Newsletter 30: April 24th, 2019

CDI Beacons of 2019-20

We are excited to announce next year's Dream Team! The new CDI Beacons are:
Morgan Whiskers, sophomore majoring in Exercise Science 
Kai Lameman, sophomore majoring in Biology
Destiny Tolliver, freshman majoring in Psychology
Leticia Lourdes (Le-lou) Yutuc, a junior majoring in Biology

Congratulations team!

CDI End-Of-the-Year Banquet

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) finished the 2018-19 school year with a banquet to award and recognize esteemed staff and students.

During the banquet, Maria Martinez, director of the CDI, highlighted campaigns from the different clubs throughout the year. Examples include the Don’t Touch My Hair by the Black Student Union, Polynesian Cultural Showcase, and the Native American Student Association Pow Wow.

The purpose of this event was to share, express and celebrate the culture of minorities as a whole. Each club presented awards associated with their specific clubs to spotlight students for dedication to their club.

The biggest awards of the night were the CDI Champion and the Legacy Award.

The winner of the CDI Champion Award was Meshak Gaisoa, a junior criminal justice major and legal studies minor. Giasoa was described as a student has been able to connect with many people in the CDI and does so through compassion and encouragement.

Over the course of the year, Gaisoa demonstrated a willingness to understand different group’s struggles and experiences and exemplifies what it means to be a part of the CDI and what we stand for.

The winner of the Legacy Award was Sunny Sims, a political science major with a minor in legal studies. She was described as a student who is a strong advocate for any minority group on campus and cares for everyone that they meet. She was always willing to put forth her voice and opinion for others and to educate those that are not very well versed in very touchy and sensitive topics. Sims represented the Black Student Union.

Regardless of what club the students are associated with, the CDI focuses on empowering historically underrepresented students to succeed and graduate from college. The CDI promotes, explores and celebrates diversity.  It also fosters a spirit of inclusivity across campus and in the community.

“The CDI is a safe place for me. I feel like in here, I can relate to people and we can talk about controversial topics without being judged or censored,” Nadja Gonzalez, a freshman sports medicine major said. “I belong here and it’s nice to see people that look like me and other minorities striving for academic excellence. It’s really cool to see people who are different by race, but have gone through some of the same things as a minority.”

The semester may be ending soon, but to find out more about the Center for Diversity and Inclusion by stopping by the Sharwan Smith Center RM 101 or click here to find out more information.

Story by: Markiece Gross
Photo Courtesy of: Markiece Gross

Other Award Recipients Include:
Rising Leader Award (Freshman): Mahala Sutherland
Rising Leader Award (Transfer Student): Nestor Zapata Lopez
Faculty/Staff Advocate Award: Anu Au Tufuga and Ashleigh Zimmerman
Outstanding Club Member Awards:

  • Undocu Migration Alliance: Xiadani Varela
  • Asian American Student Alliance: Sabrinah Cava
  • African Union Club: Dennis Hein
  • Pride and Equality Club: Lacy Woods
  • Polynesian Club: Oman Gataloai
  • Native American Student Association: Hadiibah John
  • Latino Student Alliance: Akira Schwarz
  • Black Student Union: Dominique Erwin

CDI Feedback

As this semester comes to a close, we want to check in with students who work closely with the CDI to see which needs are and are not being met through SUUSA (SUU's Student Government). Please give us some suggestions for how SUUSA can better serve you or legislation you would like to be introduced to the Student Students. You can give us your suggestions by clicking here. 


Turn Up Our Voices

For the remainder of the semester, the CDI would like to highlight students and their experiences on campus regarding their identity. The following questions/prompts will be our focus: 

  1. Tell us about a professor who most supported your identity in the classroom.
  2. Tell us about a memorable experience you've had on campus that involves your identity.
  3. Why do you value the CDI?
  4. What do you wish people knew about your identity? 

We are looking for students to share their experiences so please come by the CDI or email us at if you would like to be involved with this campaign.

CDI Student of the Month (March)
The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is excited to highlight some the amazing students who are a part of the T-Bird family. This year we will begin a Student of the Month initiative where outstanding students can be nominated and featured throughout the month. Nominations will be accepted from any SUU faculty, staff, or student. Winners will be chosen by the CDI team and will be recognized physically in the CDI, in the electronic newsletter, and will be awarded a gift card in appreciation. To nominate a student who you believe deserves this recognition, click here.

Our Clubs!

Asian American Student Alliance
Meeting: TBA
Club President: Liz Pittman
Social Media: IG:suu_aasa

Black Student Union (BSU)
Meeting: Wednesday's at 6:30 PM in the CDI (ST 101)
Club President: Sunny Sims
Social Media: BSU Facebook, IG/Twitter @suu_bsu

Latino Student Alliance (LSA)
Meeting: Wednesday's at 5 PM in the CDI (ST 101)
Club President:
Stacy Soto
Social Media: LSA Facebook, IG @suulsa

Native American Student Association (NASA)
Meeting: Every Tuesday at 6 PM in the CDI (ST 101)
Club President: Tylor Garcia

Social Media: NASA Facebook
Polynesian Club
Meeting: Every First Monday at 7 PM in the ED 111
Club President: Aoise (Ise) Talamoni
Social Media: PC Facebook , IG @suu.poly

Pride and Equality Club (PAEC)
Meeting: Tuesdays's at 6 PM in ED 111 
Club President: Lacey Woods
Social Media: PAEC Facebook
African Union Club
Meeting: Friday's at 5 PM in the CDI (ST 101)
Club President: Lisa Muisimbi
Social Media: IG: suu_a.u.c

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) exists to validate the multiple identities present on our campus, while integrating the voices and experiences of marginalized people. We provide emotional, social, and financial support to students from historically underrepresented communities (e.g. students of color, LGBTQIA+ students, first-generation college students, etc.)

The CDI collaborates with campus partners to foster a learning environment that respects multiple perspectives and differences through multicultural clubs, workshops, trainings and cultural programming. The CDI invites members of the campus community to join in conversation about how to cultivate an inclusive, safe, and welcoming campus culture.


Sharwan Smith Student Center, Room 101

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