The Graduate School has been recognized by Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for its efforts to create inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ community at the university.
The school received the center’s 2015 Outstanding Department Award on April 10 at Lavender Graduation, an annual ceremony that celebrates LGBTQ and ally undergraduate and graduate students who are completing their degrees at Duke. Traditionally awards have only been given to staff and faculty members. This is the first time the center has given an award to a department.
“We are very honored to receive this award,” says Paula D. McClain, dean of The Graduate School. “It recognizes the progress we have made and reminds us of the work we still have to do. It’s also a well-deserved pat on the back for our staff members, who have worked diligently to help achieve that progress.”
To help create an inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community, The Graduate School has
- held a reception each fall to celebrate the LGBTQ and ally community at Duke;
- participated in the center’s ally training to learn how to better support the LGBTQ community;
- provided funding and outreach support to the student group DukeOUT;
- held a professional development panel that explored issues facing LGBTQ students, faculty, and teaching assistants in university classrooms and other instructional settings;
- made an addition to its application system to help admitted students connect with campus groups that support their diverse backgrounds and experiences, including LGBTQ organizations; and
- created the Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education (all three recipients so far have been recognized in part for their LGTBQ-related efforts).