All the Garren Award winners stand together with their awards
By Roanoke College News

Students and others recognized at Garren Diversity Awards

The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted the 22nd Annual Garren Diversity Awards on April 20. Students, faculty and staff were recognized for their contributions to Roanoke College and its goal to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the campus.  

The awards ceremony, held in the lobby of the Cregger Center, was presented by the Peer Diversity Educators.  

Garren Diversity Awards were divided into several categories. The program began with three students recognized for their essays in the Bonilla Essay Competition, established in collaboration with Catherine Bonilla ‘14 and Cesar “Chico” Bonilla ‘19.  

  • Jordan Robinson, a senior biology major, was recognized as the first-place Bonilla Essay competition winner. Her essay was about her promises to her late grandmother that she would finish college and know who she was as a person.  
  • Second place was a powerful essay by Huda Hashash, a junior biochemistry major from Palestine, about being “an outlier” and using her differences as a Muslim woman to serve her community as a way to overcome challenges of being different from others around her. 
  • Third-place finisher was Caitlin Blake, a senior elementary education and environmental studies major and member of the Honors program, who wrote about diversity and the many ways it can be defined, and how she sees it across the Roanoke College campus.  

Faculty awards were presented to:  

  • Dr. DorothyBelle Poli, professor of biology 
  • Dr. Srikanth Mallavarapu, associate professor of English 
  • Dr. Jennifer Berenson, professor of religion 
  • Dr. Melanie Trexler, associate professor of religion 

The Garren Staff Award was presented to several staff members:  

  • Rachael Clark, the LGBTQ+ coordinator and associate director of residence life 
  • Tanya Ridpath, director of community programs   
  • Natasha Saunders, director of multicultural affairs 
  • Dr. Carmen Boggs-Parker, director of international education 

Three student organizations were presented with the Garren Student Organization Award:  

  • Pi Lambda Phi 
  • Black Student Alliance 
  • Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement (HOLA). 

The Rising Star Award is bestowed on two freshmen or sophomore students who have the potential to have a lasting impact on the College campus. This year’s recipients are: 

  • Ethan Stevenson, a sophomore economics and political science major, who is involved with RC Pride 
  • Jasmine McFadden, a freshman sociology major, who is involved with BonD and is the historian for BSA.  

Four students were recognized with The Upperclassmen Award.  

  • Jenna Canegata, a senior chemistry major, who has developed diversity events for the Greek organizations 
  • Ejiuwa Abah, a senior communication studies major, a BonD volunteer and Diversity Peer Educator 
  • Saul Pineda-Torres Jr., a senior math and physics major, who was a co-coordinator of the BonD program during the pandemic  
  • Makayla Trent, a senior business administration major, who is the President of HOLA.  

The Legacy Award was given to two students:  

  • Attiya Daniels, a senior biology major, who is a BonD mentor and HOLA vice president 
  • Damon Daniels, a senior health and physical education major and the founding president of the Student Veterans Group (and current vice president of the group).  

The Maxine Fitzgerald Trailblazer Award is for those leaders who have blazed a trail for those who will follow them. It was presented to three students and one staff member.  

  • Leslie Taylor, College Editor and the editor of the Roanoke College magazine 
  • Jordan Robinson, a senior biology major  
  • Catherine Montalvo, a senior biology major 
  • Rosemarie Barnes-Lilye, a senior health and exercise science major  

The Department Awards were presented to two academic departments:  

  • The Department of Education was honored for its BRIDGES program, an initiative to encourage the entry of people of color into the teaching profession. The professors involved are: Dr. Lisa Stoneman, Dr. Jennifer McCloud, Dr. Lisa Earp and Ms. Karin Kaerwer.  
  • Religion and Philosophy was recognized for its Out of the Closet space on campus and other efforts.  

Ken Garren, for whom the awards program is named, attended the event and talked about the birth of the multicultural affairs program at Roanoke. Later in the evening, he received the Ken Garren Pioneer Award for his work as a transformational leader at Roanoke College.  



2022 Garren Diversity Awards