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Making a Difference in Diversity

Mizzou group, students, faculty members recognized for contributions

October 21st, 2010

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

By Brad Fischer

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Three University of Missouri students, a faculty member, and one organization have been honored recently with 2010 Inclusive Excellence Awards. The award is given to individuals and groups who have made exemplary contributions to any area of diversity at MU, including issues of gender, racial-ethnic background, religious belief, sexual orientation, and abilities and disabilities. The winners of this year’s awards, as well as their achievements, are:

  • Brian Booton coordinates the Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology program at MU. The program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students exploring environmental careers through research-based training. Booton also coordinates the Exposure to Research for Science Students program, which is designed to encourage underrepresented students to enter graduate school and pursue careers in biomedical research. The program has more than tripled in size under his leadership.
  • Tapashree Tah is a chemical engineering doctoral student currently serving on the executive boards of the Cultural Association of India and the Missouri International Student Council at MU. Tah was president of Mizzou’s Cultural Association of India in 2009 when she organized several cultural events.
  • Ellis Ingram is the senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. During his 30 years as a faculty member, Ingram has taken a leading role in the organization of medical shadow programs for minority students. In the community, Ingram and his wife, Pam, founded a non-profit afterschool program for Columbia children.
  • The Mizzou ADVANCE Steering Board led the ADVANCE program , which focused on developing a more diverse workforce through the retention of senior women faculty in science, engineering and math. The board is directed by Jill Hermsen. Other members of the board include Lesa Beamer, Suzanne Burgoyne, Meera Chandrasekhar, Carol Deakyne, Jeni Hart, Jackie Litt, Carol Lorenzen, Marge Skubic and Sheryl Tucker.
  • Amy Williams is a second-year law student at the University of Missouri. During her time at Mizzou, she has served as a Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Peer Educator, committee chair for Vagina Monologues, and president of Active Minds. Currently, Williams volunteers at True North Shelter and serves on the board of directors for Global Issues Leadership Development. She is also the advisor for the Sustainability Peer Resource Outreach (SPROUT) program.

The awards will be presented as part of the Mizzou Diversity Summit. The summit is a biennial event that includes workshops and discussions focusing on improving diversity at the University of Missouri.