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Cal State East Bay Wins 2015 HEED Award for Excellence in Diversity


Dr. Dianne Rush Woods, CSUEB's diversity officer, with the 2014 HEED award.

  • September 15, 2015

For the second straight year, California State University, East Bay has been awarded a coveted Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine.

The annual award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Receiving the award again in 2015 is a testament to CSUEB’s continued efforts in serving its diverse student population.

“Cal State East Bay is proud to be awarded our second HEED award,” said Dr. Dianne Rush Woods, CSUEB’s diversity officer. “This year’s application was more rigorous than last and we had to demonstrate that we are not only maintaining student success programs, but also that we continue to grow these ‘students first’ programs.”

Over the last year, Cal State East Bay has taken several steps to expand its diversity programs, particularly those that address the needs of first-year and lower socioeconomic status students. The school has established Sankofa, an Afrocentric program that supports transfer students, and Kaleidoscope, a mentoring program for first year and transfer students. These programs are similar to Cal State East Bay’s award-winning GANAS program (Gaining Access ‘N Academic Success), which focuses on Latino/a transfer students.

CSUEB has also focused on gender needs by establishing a “preferred name” policy, increasing the number of gender neutral restrooms on campus and focusing on the expansion of hours for lactation rooms.

In addition, CSUEB is hosting “Patient, No More,” an exhibit that celebrates the 25th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Office of University Diversity also partnered with the Diversity and Equity Liaison Officer Dr. Kim Geron to support the second year of a diversity-advocate program that focuses on increasing the overall size and diversity of potential faculty members. 

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine. “We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across a campus.”

The oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, “INSIGHT Into Diversity” has recognized 92 institutions as 2015 HEED award winners. They will all be featured in the November 2015 issue of the magazine. 

The HEED award is the latest organization to confirm CSUEB’s diversity. Cal State East Bay was recognized as the most diverse campus on the U.S. mainland by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission in July. The university also ranked at the top of U.S. News and World Report’s ethnic diversity scale for regional universities in the West.

For more information about the HEED award, please visit the magazine’s website.

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