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DEI leader recognized for excellence, impact

Monica Smith

Dr. Monica M. Smith

Augustana Magazine — Fall 2021

Augustana’s Dr. Monica M. Smith, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, received the Women of Influence Award at the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Awards.

Women Lead Change, a national leadership organization for women, recognized Dr. Smith for her personal and professional excellence and her lasting, positive impact on Augustana College and the Quad-Cities community.

“Being recognized as a Woman of Influence was a great honor,” Dr. Smith said. “It was exciting, affirming and humbling to know that the work I do is revered by my co-workers and colleagues at Augustana and those with whom I serve in various capacities throughout the Quad Cities.”

On a national level, the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education recently recognized Augustana for its campus-wide diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Augustana was one of only seven schools in the country qualifying for the publication’s DOIT certification program in the area of institutional climate.

“We are intentional about acknowledging the cultural differences that exist at the institution and celebrating that diversity,” Dr. Smith said.

This is not Augustana’s first award recognizing its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Since Dr. Smith arrived on campus, the college twice has been honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, receiving the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award in 2019 and 2020.