Veronica Falandino receives university diversity award

UMSI Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Affairs Veronica Falandino has been selected as a 2015 U-M Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award recipient. 

The Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award highlights staff members from across the university who actively embrace the value of diversity by striving to build a working environment that is welcoming, supportive and inclusive.

The award is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources and has been presented annually since 2008. Falandino is the first staff member in the School of Information to receive this award.

During her years at UMSI, Falandino has worked on several diversity and inclusion efforts. Most recently, she collaborated with UMSI senior associate dean for academic affairs Elizabeth Yakel to implement the Research Experience for Master’s Students program, which provides research opportunities and funding for master’s students from underrepresented populations.

“Veronica has been a force in this area, even outside of her specific work activities,” said UMSI director of admissions and student affairs Laura Elgas, Falandino’s supervisor. “She has been a champion in creating an inclusive environment in the student community and in all that she touches.  Her efforts have brought even greater depth to our student diversity and inclusion efforts."

Falandino’s other work has included making UMSI a lead partner institution with the first information summer research program for underrepresented undergraduate students and initiating a change to ensure the use of inclusive language regarding gender identity on UMSI admissions applications.

She has also increased diversity recruiting and scholarships and mentored and facilitated programming with the Multi-ethnic Information Exchange (MIX) student group, whose mission is to strengthen the social capital of UMSI minority students.

As an individual awardee, Falandino will receive written recognition and $1,000 to use for professional development activities or training. She and the other 2015 award recipients will be honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, January 26.

Posted on January 20, 2016