Savala receives 2021 CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Award

Leonard Savala, III, Ph.D., will receive the 2021 CANR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Award during ANR Month.

Leonard Savala, III, Ph.D.

Leonard Savala, III, Ph.D., of Southfield, Mich., will receive the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Award at the March 12 ANR Awards Program.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 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.

Savala serves as director of the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement at Wayne State University (WSU). Previously, he was the director of undergraduate diversity for CANR, and the academic services coordinator for the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. He also served as the special assignment community outreach liaison in the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Savala has also worked within the Urban League a non-profit organization based in Detroit. While in that position, Savala's work focused primarily on human services where he worked as a nutritional educator to help eliminate health disparities. 

He earned an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College in 1996, a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from MSU in 1999, a master’s in agricultural and extension education from MSU, and in 2014, a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. He also received specialized training in executive leadership from the University of California – Berkeley and the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education. He also received training in New Detroit, a racial justice organization, as a part of the Multicultural Leadership Series.

Savala served on the State of Michigan Commission on Spanish Speaking Affairs and on its education sub-committee. He has taught classes, such as a doctoral seminar on the history of education at WSU, “Preparing for Academic Success” and “Exploring Careers in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Multicultural Dimensions of Leadership” at MSU. He holds memberships in professional societies, including the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources.

He has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Hispanic Alumni of the Year from the MSU Latino Alumni Association, the 2013 Educator of the Year from the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan and Hispanic Caucus and the Walter Adams Advisor of the Year Award. He also received the MSU Excellence in Diversity Award in 2005.


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