Wilder School members to receive diversity and inclusion awards
By Tiffany Murray-Robertson
Three outstanding faculty and staff members at the Wilder School will be honored at the university’s 2016 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) next month.
The awards, which recognize members of the university and health system communities who exemplify VCU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, will be presented during a public ceremony sponsored by the Division for Inclusive Excellence at the University Student Commons at 3 p.m. on Monday, April 4. Recipients will be honored with a plaque and a $3,500 award.
Nick Garcia (B.S. ’11, M.P.A. ’13), senior academic adviser, will receive the Staff Award.
Garcia, who joined the Wilder School’s Office of Undergraduate Advising in 2014, has become one of the rising leaders in the effort to make VCU a place where all individuals can thrive.
Garcia is the equity and inclusion chair of the university’s Undergraduate Academic Advising Board. In this role, he is charged with facilitating diversity awareness and discussion for more than 200 undergraduate advisers across the university. In his next year as chair, Garcia will focus on working with the Division of Inclusive Excellence to develop a training curriculum that will equip advisers with the knowledge, skills and awareness necessary to provide quality advising to an increasingly multicultural population.
“Garcia is a proven leader with exceptional interpersonal skills,” wrote one nominator. “Moreover, the breadth and depth of his efforts demonstrate his sincere appreciation for the broad variety of cultural, intellectual and individual needs of our undergraduates.”
Last semester, Garcia played an instrumental role in engineering several “Wilder School Diversity Visits,” which used classroom time to gather suggestions about policies and practices that would improve the culture for both underrepresented students and the student body at large.
Garcia is an active member of numerous university-wide committees, including the University Undergraduate Advising Council, the College of Humanities and Sciences Advising Committee, the New Students Advisory Board and the Strategic Enrollment Management Student Recruiting Initiative. Along with his professional responsibilities, Garcia is a doctoral candidate in Education Leadership at the VCU School of Education.
Nakeina Douglas-Glenn, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration and director of the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, will receive the Administrator Award.
“Dr. Douglas-Glenn has achieved a long and sustained record of accomplishments that includes but extends well beyond her leadership of GEHLI,” wrote one nominator. “Her commitment to social equity and to enhancing the leadership opportunities and potential of individuals across a wide range of settings and experiences is apparent and exemplary.”
As GEHLI’s chief administrator, Douglas-Glenn collaborates with others to develop the capacity of VCU faculty and staff though the delivery of leadership and professional development curriculum, conferences and programs. Since joining the institute in 2007, she has expanded the organization’s focus to include faculty and staff at other academic institutions, as well as members of the local community with a specific focus on women, girls and members of racial and ethnic minorities. Douglas-Glenn’s own research focuses on women and leadership and the intersection of race and social policy.
Douglas-Glenn forms partnerships and works to build trust and cooperation outside her role at GEHLI. For the past year, she served as the university’s special assistant for diversity initiatives. In this role, Douglas-Glenn informed university policy recommendations, advised departments and administrators on campus climate and multicultural issues and developed professional networking programs for diverse graduate students.
Beyond her professional contributions, Douglas-Glenn has a long and impressive record of service to the community. She is a board member of the YWCA of Richmond, where she serves on leadership and governance committees; the Fan Free Clinic, where she serves as vice chair of the governance committee; and the American Council on Education Virginia Network, where she serves as communications chair.
Blue Wooldridge, D.P.A., professor of public administration, will receive the Faculty Award.
For nearly three decades, Wooldridge has been a stalwart force for equity and inclusion in every realm of his academic life — whether in the Wilder School, the university or the community as a whole.
“You will find a consistent theme throughout Wooldridge’s life and career that is marked by service and a commitment to enhancing diversity,” a nominator wrote. “It is in every fiber of his being.”
Wooldridge joined the VCU Public Administration faculty in 1989. In 1992 he founded and directed FAME, the first mentorship program designed to address the retention of faculty members from historically underrepresented minorities at the university.
Throughout his 27-year tenure, Wooldridge has been a visible champion for equity contributing to policies, programs and strategies to promote diversity through numerous committees and associations. He is the former president and current president-elect of the Black Education Association, co-chair of VCU’s Equity and Diversity Committee and the current chair of the Wilder School’s Diversity and Equity Committee.
Beyond his contributions to VCU, Wooldridge is a nationally recognized scholar on public financial management and social equity in public administration. His numerous awards include a teaching citation for Curriculum Diversity awarded by the Network of Schools of Public Affairs, as well as election to the National Academy of Public Administration. He is the former president of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators and the author or co-author of numerous articles including “Integrating Social Equity into the Human Resources Management,” which received the Best Article of the Year Award from the Journal of Public Affairs Education.