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Professor Verdun wins university diversity award

May 27, 2011 | Faculty

For more than two decades, Associate Professor Vincene Verdun has been at the center of efforts to promote diversity – at Moritz, in the University, and in the larger community. Her efforts were recently recognized when she received the University’s Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award. This award is designed to recognize units or individuals that have demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing diversity at the Ohio State University by implementing policies, procedures, and/or programs to enhance diversity on the basis of color, race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran or military service status, gender identity, economic status, political belief, marital status or social background.

“The Ohio State University, the College of Law, and countless students are deeply fortunate to have benefitted from Professor Verdun’s leadership and consistent, powerful efforts on diversity matters,” said Alan C. Michaels, dean and Edwin M. Cooperman Professor of Law. “She has made, and continues to make, a great and lasting difference.”

At Moritz, Verdun has led numerous efforts to promote diversity. She is the advisor to the Black Law Student Association and has spearheaded the organization’s study skills programs, moot court team, awards banquet, and events. She has helped Moritz shape admissions and faculty appointments policies to meet the requirements of the law and promote diversity.

Verdun has served on many University committees, addressing such issues as sexual harassment, family leave, and domestic partner benefits as well as issues facing minority students. She is a participant in the Leadership for Institutional Change, and is a member at large on The Ohio State University American Association of University Professors. She is a director of the Midwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference.

“Her greatest contributions cannot be captured through speeches and committee memberships. She simply stepped forward, with not only sincerity, but also creativity and effectiveness, to seize opportunities to enhance diversity,” said Nancy Rogers, the Michael E. Moritz Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution. “Professor Verdun has helped to establish the equality and welcoming atmosphere that we now cherish at Ohio State.”

Professor Verdun is also a founder of READ (Read Columbus Read, Inc.) a non-profit organization that provides academic assistance, reading incentives, and access to computers to low income children in Columbus’ housing projects. She is on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Arts Complex which is an art and cultural center located on historic Mt.Vernon Avenue in Columbus.

Verdun joins Moritz Professors Kathy Northern and Ruth Colker as winners of the award in the past 10 years. In addition, the Black Law Students Association at Moritz was also recognized by the University in the past for its service.