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Stanford honors Leland Scholars Program with 2018 President’s Awards for Excellence Through Diversity

Students in the Leland Scholars program work with an experiment in combustion. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

May 23 2018

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In the News

By Kathleen J. Sullivan

A linguistic professor emeritus, a recent Stanford graduate, the Graduate Diversity Staff Council and the Leland Scholars Program each received a 2018 President’s Award for Excellence Through Diversity at a ceremony this week.

Stanford established the awards in 2009 to recognize and honor individuals and programs that have made exceptional contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity within the Stanford community.

This year’s individual winners are John Rickford, a professor of linguistics, emeritus, and Lily Zheng, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in sociology at Stanford in 2017.

This year’s program winners are the Graduate Diversity Staff Council, which provides an infrastructure for collaboration and information sharing among staff members in support of diversity and inclusion, and the Leland Scholars Program, which helps facilitate the transition to Stanford among incoming first-year students who are the first members of their families to attend college or who come from under-resourced high schools.

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne presented the awards.

Leland Scholars Program

The Leland Scholars Program was honored “for creating an effective and welcoming transition program to Stanford for incoming first-year undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college or have attended under-resourced schools.”

John Okhiulu and Bao Phan work together to test how different gasses affect a lighted candle.

Above: John Okhiulu and Bao Phan work together to test how different gasses affect a lighted candle. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

The citation commended the program “for providing an important foundation of community and belonging for incoming students, beginning with a four-week summer residential program and continuing throughout their Stanford years with activities, advising and mentoring.”

The program was honored “for establishing a place where incoming undergraduates build the skills, confidence and friendships to help them thrive at Stanford and make the most of their educational opportunities at the university.”

The Leland Scholars Program was also commended “for offering a stimulating introduction to Stanford cited by students as ‘the best decision I have ever made,’ ‘everything I could have hoped for and more’ and a program that ‘set up the best support system we could ever ask for.’”