Edith Sayre Auslander is a Tucsonan native as well as a University of Arizona alumnus and former faculty member. She served on the Arizona Board of Regents and was instrumental in establishing the
Commission on the Status of Women in 1991.
The Commission on the Status of Women created the Vision Awards in 1999 to honor leaders who manage their units in ways that exemplify the vision set out by the Arizona Board of Regents Commission in 1990. University staff, faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and administrators are encouraged to nominate individuals who cultivate diversity and advance the CSW goals relating to:
- Campus climate
- Career and professional development
- Issues of equity and inclusion.
Two awards are given: Established Visionary and Emerging Visionary. Current University employees are eligible to apply for these awards.
Established Visionary is open to those with the title of dean, department head, director, and chair, and those in positions with significant personnel oversight responsibilities. Should have demonstrated a longstanding
commitment (5 years or more) of leadership, diversity cultivation, and advancement in CSW goals outlined below.
Emerging visionary is open to those in university staff, classified staff, and faculty positions May not have the expanse control over a department or unit but will have demonstrated a strong support and encouragement for diversity
cultivation, and advancement in CSW goals outlined below.
The goals are described in question format below and may be explored in University of Arizona diversity reports to gain a deeper appreciation of the characteristics the Vision Award seeks to recognize. The nominee’s performance should be described in three general areas: Campus Climate, Development, and Demonstrated Ability to Seek Equity through the Pillars of Engaging, Innovating, Partnering and Synergy.
The nomination letter should contain specific and verifiable information describing the nominee’s commitment to diversity and the successes that have been achieved. The questions that follow are intended to assist in the development of a comprehensive testimonial and will be used to guide the Vision Awards Evaluation Committee. Please use the below questions to help guide the nomination letter. These questions are not meant to be answered one by one. Selecting a few, then shaping the nomination around those themes is ideal.
- How does the nominee work to create and/or sustain a workplace that values diversity, civility and respect among and between various campus groups: faculty, staff, graduate students, andundergraduates?
- How does the nominee address problems related to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation?
- Has the nominee promoted access to available implemented formal or informal programs to promote awareness and understanding of gender and culture differences?
- Has the nominee implemented diversity-focused hiring practices that ensure adequate consideration of women and minorities in all positions within the unit?
- How does the nominee model these values in their interactions with all groups?
- How does the nominee promote a culture of learning and personal advancement?
- How are department funds used to ensure appropriate professional development for employees, including graduate and undergraduate students?
- Does the nominee encourage mentoring and cross training within the unit?
- Does the nominee support use of the 16-hour professional development release policy?
- Does the nominee encourage use of the Qualified Tuition Reduction program and/or participation in professional development opportunities offered through Human Resources or other departments?
Vision for Equity and Inclusion
- How does the nominee use the pillars of engaging, innovating, partnering, and synergy to promote equity within the unit?
- How do unit practices help to ensure equity by gender and ethnicity at all levels, pay grades, and employment groups?
- How do unit performance appraisal practices ensure appropriate rewards and recognition for all members of the unit?
- How does the nominee promote shared governance and specifically the inclusion of women and minorities in unit decision-making across all levels and employment groups, including graduate and undergraduate student employees?
- Does the nominee support flexible schedules, enable use of Family Medical Leave, and facilitate Compassionate Transfer of Leave policies?
- How does the nominee create a desirable and productive workplace that values the needs of individuals while achieving unit goals?
Dr. Leah Fabiano-Smith, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Associate Professor, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Dr. Fabiano-Smith's is committed to cultivating diversity and actively advancing CSW goals. Her accolades include:
“…Dr. Fabiano-Smith intentionally designed this program so that all students have the opportunity to learn to render best practice services to all populations, not just those who speak specific languages or come from certain cultural backgrounds... The fact that Dr. Fabiano-Smith initiated this program in 2014 speaks to her longstanding commitment to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.”
" When I think of the word ‘visionary’ in the context of cultivating DEI, I cannot help but think of Dr. Fabiano-Smith. Despite the many challenges, repeated barriers, and pain from observed inequities, she continues to see and work toward a future where the principles of equity and inclusion are centered and all individuals can flourish.”
