Past Recipients

Past grant recipients recieved funding for research; course transformation; recruitment, retention, and campus climate projects; community healing practices; and capacity building. 

Award recipients were recognized for their commitment to DEI.

  • Brandon Tanori, a graduate student in the School of Film and Television

    Broadened the School of Film and Television’s graduate school recruitment efforts by reaching out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). (2012-2013 Cycle)

    Jamie Hazlitt, Outreach Librarian; and Raymundo Andrade, Library Cataloging Assistant

    Provided technology and library skill development workshops to LMU’s service staff.  (2013-2014 Cycle)

    La’Tonya Rease Miles, Director, Academic Resource Center

    Expanded and enhanced the Writing Community Workshop series for first-generation college students.  (2013-2014 Cycle)

    Melvin Robert, Director, Office of Black Student Services

    Provided monthly workshops wherein students will gain historical context in addition to practical knowledge.  (2013-2014 Cycle)

    Maruth Figueroa, Director, Chicano Latino Student Services

    Developed a yearlong program for 12-15 sophomores that demonstrate involvement and promising leadership qualities. (2014-2015 Cycle)

    Maruth Figueroa, Aris Mosier, and Nathan Sessoms, Directors, Ethnic and Intercultural Services

    Provided a program targeted at academically talented sophomores to assist them in exploring their identities while learning about the social and economic contexts of Los Angeles. (2015-2016 Cycle)

    Maggie Bove-LaMonica, Assistant Director, LMU Family of Schools

    Provided support to Leadership Education Advocacy Fellowship (LEAF) Initiative Fellows. (2016-2017 Cycle)

    Aisha Conner-Gaten, Javier Garibay, Jamie Hazlitt, Marie Kennedy, Marisa Ramirez, Hannon Library

    Conducted an assessment of Hannon library's electronic collection through a diversity lens. (2017-2018 cycle)

    Karie Huchting, School of Education, and Brad Stone, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Enhanced the retention of African American doctoral students by supporting them to attend the Black Doctoral Network Conference. (2017-2018 cycle)

    Rebeca Acevedo, Stefan Bradley, Douglas Christie, Jonathan Rothchild, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Developed a BCLA Strategic Plan For Diversity and Inclusion. (2018-2019 cycle)

    Csilla Samay, Office of International Students and Scholars, and Dorothea Herreiner, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Developed specific resources for faculty to support their teaching of international students and organized outreach to and communication with faculty. (2018-2019 cycle)

    Joel Gutierrez/Zach Zysman, Ethnic and Intercultural Services

    Expanded the Classroom LA program, a multi-office program that provides students, faculty, staff the opportunity to engage in rich cultural heritage of the various neighborhoods in Los Angeles. (2019-2020 cycle)

    Lalo Moreno, Ethnic and Intercultural Services

    Developed a program series that explores the use of digital media as a tool for storytelling and representation. (2019-2020 cycle)

  • 2020-21: Tracy Shaw and Bill Parham




    Elsie Mares


    Elsie Mares, a Political Science major and Economics minor, personifies the Arrupe DEI Award through her courses, research, work, service and professional goals. Elsie has taken courses within and outside of her major and minor that focus on privilege and civil rights. She attended and participated in learning opportunities surrounding social justice and anti-racism throughout her time as an undergraduate. Elsie’s research focused on access to resources for domestic violence varies for Latina and White women, especially focusing on the experiences of undocumented immigrant Latina women in rural communities. Since freshman year, Elsie has served as an Intercultural Facilitator, where she assisted in facilitating difficult conversations related to diversity, equity and inclusion. This role has also helped her grow as an anti-racist advocate. She plans to pursue advanced degrees in public policy and law, focusing on gendered violence and immigration law. Elsie writes, “My DEI goals are unique because they are intersectional, focusing on issues of race, gender, and class. As I pursue my goals in policy and law, I know I still have a lot of learning to do and intend to continue growing as an anti-racist advocate and leader. I am eager and prepared to continue being shaped by new knowledge while working to promote diversity and inclusion through policy and social change.” Through everything she does, Elsie embodies the Arrupe DEI Award!


    Forty-three applications were received for the inaugural Arrupe DEI Award. A number of the applications exemplified what the award represents. In addition to the recipient, the UIC and DEI want to honorably mention the following students for their DEI contributions.

    Alexis Harris (Women’s Studies) wrote about "The Health Risks of Incarceration: Focusing on Solitary Confinement" for her senior capstone. Alexis also researches and advocates for disability rights. She plans to pursue a Masters of Education in disability studies, to work both as a special education teacher and policy advocate.

    Amshu Medapa (Film and Television Production) notes that “liberal arts education has equipped me with the perfect combination of creative skills and abilities supported by strong academic theory and to allow [Amshu] to revolutionize content that is created and produced.” Amshu’s “long-term goal is to visually create stories and content through a feminist lens redefining the roles played by people of color, women, and individuals who identify as non-binary in film and TV.”

    Ashton Clopton (Journalism) states that “journalism is the tool in which I can actually create change” She explored notions of community by creating two podcasts that focused on hurricane victims in Honduras and the Black Lives Matter protests. As a journalist, she aims to continue highlighting voices of marginalized groups, including the indigenous community.

    Camille Grundy (Sociology) researched the challenges that older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults experience when it comes to their mental and physical health through a lens higher education lens. Camille plans pursue an advanced degree in sociology to learn about “systems and cultures that uphold demeaning stereotypes, such as the beliefs we have about black people, the elderly, or LGBT members” to create a more inclusive world.

    Charlotte Cheng (Political Science major; Chemistry minor) “majored in Political Science to learn about health policy and what my patients would need as a future physician.” Charlotte plans to pursue a medical career to serve vulnerable communities that have limited access to quality healthcare.

