Hermiz receives 2024 CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Award

Alexis Hermiz will receive the 2024 CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Award during the annual ANR Awards on Friday, March 1.

Alexis Hermiz headshot

Alexis Hermiz, of Seattle, Washington will receive the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Award at the March 1 ANR Awards Program.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Alumni Award recognizes alumni for their professional accomplishments, service and contributions in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion to the CANR, their field and community.

Hermiz earned a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and agriscience (the major is now called environmental studies and sustainability) from MSU in 2015. She currently serves as DEI Manager within the newly created Inclusion, Community and Sustainability (ISC) department at Carhartt. Her work supports strategy evolution by managing the design, implementation, execution and evaluation of Carhartt’s corporate DEI programs. Partnering with peers on the ISC team, she works to align and leverage company purpose as a driver that accelerates DEI work.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, as a high school student in 2008, Hermiz attended an ANR Institute for Multicultural Students (AIMS) Program hosted at MSU. During this weeklong event, Hermiz gained an understanding of CANR, toured campus farms, learned about academic programs and courses and connected with CANR staff. Inspired by this experience, Hermiz chose to attend MSU and quickly became an active leader and advocate on campus, championing a variety of DEI-focused initiatives.

From 2012-2015, Hermiz was part of the MSU Collegiate Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Program chapter, serving two years as the group’s president and two years as vice president. MANRRS is a national organization with chapters around the country that welcomes people of all backgrounds in agriculture and natural resource-related careers. She also worked as an executive division student assistant focusing on community outreach, education and policy development at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

After graduating from MSU in 2015, she was hired by the DNR as a promotional assistant within the Parks and Recreation Division coordinating the Summer Youth Employment Program. This workforce development program connects youth in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw to natural resources-based career, education and recreation opportunities.

Following executive orders issued by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Hermiz became a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the DNR. Serving in this role from 2019-2022, she was responsible for educating employees on the governor’s executive directives on nondiscrimination and other applicable rules, regulations and directives, as well as forming a 25 person DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice) team at the DNR. During this time, she also served as a department liaison for the Michigan Women’s Commission, Civil Service Commission and Department of Civil Rights on matters involving equity and inclusion.

A passionate Spartan, Hermiz has remained actively engaged with MSU since graduating. She has served as an alumnae guest speaker for the AIMS Program to help inspire future CANR Spartans. She has been an energetic leader in the CANR Alumni Association, serving as liaison for the Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS), a Young Alumni Representative and as the CANR Alumni Board President from 2018-2021. She has remained involved with the CSUS department in a variety of ways, including assisting in planning efforts for a virtual graduation ceremony in 2020, helping form the Department’s DEI committee and supporting student mentorship and field experience opportunities. Outside of MSU, Hermiz serves as the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) representative on the Audubon Great Lakes Advisory Board.

Hermiz and her husband James have a Maltese Bentley. She enjoys traveling, nature photography, hiking and camping.


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