For Greene County News
FAIRBORN — Joyce E. Smith, the administrative support coordinator for equity and inclusion at Wright State University, won the Diversity Visionary Award from Insight into Diversity magazine.
The magazine is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education. For nearly 40 years, it has worked to connect potential employees with institutions and businesses and reflect local and national communities.
Smith creates a “campus culture that is welcoming to students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds and a place where diversity is clearly a top priority,” said Julianne Weinzimmer, who nominated Smith for the award and is an associate professor of sociology at Wright State.
Weinzimmer and Smith are working together to bring the Dayton Dialogues on Race Relations to the Wright State campus through Weinzimmer’s sociology of race and ethnicity course. The dialogues bring students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds together to discuss issues of racial and ethnic inequality, privilege, identity and awareness.
Smith is working as a facilitator of the dialogues, leading students through a six-week training program. She has been facilitating for almost 10 years at Wright State.
“Students consistently inform me that she is an amazing facilitator with endless positive energy and compassion and that she helps them see the realities of race relations today as well as what changes are needed for racial equality and social justice,” Weinzimmer said. “I value her commitment and the unique skills and knowledge she brings to this role so very much.”
Smith is active in fostering diversity across the Wright State campus. In 2010, she received the International Advocate Award for her service to the international student population.
She works with international students as an advocate and has been a host family to many. She serves as a liaison and board member for the African and African American Studies Intercultural programs and has worked with a local high school exchange program, assisting international high school students.
Smith also volunteers with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally student organization and as a result was awarded the Diversity Award from the Division of Student Affairs.
Smith has worked as an instructor in Wright State’s First-Year Learning Communities and helps incoming freshmen. She currently works in the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Weinzimmer said that Smith is devoted to eliminating barriers to equality on campus and epitomizes the diversity at Wright State.
Smith is “respectful of all cultures and eager to learn from others’ perspectives. She constantly steps out of her comfort zone … to help make campus a better and more inclusive place for all,” Weinzimmer said.
Story provided by Wright State University.