    Ivonne Franco (Psychology major; Women & Gender Studies minor; Political Science minor) sought courses that would expose the reality of human treatment. In winter 2019, Ivonne participated in an Alternative Break that focused on immigration, a trip that transformed her vision for a future career. Ivonne plans to pursue a career in law to play a role in created social justice.

    Lauren Morrison (Psychology major; Bioethics minor) chose a major and minor “to broaden my understanding of ethics, justice, and health care through courses focusing on sociological theories around health, or the bioethical implications of health and justice.” Lauren also serves as community leader and liaison in the #BlackatLMU student movement, identifying challenges related to inclusion, representation, and equity within a higher education context. Lauren plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology and focus on the mental health of Black children.

    Lucie Everett (Modern Languages (Chinese & French) major; History minor) has chosen courses that focus on “understanding and uplifting all people, including those that have been marginalized historically and contemporarily.” Lucie has served as in intercultural facilitator where she leads workshops related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Lucie states, “Whether I choose to first pursue an advanced degree, or seek employment in the nonprofit sector, the Jesuit values instilled in me at LMU will guide me.”

    Lucile Njoo (Computer Science & Animation) noted, through her coursework, “the importance of representation in film and entertainment, and the need for a greater sensitivity to stereotypes perpetuated by media” and “the urgent need for fair, inclusive, and socially-conscious software in a world increasingly dominated by technology.” She plans to pursue a PhD in Artificial Intelligence in order to continue developing technologies that contribute to a more diverse, equitable world.

    Madison Davis (Biology & Psychology) states that involvement in numerous activities have exposed her to social issues such as inequity in access to education, and barriers faced by individuals from disadvantaged communities. In Madison’s roles as an EMT, “[Madison] spearheaded the integration of a cultural competency workshop into the standard training of the LMU Emergency Medical Services program where EMTs are educated on implicit bias and its impact on quality of treatment.” Madison plans to become a physician, with a background in public health to properly diagnose and treat patients.

    Marley Ralph (Communications major; Journalism minor) integrates the concept of ubuntu – a phrase from the Zulu tribe meaning “I am, because you are” – into all courses. Marley has been teaching donation-based yoga classes at Los Angeles High Memorial Park every Sunday since the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020. Marley, along with two cousins, created an organization called “WalkGoodLA, which provides these yoga classes, 5k runs, and town hall meetings for people of color.” Marley aims “to open yoga studios across the nation dedicated to the betterment of Black people and people of color.”

    Mikayla Gingrey (Screenwriting major; History and Political Science minors) serves as the student director of the Intercultural Facilitators program, which is “dedicated to building bridges between communities of differing backgrounds, creating a platform to promote social justice and fostering an environment where students, staff and faculty can both grow and heal together.” Mikala intends to address DEI related issues within Hollywood, as an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker.

    Miriam Admasu (International Relations major; Health and Society minor) has done “work with the Black Political Science/International Relations Committee of #BlackatLMU and for [Miriam] sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, by way of the Tau Delta Chapter.” Miriam’s DEI related work has “allowed me to advocate for the Black community, which is important to me, but exposed me to many things ranging from research experience to the work of various activists and academics in Black politics.” Miriam plans to work in public health, with a focus on Black women.

    Sere Takenaka’s (Communication Studies major; Women’s and Gender Studies minor) “research [on second generation Japanese Americans] used Communication theories of assimilation, cultural convergence and intercultural adaptation to explain how the word Nisei, takes on not only the meaning of second generation Japanese American, but also encompasses a narrative of survival, language, and community as a means of preserving their Japanese identity.” Sere plans to become a professor and focus research on later generations, like sansei and Yonsei.

    Taylor Pajunen (Individualized Studies (Anti-racism work) and Spanish majors) started a white affinity group, Together as Effective AccoMplices (TEAM). Taylor states “I’m navigating what it means to actively de-centralize myself and whiteness, all the while just sitting down and thinking hard about what it means to be white within the whiteness of the world.” Taylor adds, “Though I’m not sure of my post-grad plans, I hope to work with organizations that are committed to community healing and abolition of the inherently oppressive systems that structure our society.

    William Oxley (Finance major; Psychology and Classics and Archaeology minors) wants “to decrease income inequality in America and developing countries. Poverty is single handedly the most damaging disease to human beings, directly correlated to more mental health problems, crime, and stress, than any other disease in the world.” William adds, While I am not set on any one [future] path, I know that I will use my DEI experiences and academic background at LMU to steer me the right way and help decrease income inequality.”

  • Committee on the Status of Women (CSW)

    Conducted a needs assessment for a Women’s and Gender Equity Resource Center at LMU. (2012-2013 Cycle)

    Leslie Ponciano, Assistant Professor, School of Education

    Conducted a needs assessment of foster youth-specific services that are available at LMU.  (2013-2014 Cycle)

    Fernando Estrada, Assistant Professor, School of Education

    Studied the role of the teaching alliance in multicultural education at LMU.  (2014-2015 Cycle)

    Sandra Luca, Director, Student Engagement, Center for Student Success in Seaver College of Science and Engineering

    Researched the academic experiences and sense of belonging of STEM students in A Community Committed to Excellence in Scientific Scholarship (ACCESS) Program. (2015-2016 Cycle)

    Susan Burkhauser, Associate Director, Institutional Research

    Studied the impact of faculty of color on the retention of students of color. (2017-2018 Cycle)

    Natalie Schaal, Assistant Professor, Seaver College of Science and Engineering

    Conducted a study on the effectiveness of a new peer-mentoring program which aims to strengthen Mechanical Engineering students' self-efficacy, sense of belonging and motivation to persist at LMU. (2019-2020 cycle)

  • 2019-2020: Christina Eubanks-Turner