ICA Inclusive Excellence Award

Award winners Jason Shaiman sitting with his son, Andy Zeisler holding his certificate, Patti Liberatore waving to the crowd, students of the Government Relations Network, Rodney Coates displaying his award, and Courtney Rose

The Office of the President, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and Intercollegiate Athletics recognize members of the Miami community who work to advance diversity and inclusion. See the 2018–2019 honorees below.

Courtney Rose

Courtney Rose is currently a senior at Miami University majoring in AYA Integrated English Language Arts Education and minoring in Political Science. Courtney currently serves as Associated Student Government's (ASG) Secretary for Diversity and Inclusion and works directly with the Office of Residence Life's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Community on Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Student Life Council. Last semester, their committee was able to successfully pass legislation on the floor detailing ASG's first-ever inclusion plan for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Courtney also had the opportunity to serve a term as the Diversity Affairs Council (DAC) president. Last summer, Courtney was also able to take classes and intern at St. Mary Magdalene's Academy in London, England, through Miami's Study Abroad program.

Date of award: September 1, 2018

Patti Liberatore

Patti Liberatore, Director of Miami University's Performing Arts Series and College of Creative Arts Assistant Dean for External Relations, brings people together through the arts. For the last two years through the Presidential Series on Inclusivity, the Performing Arts Series has provided a wide range of artists and offered the campus an opportunity to experience the art and culture of a wide sector of America and the world. With productions including Dear World, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles in It Gets Better, The New Golden Age of Latin Music, the LA Theatre Works' The Mountaintop, and Laverne Cox's Ain't I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood, the Performing Arts Series continues to provide audiences with a view of the richness of others and the power of diversity and inclusion.

Date of award: September 29, 2018

Jason Shaiman

Curator of Exhibitions Jason Shaiman and the Miami Art Museum brought to campus and the nation the first of its kind exhibit, Telling a People's Story, that highlighted the accomplishments of authors and illustrators of children's books that focused on civil rights. The project celebrates the complex and diverse African-American experience through a lens intended for children and young readers. The wide range of selections provided a broad view of the African American community that is seldom seen or explored.

In conjunction with the exhibit (which will now travel around the nation) a conference was held in April, 2018. Illustrators, scholars, librarians, and educators presented and discussed diverse aspects of contextualizing African-American children’s picture books.

Date of award: September 29, 2018

J. Andrew Zeisler

Andy Zeisler began his career coordinating services for students with disabilities at Miami in November of 1988. He has been Director of Disability Services since 1994, and he oversees a committed and talented staff of professionals who coordinate reasonable accommodations, support services, and resources to ensure equal access to education and university life for students with disabilities.

Andy graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988, earned his master's degree in Educational Psychology from Miami in 2000, and has served on the 1809 LGBT Alumni Board of Trustees through the Alumni Association since 2004.

Andy is also a member of the Accessible Technology Committee, working to create a more accessible environment at Miami University. He also organizes the Accessible Technology Symposium. This annual symposium is designed to discuss current issues and trends in accessible technology, and provide information about universal design and building accessible content for classroom and marketing materials.

Date of award: October 13, 2018

Government Relations Network

The Government Relations Network (GRN) is an interdisciplinary community that exposes students to a variety of career and volunteer opportunities in government and public service. In conjunction with the Office of Institutional Relations, the GRN has a Living Learning Community comprised of approximately 50 students who live in the only combined first- and second-year living learning community on campus. These residents complete an eight-week sprint course teaching them basic principles of advocacy, leadership, civic engagement, and inclusive excellence. Students of all majors participate in meaningful and immediate involvement with the University and in local, state, and federal government. GRN students regularly serve as University advocates traveling to the Ohio Statehouse and Capitol Hill, hosting elected officials on campus and participating in local district higher education programs.

Recent University events that GRN students have assisted with include the Freedom Summer of '64 Award ceremony in Washington D.C., the Propel Ohio: Collegiate Leadership Summit in Cleveland, Ohio, and President Greg Crawford's "Boldly Creative" presentations on the impact of Miami University on Ohio's economy and workforce development in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo. 

Date of award: November 7, 2018

Rodney Coates

Professor of Global Studies and Sociology, Dr. Coates believes that teaching, research, and service are mutually reinforcing, dynamically interacting, and synergistically intertwined. He challenges students to be active agents within this process, and his role is that of a facilitator and guide.

Dr. Coates manages the summer academic boot camp for first-year student athletes and is one of the factors in the climbing g.p.a.'s of students athletes on campus.

He also coordinates the Penny Lecture Series—a course that includes weekly lectures crossing fields of study. Ranging from sociology, global and intercultural studies, social movements, and black world studies, and delivered by faculty, staff, or invited scholars or leading practitioners, the lectures are designed to expose students to a wide spectrum of philosophies and world views and expand their understanding of diversity and support for inclusion.

Dr. Coates was instrumental in the development of the Miami University and Cincinnati Public School collaboration, and over the last couple of years, has turned his photography hobby into a way to help students. Working with Miami’s Advancement team, sales of his exclusive digital photos have generated more than $25,000 for Miami’s Hope Scholarship. The funds go toward students of underrepresented populations.

Date of award: November 20, 2018