OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU educators honored for diversity efforts

01/23/2001

CORVALLIS - Commitment to cultural diversity has earned campus honors for a trio of Oregon State University educators.

Les Risser, Lani Roberts and Larry Roper were each honored with OSU's 2001 Frances Dancy Hooks Award.

Hooks, an educator and former national coordinator of Women in NAACP, established the award during a visit to Corvallis in 1994. Hooks sought to recognize and encourage campus coalition building among diverse groups and individuals.

The honorees were selected by a committee that evaluated the trio's coalition-building efforts in the community. All the honorees are actively involved in various workshops, committees and events focusing on enhancing community diversity.

Risser, wife of OSU President Paul Risser, chaired the OSU Student Affairs Task Force on Greek Life and is active in Crossroads International, a non-profit community volunteer organization that promotes friendships between community members and international students at OSU and their families.

Roberts, senior instructor in the Philosophy Department, is a Master Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts and the recipient of the college's Meehan Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has taught numerous classes and has led workshops and discussions that focus on aspects of diversity. She has also been cited for teaching a highly acclaimed course on Ethics in Diversity.

Roper, vice provost for Student Affairs, was a leader in a special campus project - called "ism" - that explored the dynamics of diversity on campus and in the community, including such topics as racism, sexism and ageism.

All three have been active in the campus' Leadership Education and Partnership Initiative, which was designed to address "critical issues" through shared leadership experiences. The effort was part of the Kellogg Foundation's Leadership for Institutional Change Project.

The foundation is also funding a Diversity Summit at OSU on Feb. 22-23 to further campus goals to develop an approach to leading an institution where diversity is an explicit value in the university's mission. More information on the summit is available by calling 541-737-5349, or on the World Wide Web.