winner: Noel Caliste - Library Services, Office of the Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement)
Nominated by Michael Sulu and Johanna Novales, Faculty of Engineering Sciences
“Noel has singlehandedly run the OUT@UCL network and the LGBTQ+ Steering Group (LESG) for the majority of the last 12 months…Noel has also been an active or leading member in the group of network chairs, that convenes to discuss cross cutting issues, support each other and share best practice. The ability to complete his salaried role, as well as run the network and steering group, alongside advocating for his community, collaborating with the student groups, and maintaining the networks social media presence is one that deserves recognition and praise.”
- 7. Pro-Provost (Equity & Inclusion) Award for Inspirational Engagement
The winner of this award is chosen by the Pro-Provost (Equity & Inclusion), to honour a member of staff who has contributed exceptionally to EDI last year, influencing senior staff and advancing outcomes for EDI communities
Winner: Dr Michael Sulu, Faculty of Engineering Sciences.
Sasha Roseneil, the Pro-Provost (Equity & Inclusion) selected Mike because:
“He is a Dignity Advisor, Inclusion Lead, Co-chair of the Race Equality Steering, and he was co-chair of the Race equality Implementation Group with me. He is also a deeply respected educator who advocates tirelessly on behalf of students.”
Thank you to everybody who took the time to recognise colleagues and students’ contributions by making a nomination. Award recipients were honoured at a virtual ceremony, with awards presented by President and Provost ,Dr Michael Spence, Sir Stephen Wall, former Chair of UCL Council, Marcia Jacks, co-chair of UCL’s Race Equality Steering Group, Simon To, Policy, Governance & Insight Manager at Students' Union, Teresa Williams, Interim Head of EDI Operations, Helene Neveu Kringelbach, Vice Dean of EDI (Arts & Humanities) and Sasha Roseneil, Pro-Provost (Equity & Inclusion).
Watch the ceremony