Shawna Patterson-Stephens Honored for Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Shawna Patterson-Stephens, vice president for inclusive excellence and belonging at Central Michigan University, has been honored with the 2024 Bobby E. Leach Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. The annual award is given to a student affairs administrator or faculty member who has made significant contributions to advancing diversity throughout their career.

At Central Michigan University, Dr. Patterson-Stephens oversees the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Prior to her current role, she served as associate vice chancellor of student affairs and director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her career has been dedicated to studying and creating more equitable systems for people from all avenues of life. In addition to her administrative roles, she is an active scholar and researcher who recently co-edited Advancing Inclusive Excellence in Higher Education: Practical Approaches to Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (Information Age Publishing, 2023).

Dr. Patterson-Stephens is an alumna of Central Michigan University, where she majored in sociology. She received a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University.

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