CANR You Belong Here Awards recognize outstanding DEI efforts
CANR faculty and staff will be honored for their outstanding efforts to support and address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the college on May 11.
The Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) is pleased to announce the fourth year of its You Belong Here Champion Awards.
Karim Maredia, Ph.D., Jenna Walters and Tracy Rich were selected as 2023 CANR You Belong Here Champion Award recipients and will be recognized at the CANR Faculty and Staff Reception May 11.
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 2023 are extended to:
- You Belong Here Faculty Award: Karim Maredia, Ph.D., director of CANR International Programs.
- You Belong Here Graduate Student Award: Jenna Walters, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Entomology.
- You Belong Here Staff Award: Tracy Rich, office coordinator, Department of Animal Science.
“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.
You Belong Here Faculty Award
Karim Maredia, Ph.D.
Karim Maredia, Ph.D., is a professor and assistant dean of International Programs for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Maredia has worked with numerous international agricultural development projects. Prior to joining MSU, he worked with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico as a research scientist. Maredia has extensively traveled to more than 60 countries around the world and has disseminated knowledge, information and new technologies widely to the global agricultural community. He has published more than 100 papers, policy briefs, book chapters, and co-edited five books. Since 2017, Dr. Maredia has been serving as a member of the African Union (AU) High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies. In May 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree (doctor honoris causa) by the University of Ricardo Palma in Peru for his contributions to international human resources development. He has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards for his extensive global work. Most recently, Maredia was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) in New Delhi, India, in Jan. 2023.
You Belong Here Graduate Student Award
Jenna Walters is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Entomology and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) studying pollination ecology with Dr. Rufus Isaacs. Her research is focused on understanding the impacts of extreme heat on blueberry pollination and native bees. In addition to her research, Walters is passionate about diversity and inclusion efforts that support and amplify a diverse community of entomologists and scientists. She has helped develop and lead the Entomology Research and Outreach Fellowship (EROF), a summer-long program for undergraduate students with limited access to research opportunities. The goals of the EROF program are to provide students from historically excluded backgrounds with hands-on experience in research and dedicated mentorship, while also providing a livable wage and healthcare. Since the creation of the program in 2020, EROF has supported eight undergraduate students and will be welcoming another two fellows in summer 2023. Walters has also helped develop field safety documents and trainings to promote safe fieldwork strategies for all in the Department of Entomology.
You Belong Here Staff Award
Tracy Rich serves as an office coordinator in the Department of Animal Science undergraduate office, where she has worked for the past 10 years. With 18 years of experience working at MSU, Rich enjoys working with the undergraduate students, helping them set advising appointments, assisting them with their schedules, and coordinating travel for the judging teams. She strives to make the undergraduate office a place where every student feels welcomed, appreciated and understood. She was awarded the MSU Block and Bridle Club CANR Outstanding Staff Member in April of 2017 and the CANR Support Staffer of the Month in December 2017.