Diversity Awards

The 17th Annual Fisher College of Business Diversity Awards Reception and Luncheon recently recognized those individuals and corporations that have worked to advance the education and careers of students at Fisher.

The event was presented by Fisher’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services (OD&ISS) and sponsored by Crowe Horwath, LLP.

Steffanie Wilk, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Fisher, said she was happy to see everyone behind these important efforts come together.

“We see the breadth and the depth of the support that we’re getting from our community partners,” she said. “For the students, faculty and staff who are in the room, it’s so heartening to see what great support we’re getting for them.

“When I think about creating the most effective learning environment, it’s one that’s diverse and feels safe for people to bring their whole selves. It is one where people can share ideas and perspectives. Building inclusion into our conversation about diversity is part of the strategic plan here at Fisher.”

Tami Van Tassell, an audit partner at PwC, was named the winner of the Individual Business Diversity Award. Nominees included Tamara Izzo and Mariah D. Scott (BSBA ’15, MAcc ’16).

“Tami has been a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion,” Brian Mittendorf, chair of the Department of Accounting and MIS, wrote in his nomination. “She has infused our relationship with PwC with successful and consistent emphasis and support for diversity and inclusion. We are fortunate to have them as a partner, and they have demonstrably helped us in attracting a more diverse student body.”

ExxonMobil was named the winner of the Corporate Business Diversity Award. Accenture, DHL Supply Chain North America, EY, NiSource, Prospanica Columbus and PwC were among the nominees.

In nominating ExxonMobil for the award, Champaigne Powell, a Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM) student and graduate assistant with OD&ISS, highlighted the company’s commitment to scholarships at Fisher. ExxonMobil has provided more than $65,000 of scholarship support to 27 students since 2004.

Austyn Johnson (MHRM ’12), an HR manager at ExxonMobil, accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

“This is quite an honor,” she said. “For many, many years we’ve partnered with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and with the Fisher graduate program overall. Personally for me as a recipient of the scholarship when I was at Fisher, it has been quite an honor to work with the diversity and inclusion community at the college, and we look forward to the continued partnership.”

2018 Diversity Awards

David Harrison, senior director of OD&ISS, said the longevity of the Diversity Awards is evidence of the ongoing diversity and inclusion support from individuals and Fisher’s partners.

“They’re helping in the classroom, they’re helping with career opportunities and they’re helping to encourage people to continue to do well,” he said. “I think what this program does each year is act as a reminder to award and to recognize. They’re not doing it for the recognition; they’re doing it because it’s good practice.”

Nia Patterson, an MHRM student scheduled to graduate in May, received the Perseverance Award. A graduate assistant for OD&ISS, Patterson overcame a challenging car accident in January. She spent a week in the hospital and three more juggling her recovery and her classes. She returned to work in mid-February.

“I’m forever grateful to the office and to all the companies here, to the school and to my teachers — just for working with me during a really rough, rough, rough time,” Patterson said.

This year’s event took place on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

“I was thinking about the anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and I was thinking about the progress we’ve made and the progress that still needs to come,” Wilk said. “May his legacy and memory continue to inspire us here at Fisher, at Ohio State and everyone in this room to continue the fight for equality and opportunities for all of our children to learn in classrooms across the world.”