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Seven Inducted into Diversity Hall of Fame

By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
June 9, 2010

Diversity Hall of Fame Inductees for 2010 were honored recently at the UNH Diversity Banquet. From left to right: Mary Schuh, Class of 1998 and 2002 for her Ph.D.; Khaleelah Hilliard, Class of 2004; Bonnie Lai, 2004; Carol Tonge Mack, 2000; John Mabry, 2003; and Joelle Ruby Ryan, 2005. Not present for photo: Jared Sexton, Class of 1996. Courtesy Photo.

Two hundred alumni, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community gathered to support and honor UNH’s progress toward inclusive excellence last month. UNH Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Aber opened the diversity banquet “Many Faces, One Mission: Inclusion” with the words of one of the founders of the NAACP in wishing for every human being to be so respected “that they have an equal opportunity . . . to show what they were meant to become.”
The following 2010 Hall of Fame inductees were selected for their achievement and dedication to community service at UNH and to their new communities.

Khaleelah Hilliard, 2004, was vice president of the Black Student Union, resident assistant for common purposes multicultural floor, and a staff member in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. She currently works as a health and welfare supervisor at a benefits firm.

Bonnie Lai, 2004, was president of the United Asian Coalition, vice president of the hall council at Smith Hall, a diversity support coalition member, McNair scholar, and recipient of the Community Art(s) Building Award. An active member of the National Association of Asian Professionals’ Boston chapter, she also writes grants to fund instrument rentals for under-privileged students.

Carol Tonge Mack, 2000, is creator of diversity and cultural competence workshops for the University of Cincinnati’s academic advising staff, which earned her and her staff the Marian Spencer Diversity Award. She is winner of the Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute for Women of Color.

John Mabry, 2003, NE Board of Higher Education Scholar and recipient of several awards for mentoring under-served students and helping under-represented community members, works in the area of intellectual property at the U.S. Patent Office in the division of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Joelle Ruby Ryan, 2005, is director of TransGender New Hampshire (TG-NH), activist for various progressive causes, including feminism, racial and economic justice, pacifism, size acceptance/weight diversity and transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay liberation. A lecturer in Women’s Studies at UNH, she is co-producer of three autobiographical films, including “Transilience.” Ryan promotes intersectional analyses in community-building for positive social change. 

Jared Sexton, 1996, student body president, senior year, member of the Black Student Union, and McNair scholar, now an associate professor in African American studies and film and media studies at University of California at Irvine. He is published in journals and anthologies on contemporary politics and popular culture.

Mary Schuh, 1998 and Ph.D. in 2002, associate director of the UNH Institute on Disability, builds leadership opportunities for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her work has taken her to the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom where she has consulted extensively.

Associate Provost for Academic Achievement and Support Judy Spiller and Executive Director for Alumni Affairs Stephen Donovan bestowed the honors on the seven inductees in the fourth year of providing UNH a way to express pride as an institution in the accomplishments of its graduates.  

The diversity banquet was established by the Office of Diversity Initiatives in 2006 to recognize and celebrate the advancement of diversity and inclusive excellence initiatives at UNH.

According to JerriAnne Boggis, director of diversity programs and community outreach, “For the past four years the Diversity Hall of Fame Alumni Award has been given to UNH graduates to recognize their accomplishments and commitment to social justice and equity.”


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