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TU President honored by Associated Black Charities for leadership in diversity and inclusion

“Champion for More in the Middle” Award was presented to TU president at a gala earlier in the summer

9/8/2017, 6 a.m.
Recognizing her strong national leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion, Towson University (TU) President Kim Schatzel was honored ...
Towson University President Kim Schatzel was honored by the Associated Black Charities with the 2017 Champion for More in the Middle” award at the organization’s annual gala at Martin’s West in Baltimore on June 10, 2017. The “Champion for More in the Middle” award is set aside for those individuals and organizations operating at the local level to bring about change that leads to greater economic equity in the region. Courtesy Photo/Towson University

Recognizing her strong national leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion, Towson University (TU) President Kim Schatzel was honored on June 10, 2017 by Associated Black Charities (ABC) with the 2017 “Champion for More in the Middle” award.

ABC President and CEO Diane Bell-McKoy presented the award to Schatzel at the organization’s annual gala held at Martins West in Baltimore.

Bell-McKoy said the “Champion for More in the Middle” award is set aside for those individuals and organizations operating at the local level to bring about change that will lead to greater economic equity in the region.

”Prior to your leadership at Towson University,” Bell-McKoy said, “The University had struggled with issues of inclusion, diversity and equity. Under your leadership, diversity, inclusion and cultural competency became one of your top eight priorities.”

“As a priority,” she continued, “You instituted a very clear and transparent strategy to bring about measurable change. We look forward to your continued leadership and continued changes at Towson as a regional employer.”

“Your unwavering commitment to this as a core part of your educational agenda is to be applauded,” Bell-McKoy added.

Schatzel said she was pleased to receive the award on behalf of Towson University.

“This is a wonderful honor,” the university’s 14th president said. “I am very humbled and accept it on behalf of the incredible team at TU that is deeply committed to advancing thriving inclusiveness across our campus community.

“We work hard to foster a diverse and inclusive campus and educational experience that ensures every one of our students thrive and reach their fullest potential at Towson University,” Schatzel added. “We strive for thriving inclusiveness of all races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientation and levels of ableness.”

According to ABC’s website, “More in the Middle” is the framework the organization utilizes to advocate and promote the need to address issues associated with structural race-related barriers that limit opportunities for citizens of color.

“In limiting the opportunities and not addressing the systemic barriers faced by people of color, we seriously harm the collective future of the state,” ABC said.

“It is great educational organizations and leaders like you that help create more access and opportunity as a result of your advocacy,” ABC said of the award to Schatzel. “Towson University models excellence in leadership and understands the value of contributions to the community. We salute you!”

Earlier this year, Schatzel was invited to present at a joint session of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), speaking on "Campus Leaders Creating Healthy Campus Climates."

In her comments at ACE-NADOHE, Schatzel observed that on most campuses, a diverse classroom and campus is increasingly an essential component of higher education and a high-quality university experience.

"All of us are empowered to do these things in our respective roles on our campuses," Schatzel said at the March conference. "As a president and senior leader, however, it is my responsibility and challenge to ensure we are communicating and fairly representing those imperatives, values and vision with multiple constituencies and stakeholders, each with their own perspectives and experiences."

Since arriving in January 2016, Schatzel has made progress on eight presidential priorities for expanding Towson University’s role as a pre-eminent institution of higher education within Greater Baltimore, Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Highlights of that progress include strengthening the university’s position as an anchor institution for Greater Baltimore through the creation of BTU: Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore, an initiative aimed at advancing opportunities with business, community, non-profit, educational and governmental partners.

Diversity has become a hallmark of the university under Schatzel’s leadership, and reinforces its unique value proposition as one of the most diverse campuses in the state of Maryland.

As the definition of diversity expands, Towson University will continue to take tangible steps to advance thriving, diversity and inclusion on campus and in the community.