Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award

Headshot of Marian Spencer

Dr. Marian Spencer

Marian Spencer, a celebrated civil rights activist, a 1942 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, was the first African American female elected to Cincinnati City Council and the first female president of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP. She led the fight to desegregate public schools and integrate Coney Island – she won both battles. We want to continue to honor Dr. Spencer’s legacy of activism and servant leadership through the Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Awards. These awards are designed to showcase members of our campus community whose efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion have had a positive impact on the university – advancing belonging, agency, cultural competence, and accountability within and across the campus community.

2020 Award Recipients

Amy Lambert, Student Recipient

Headshot of Amy Lambert

As president of the American Sign Language (ASL) Club at UC, Amy instills vital cultural competence when it comes to working and learning with Deaf people. Serving as a role model, she demonstrates how to work with Deaf individuals and shows people how to find appropriate resources if they need additional information. As club president, she is responsible for the accountability of her officers in the execution of club functions and, ultimately, for club members in navigating the Deaf community.

Whitney Gaskins, PhD, Staff Recipient

Headshot of Whitney Gaskins

While Dr. Gaskins can be very approachable, warm, and kind, she is also a person with high standards and work ethic. While showing compassion and advocating for students in her program, she also builds students up. She empowers students, staff, and faculty and brings them to her very high bar. She articulates the importance of diversity at UC in the classroom and in labs. Within her connections with community partners, Dr. Gaskins conveys how and why they should focus on diversity and the   importance of a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Maria Espinola, Psy.D., Faculty Recipient

Headshot of Maria Espinola

Dr. Espinola facilitates the growth of a sense of agency among colleagues through her service as a member of the UC Latino Faculty Association Executive Board, as a Diversity Chair of the Ohio Psychological Association, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. She is well-known for working collaboratively with others and including those who rarely get a seat at the table. As faculty advisor for a group of over 100 medical students, Dr. Espinola was instrumental in establishing the UC Student Run Free Clinic at the Healing Center in Springdale, OH. The Clinic serves the uninsured and underinsured, particularly Latinos.

CEAS Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement (IECE), Organization Recipient

CEAS group logo

Through the success of IECE programming, the office has been able to increase the number of companies to support students via co-op, scholarships, and programming. Recently, the IECI coordinated an end of the year banquet that celebrated students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners utilizing inclusive “best practices.” Over 120 attendees attended the banquet. J. Phillip Holloman, former President and Chief Operating Office of the Cintas Corporation and CEAS alumni, delivered the keynote address. Mr. Holloman also donated $15,000 to benefit programming and scholarships for the IECE office. In addition to celebrating inclusive practices, the banquet served as a yield opportunity to increase the number of confirmed women and URMs to the college.