Indiana University’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) presented Gerry Stroman, the chief diversity officer at IU Kokomo, with the OVPDEMA Distinguished Inclusive Excellence Award.
“Considering the impact she’s made on IU Kokomo’s campus and the surrounding community during her tenure, Gerry is more than deserving of this honor,” said James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs, and dean of the University Graduate School. “Her steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion exemplifies the effort needed to ensure that all of our campuses are welcoming places for students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds.”
Under the watch of Stroman, IU Kokomo’s affirmative action officer since 1994, the campus has enacted a number of effective strategies designed to improve the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students. Through initiatives such as Culture Bash, which showcases the expanding range of diversity-related programs that are available, IU Kokomo’s enrollment, retention, and graduation rates have continued to increase since 2010.
Stroman, who has worked at IU Kokomo since 1985, has frequently used her strong ties in the surrounding community to partner with local organizations for outreach events. For example, in collaboration with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, IU Kokomo has co-sponsored the annual, citywide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration for more than 20 years.