CANR recognizes outstanding DEI efforts with 2022 You Belong Here Awards
CANR faculty and staff honored for outstanding efforts to support and address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the college.
This award honors those who live the CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement in and through their work and space. The CANR Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion established the award to provide an opportunity to identify DEI champions the CANR community regularly engages with. You Belong Here Champions support a culture where every member of our college community feels valued and inspired to achieve individual and common goals, with an uncommon will.
You Belong Here Awards for 2022 are extended to:
- You Belong Here Staff Award: Renae Siler, ANR Event Services program and event coordinator.
- You Belong Here Faculty Award: Brian Roth, Ph.D., Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
- You Belong Here Academic Staff Award: Kolia Souza, Center for Regional Food Systems food systems equity and advocacy specialist.
“I would like to thank everyone who nominated the recipients of this year's You Belong Here Champion Award,” said Ayodele Daré, educational program coordinator for the CANR Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “When this initiative was created, the purpose of the award was to highlight Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champions in the CANR Community who provide support to members of our community feel valued and welcomed in the college. On behalf of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, I would like to thank the CANR Community for continuing to support our endeavor in creating an environment of belonging."
You Belong Here Champions maintain an accessible, inclusive and supportive community for all who learn, work and teach in the CANR, MSU Extension and AgBioResearch.
Renae Siler, You Belong Here Staff Award
Renae Siler serves as a program and event coordinator for ANR Event Services. She has coordinated educational programming to enhance the quality of life of individuals and communities throughout Michigan. Her position provides her the opportunity to create non-traditional learning environments. Events related to continued education are invaluable to individual, community, and societal development. In her role, she strives to advance and share the most current educational practices and research data through programming. She is passionate about aiding people in living fuller lives through continued education and recreation because of their emotional, physical, and cognitive impacts. For her future endeavors, she wants to enhance the lives of others by introducing and implementing accessible educational programming.
Her nominator wrote, “Renae is an extremely valuable member of the CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is active, engaged and contributed fully to committee duties, and the committee has expanded their perspectives because of her participation.”
“Renae rose to the challenge, organized the entire seminar by herself, met with the speaker and helped moderate the session. Renae deserves this award as she has worked tirelessly to ensure that the MSU community can be informed of Dr. Page’s excellence!”
Brian Roth, Ph.D., You Belong Here Faculty Award
Brian Roth, Ph.D., is a fish ecologist and associate professor in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife since July 2008. Teaching is the largest component of his assignment and has placed a heavy emphasis on his courses on understanding fish in the context of the ecosystem, which echoes his research interests. He strives for outreach that engages others to appreciate the challenges of learning about fish in terms of the ecosystem that surrounds them.
His nominators wrote, “Brian currently serves as co-chair to the CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee with his leadership has successfully coordinated initiatives and programs.”
“Brian always displayed a supportive role and promotes inclusivity with leading the committee in a positive direction.”
Kolia Souza, You Belong Here Academic Staff Award
Kolia Souza serves as the food systems equity and advocacy specialist for the Center for Regional Food Systems. Souza oversees the development of a community of practice and technical assistance for local food sourcing and food systems equity. She also leads collaborative efforts between the Michigan Local Food Council Network and statewide food and health networks to build organizational capacity for executing individual and collective priorities.
Her nominator wrote, “Kolia has been working to forward the mission and vision of the Center for Regional Food Systems to continually address, both internally and externally, our collective model, processes, engagement, and impacts to be more equitable and inclusive to all persons in Michigan and nationally.”
“She leads collaborative efforts between the Michigan Local Food Council Network and statewide food and health networks to build organizational capacity.”
Students, staff and faculty were asked to nominate individuals based on their actions and efforts to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the college. Nominations were submitted and reviewed by the CANR Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with a committee.
Additional nominees for the award were: Melissa Elischer, MSU Extension educator for dairy cattle; Karim Maredia, Ph.D., director of CANR International Programs; and Kristy Oosterhouse, Eaton County MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator.