PCDEI announces 2020 Champions Award Winners Posted on May 15th, 2020 by

The Gustavus President’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (PCDEI) is pleased to announce its Champions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion awards for 2020. Launched for the first time in 2018-19, these honors are bestowed upon a student and employee community member who go above and beyond their typical daily responsibilities to champion people, policies, or practices supporting inclusion and equity work at Gustavus. This award includes a $500 cash prize as a token of the PCDEI’s appreciation and respect for these individuals who make the Gustavus community better for all.

 This year’s student award winner is Brittney Johnson ’20. Brittney has supported, led, and initiated countless equity efforts during her time at Gustavus, including multiple years of service on the PCDEI. Ms. Johnson particularly captured our attention this year because of two unique projects of which she was a part: First, the Student Senate’s creation of an Inclusive Excellence Committee, which she not only helped bring about, but that she also chaired this year. Second, Brittney did amazing work as the co-president of the Multifaith Leadership Council, a role she embraced because she wanted to “help foster an environment where people feel as comfortable practicing their religion as I have the luxury to do.” Of her recognition as a PCDEI Champion this year, Brittney states, “I am grateful to receive this award. Knowing that the work I have helped to complete has been recognized is amazing.”

This year’s employee award winner is Vikki Smith, Dining Services. Vikki works behind the counters at Hello Wok and The Gustie Grill in the Market Place. Ms. Smith caught the PCDEI’s attention when we discovered she was nominated by students for a diversity award this year. Vikki is praised by students and staff for her friendly, funny, and cheerful disposition, her genuine concern for Gusties with food allergies or dietary needs and preferences, and for her welcoming and inclusive attitude toward every single person she serves. Upon notification of her being named a PCDEI Champion this year Vikki effused, “Oh my goodness, I am speechless! Thank you so much for this. I have no words to describe how honored I am to receive this award.”

The PCDEI is grateful and fortunate to know and acknowledge these two exceptional Gustavus community members, and is proud to bestow upon each of them the 2020 PCDEI Champions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion awards. Please join us in congratulating both Brittney and Vikki.


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