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Eastern Kentucky University is one of only two institutions in Kentucky to receive the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight into Diversity magazine.

The HEED Award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. EKU will be featured along with the 82 other recipients in the November 2016 issue of Insight into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees and best practices for both, continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity magazine. “We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

At Eastern, that includes a variety of programs that promote the value of diversity campus-wide as well as a new scholarship program to help students achieve their educational dreams.

“We believe that providing our students with support and opportunities will help create an atmosphere of inclusive excellence,” Forde said. “We firmly believe that all students can succeed and we just want to do our part in making sure that they have a wonderful EKU college experience.

As part of the Diversity Office Scholarship Program, 20 financial aid scholarships valued at $1,000 per academic year and 20 book scholarships valued at $500 per year will be awarded this fall. In addition to receiving much-needed financial assistance, scholarship recipients will participate in a variety of programs designed to give them the tools for success, inside and outside the classroom.

“The purpose of the program is to expand and enrich campus life by recognizing and supporting outstanding students from first-generation, low-income and various cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds with diverse interests, perspectives and life experiences,” said Forde. “Our office is committed to helping students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds achieve their academic goals, and this program promotes academic excellence through monthly workshops, mentoring and involvement in on-campus activities.”

The University Diversity Office also sponsors:

·         monthly brown bag/”thinkposium” sessions and movies on relevant topics for students.

·         a Minority Retention Initiative Team and other initiatives to help identify at-risk minority students.

·         “Diversity Dialogues.”

·         “Courageous Conversations” for faculty.

·         a 20-member team of Staff Diversity Advocates.

·         professional development opportunities.

For more information about the 2016 HEED Award, visit

For more information about programs and services offered by the University Diversity Office, visit