Faculty, student honored for enhancing equity and diversity

Dean Charles Bullock and the Committee to Enhance Equity and Diversity will honor two members of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts for their efforts at San José State University as well as in the community to enhance equity and diversity with the 2014 CEED Award.

Ashwini Wagle speaks at a community event on healthy eating habits.

Ashwini Wagle speaks at a community event on healthy eating habits.

Ashwini Wagle, a professor in nutrition and food science, and Debbie Reese, a student in the School of Library and Information Science, will be honored at a reception April 29.

Each year, the committee requests nominations for faculty, student, student organizations and staff members who are committed to outstanding service to enhance equity and diversity in the committee. From the dozens of submissions the top nominees are selected to receive the CEED Award.

Reese is a student in the Master of Library and Information Science degree program and is a School of Library and Information Science Circle of Learning scholar. COL is a grant-funded partnership with the American Indian Library Association, funded by the Institute of Library and Museum Services. In her time as a student, she has been invited as a guest at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s American Healing for Democracy conference in New Orleans, as well as a presenter at the Pacific Northwest Library Association conference and the International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries and Museums in Tulsa, Okla.

According to her nomination form, she was the recipient of the 2013 Virginia Matthews Scholarship Award for her “sustained involvement in the American Indian community and her sustained commitment to American Indian concerns and initiatives.”

Her award-winning blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature (http://www.americanindiansinchildrensliterature.net/), shined the spotlight on the Arizona law that led to the recent shutdown of the Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson Unified School District. According to the American Indian Library Association, Reese not only works with the Nambe community and “she strives to inform the dominant culture about issues facing Indian people today.” After graduation, Reese plans to return to Nambe Pueblo to establish a library and archive for the community.

Wagle, who has been a faculty member since 2003, has an interest in how culture can affect food habits. She developed the “South Asian Carbohydrate Counting Tool for South Asians” with some of her graduate students and made the tool available at no charge through her faculty website. According to the colleague who nominated Wagle, the tool is being used in hospitals and diabetic clinics throughout the Bay Area to education South Asians. In addition she also created “SEED: Success and Enhancement through Education and Development” on Kiva.org to provide 30 microloans to minority women.

On campus, Wagle has served as a major adviser to more than 30 graduate student projects and mentored several others, especially minority women in their academic careers. Several of the student projects focused on multicultural/multiethnic enhancement ranging from health and dietary practices of pregnant and lactating South Asian women to infants and toddlers as well as the elderly population.

Comments are closed.