Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity

8th Annual Inclusion and Diversity
Achievement Award Winners - 2016

Makela HayfordUndergraduate Student Achievement Award: Makela Hayford

Makela Hayford is a third-year sociology major, with a minor in social justice. She is a recipient of the Louis Stokes Congressional Black Caucus Scholarship and after graduation she plans to continue her education and pursue a career in law. Ultimately, she would like to serve as a judge. She is a student activist and focuses on ensuring racial and gender equity on campus and in the larger community.


Tirth Raj BhattaGraduate/Professional Student Achievement Award:
Tirth Raj Bhatta

He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. He also serves as a research assistant. He is passionate about social justice issues, primarily those related to economic, race and gender inequality in education and health. Through his involvement in graduate student organizations, he has raised the issue of representation, diversity and financial security.


Parameswaran RamakrishnanFaculty Leadership Award: Parameswaran Ramakrishnan, PhD.

He is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology in the School of Medicine. He joined Case Western Reserve University in the summer of 2013.


His lab has two research interests: 1) to understand the molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes and 2) to study the link between inflammation and cancer.


Parameswaran RamakrishnanStaff Leadership Award: Arthur Evenchik

He is assistant to the dean for special projects in the College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2011, he has coordinated the college’s Emerging Scholars Program, which provides academic support, advising and mentoring to students from the Cleveland area who attend the university.

In addition, he is editor of arts/sci, the college’s alumni magazine.


The Spoken English Programs Educational Services for Students (ESS)

The programs support international students on campus. Programming includes Spoken English tutoring for undergraduate, graduate and professional students as well as a variety of seminars for international graduate students.


A recent addition to the programs is the Seminar in Communication and Conversation. In this free, six-week seminar, graduate students are able to explore language and culture through interactive discussions. More than 150 students have completed the seminar since its inception in summer 2015. Sarah GeitherOther offerings include Seminar on Accuracy for Presentation Skills and a spoken English seminar. The program also collaborates with International Student Services to provide presentations for the International Student Success Series. The Spoken English Programs also host a number of cultural events.


“I greatly value the opportunities I have had, and continue to have, to learn with and from my students, ” said Elise Geither, PhD, (above) associate director of Spoken English Programs. She operates the programs with assistant director Sarah Dellinger (bellow).

See previous winners



1. Faculty Leadership Award

Recognizes a faculty member's contributions or efforts toward enhancing the goals of diversity, equity, inclusion and multiculturalism at the university, particularly in the areas of teaching, research or service that exceeds the routine expectations of the faculty’s position.

2. Staff Leadership Award

Recognizes a staff member who promotes a culture of inclusion that encourages relationships and interactions among people of different backgrounds, a culture that enhances human dignity, actively diminishes prejudice and discrimination and improves the quality of life for everyone in our community.  


3. Department/Office/Unit Excellence Award

Recognizes an office, department or unit that has demonstrated a commitment to building a workplace and learning space that is inclusive of difference and values diversity of all kinds. This commitment should be evident by proactive actions including, but not limited to, inclusive policies and procedures, workshops and trainings and other undertakings that have helped create an inclusive environment.

4. Graduate/Professional Student Achievement Award

Recognizes a graduate or professional university student who has demonstrated leadership and commitment toward diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism through academic excellence, service, volunteerism and/or research.

5. Undergraduate Student
Achievement Award

Recognizes an undergraduate university student who has demonstrated leadership and commitment toward diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism through academic excellence, service, volunteerism and/or research.

© 2016 Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, 216.368.2000 (legal notice)