By Ryan Girves
The University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity recognized students, faculty and a department with the Inclusive Excellence Awards at the 2019 University of Kentucky Awards Ceremony. The award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals and academic or professional units that demonstrate a sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion through campus and community involvement and exemplary leadership. Five awards were granted in four categories: student (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, staff and academic or professional unit. Corey E. Baker, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, received his award from the faculty category.
"Creating inclusive excellence throughout our campus community requires us to work in collaboration with each other," said Sonja Feist-Price, vice president for institutional diversity. "We have students, faculty, staff, and academic and professional units that give of themselves beyond what anyone would ask or expect. And they do so because of their love for our campus community, and because they recognize what it takes to become a university where everyone — irrespective of identity or perspective — feels a sense of belonging."
Winners exemplified one or more of the following characteristics:
- Builds awareness, understanding and relationships in the name of diversity and inclusion.
- Creates leadership opportunities, teams, organizations and support systems that promote a diverse and inclusive environment.
- Sponsors or actively promotes programs, initiatives or projects in the area of diversity and inclusion.
- Collaborates with others in the sponsorship, development and implementation of innovative projects and/or programs.
- Acknowledges and rewards exemplary individual and team behaviors that promote diversity and inclusion.
- Secures funding to promote and sustain programs in response to challenges that can affect the fostering of a diverse and inclusive cultural climate.
Since joining the college in January 2018, Baker has focused his diversity and inclusion efforts on the demographic concerns in computer science and engineering by successfully recruiting underrepresented graduate students to the computer science program. Through his leadership of the newly launched Graduate Student Campus Visit Program (GVS), the Department of Computer Science has the largest number of black doctoral students in its history. Baker’s efforts have brought long-term impact and change to the College of Engineering.