“Dr. Fabiano-Smith is a valued colleague and faculty member. Her goal is to bring social justice to those who have been marginalized and she works daily to improve this for clinical patients through her research, for students through her teaching and mentoring, and for our campus through her many service contributions. As a faculty member of color, I can personally attest to the important role Dr. Fabiano-Smith has played in the retention of diverse faculty, as she has repeatedly affirmed my value and presence at the University."
“Dr. Fabiano-Smith has also been an advocate and strong proponent for reforming admissions practices that were unfairly biased against underrepresented populations. In addition, she has pushed her faculty colleagues to adopt classroom and mentoring practices that respect and acknowledge cultural and racial differences."
- Michele Walsh, Associate Professor, Family Studies and Human Development - Community Research, Evaluation & Development (CRED), Emerging Visionary Award
- Susie Salmon, Director of Legal Writing and Clinical Professor of Law, Established Visionary Award
- Mary Koithan, Associate Dean, College of Nursing: Established Visionary Award
- Celeste Kanzig, Manager, Purchasing, Procurement and Contracting Services: Emerging Visionary Award
Nadia Alvarez Mexia, Director, Study Arizona: Short-Term Programs and Latin America Initiatives, Office of Global Initiatives (Established Visionary Award)
Gurtina Besla, Assistant Professor, Astronomy (Emerging Visionary Award)
- Dorothy Briggs, Director, Think Tank: Established Vision Award
- Ashlee Linares-Gaffer, Assistant Professor of Practice, Nutritional Sciences: Emerging Vision Award
- Lisa Ordóñez, Vice Dean, Eller College of Management, Professor, Management/Organizations: Established Vision Award
- Shireen Keyl, Assistant Staff Scientist, Teaching Teams Program, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory: Emerging Vision Award
- Hannah Lozon, Coordinator of Social Justice Education at Residence Life
- Chris Tisch, Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
- Anne L. Wright, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson
- Thomas P. Miller, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs
- Allison Vaillancourt, Vice President of Human Resources
- Leslie Eldenburg, Interim Dean of the Eller College of Management
- Christine Salvesen, Director of Academic Success and Achievement
- Marie Chisholm-Burns, Head of Pharmacy Practice and Science
- Carla Stoffle, Dean of the University of Arizona Libraries
- Becky Bell, Associate Athletic Director
- Leslie Porter, Director of Human Resources Consulting and Talent Management
- Sue Kroeger, Director of the Disability Resources Center, Adjunct Professor College of Education and acting compliance officer for the University's Americans with Disabilities Act
- Nancy Daru Yaeli, Assistant Director, Vice President, Constituent Relations, Alumni Association
- Beth Mitchneck, Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Paul Kohn, Assistant Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid
- Joanne Lagasse-Long, Director of the International Student Programs and Services Office
- Margaret “Casey” Kilcullen-Steiner, Assistant Director of Facilities at University Animal Care
- Sally Stevens, Executive Director of the Southwest Institute for Women
- Raji Rhys-Wietecha, Assistant Director of the Diversity Resource Office
- Special Award: Peter Likins, “Living the Vision and Showing Others the Way”
- Caroline Garcia, Associate Director for Finance and Administration
- Marie G. Swanson,Dean of College of Public Health
- Jacqueline Chadwick, Associate Vice President for the Arizona Health Sciences Center Phoenix Campus
- Charles Tatum, Dean of the College of Humanities
- Maria Teresa Vélez, Associate Dean of the Graduate College
- Kathryn Bayles, Head of Speech and Hearing Sciences
- Joaquin Ruiz, Dean of College of Science
- Melissa Vito, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students
- Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, Head of Women’s Studies
- Rebecca "Becky" Potter, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the College of Medicine
- Pamela Powers, Program Director of the Arizona Tobacco Information Network
- Gail Barker
- Marie Rozenblit
- Larry Evers, Head of the English Department
- Daniel Stein, Head of the Physics Department
- Magdalena Vargas, Special Assistant to the Registrar
- Susan Wilson-Sanders