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Pima Diversity and Inclusion Award Recipients Announced

Honors recognize extraordinary work to create diverse and inclusive communities

Tucson, AZ — Pima Community College has announced the recipients of its 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Awards, created to acknowledge work in different areas of the College and community that bring us closer to creating diverse and inclusive communities.

This year’s recipients, announced during Pima’s 2021 Virtual Graduation Ceremony on May 19, are Victoria Vertein of the Desert Vista Campus Learning Center (Leadership Award), student Sage Hawkins (Service Award) and faculty Dianna Repp, Ph.D. (Education Award).

The awards are given annually to individuals, organizations and departments that have demonstrated exemplary leadership, vision or service in promoting diversity and inclusion beyond their normal scope of work.

Victoria Vertein

Vertein is the recipient of this year’s Leadership Award, for demonstrating leadership in developing initiatives that have enhanced and furthered diversity and inclusion goals.

She has worked for Pima for slightly more than two years, first as a Writing Specialist in the Desert Vista Campus Learning Center. Now she is its Assistant Program Manager.

She strives to increase equity through targeted approaches like tutor training and the Basic Digital Literacy Taskforce, but also by pushing for a shift in overall approach to education: one that is more open-minded, explorative, empathetic and community driven.

Sage Hawkins

Hawkins is the recipient of the 2021 Service Award, presented for participation in or initiating diversity and inclusion-related work in areas including committees, community involvement and/or community outreach.

Hawkins, a sociology major, is Pima Aztec Student Senate representative for East Campus, Co-chair of Pima’s Breaking Barriers Task Force and Secretary of the Pima Pride Alliance. They believe their duty is to ensure that Pima continues to strive toward equity, accessibility and diversity.

“I gravitated towards sociology due to my passion for people and the betterment of society as a whole,” they said.

“I have always adopted a can-do attitude when it comes to change and the future. I know that with teamwork, honesty and transparency we as an institution can soar to great heights”

Dianna Repp, Ph.D.

Repp, a member of the Anthropology Faculty, is the recipient of this year’s Education Award for offering teaching, programming and activities designed to foster or enhance diversity and inclusion.

Repp is Co-Advisor for the Native American Student Association (N.A.S.A.) and founder and chair of the Arizona Undergraduate Research Symposium to mentor students in

conducting and presenting their original research at a professional conference. She is a first generation college student and earned her Associate of Arts Degree at Pima.

She has collaborated with other faculty and N.A.S.A. students as Co-chair of the College’s annual Celebration of Life and el Dia de los Muertos: Expressions of Love and Remembrance. The Arizona Undergraduate Research Symposium just completed its 12th year.

Repp says she shares this award with Pima’s Division of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education and her students — who inspire her with their insights, courage and determination, and bring joy to her life.

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