News

Congratulations to Michelle Thomas!

March 2017

Our very own Michelle Thomas was recently honored with the 2017 Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color Award.

The award, which recognizes women of color who have had an impact on the communities they live and work in and who have been warm and welcoming to others, was given out at the Celebrating Global Sisterhood reception, which took place March 7.

The other awardees were Miami University faculty member Marsha Robinson and community member Patricia Ellis. Student presenters included: Mary Shoufan, a first-year architecture/interior design graduate student from Damascus, Syria; Lydia Yellow Hawk, a junior anthropology major from Rosebud, South Dakota, who is a member of the Lakota Indian Tribe; and Megan Zimmer, a junior international relations and French double major from Finneytown, Ohio, that began wearing a hijab her senior year of high school.

Since Michelle is easily one of the nicest, most welcoming and helpful people you’ll meet at the Farmer School, we’re not surprised that she has been recognized in this way. The nomination letter for the award says it all:

“Michelle is an unofficial mentor to students of color in the Farmer School of Business. She serves as a sage advisor, friend, and in many ways, parent. This means that she, like all parents, is on duty (as they say) twenty-four/seven, and much of her work in this role is done via cell phone and on evenings and weekends. This is an enormous responsibility, and one that Michelle welcomes and embraces.

“It is difficult to measure Michelle’s impact within and beyond the Miami University community. Because of Michelle’s commitment and guidance, a number of diverse students will more easily rise to the myriad academic and personal challenges posed by life events. The students she mentors in turn help shape and improve the institution and its culture, and then become ambassadors of Miami after their departure. Looking around her office, it is apparent that in a year Michelle probably gets more notes of thanks from students for going above and beyond the call of duty than many of us have had in our careers. She is a difference maker with these young women and men.”

Please join us in saying: Congratulations, Michelle!