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The Roosevelt Ruffin Diversity Award

Named after the late Dr. Ruffin, who served as SVSU’s Director of Multicultural Programs and Affirmative Action, this award was created in 2005 to recognize SVSU individuals or groups who have demonstrated diversity leadership and creativity. SVSU alumni, students, faculty and staff may nominate candidates. The selected recipient will receive a financial award presented at the annual SVSU All-University Awards Banquet in April.

Eligibility/Selection Considerations

  • SVSU academic or academic support units, campus organization, students, faculty, or staff.
  • Must have implemented policies, procedures, and/or programs at SVSU to enhance diversity.
  • Enhanced diversity based on color, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran or military service status, gender identity, economic status, political belief and/or marital status.

Criteria for Nomination

Submit a letter of nomination that addresses how the nominee(s) demonstrated a commitment to enhance diversity at SVSU by describing at least three of the following:

  1. Accomplishments, leadership, and service in support of diversity enhancement
  2. Achievement in creating a supportive environment
  3. Success in recruiting and retaining individuals who represent diverse groups among faculty, staff, and administrative positions
  4. Success in recruiting, retaining, and graduating individuals who represent diverse groups among students
  5. Efforts to change the University’s culture to be more accepting and understanding of diverse cultures
  6. Methods used to educate University leadership in areas of diversity
  7. Development and implementation of community outreach projects related to diversity


A complete nomination packet must include the following:

  1. A nomination statement that addresses at least three of the criteria; not to exceed three (3) pages.
  2. Completed Nomination Form (either Individual Nomination Form or Group Nomination Form).
  3.  Three (3) letters of support not to exceed more than one (1) page each
    • At least one (1) letter of support must be from someone currently employed at SVSU, e.g., administrator, faculty, or staff member
  4. Current vita or resume of those nominated for the "Individual" category.
  5. For "Team/Group" nomination, include a list of all team members and position.


The Roosevelt Ruffin Diversity Award Committee will select one award to be given to an individual or team/group. The committee is chaired by Dr. Mamie T. Thorns, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity Programs.



For additional information, please contact the Office of Diversity at (989) 964-4068 or e-mail us at

2023 Veronika Drake

2022  Rajani Muraleedharan

2021  Kimberly Lacey

2020  Eric Gardner

2019  Barbara Jean Jones

2018  Monica Reyes

2017  Theatre Department

2016  Vanessa Brooks-Herd

2015  David Hall

2014  Dawn Hinton

2013  Joe Madison

2012  Donald Bachand

2011  Joseph Ofori-Dankwa

2010  Averetta Lewis

2009  Sahar Al-Masri

2009  Marwan Wafa

2009  Sharon Robinson

2008  Drew Hinderer

2007  Kenneth Jolly

2006  Robert & Amy Yien

2005  SVSU Student Association