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Social Change Award for Equity

Photo of Monet Harbison, a 2023 Social Change Award for Equity winner

Anne Converse Willkomm, Associate Dean of the Graduate College (right) presenting an Social Change Award for Equity to Monet Harbison, a PhD student in education (left), at Graduate Student Day on June 1, 2023.

Award Overview

The Graduate College and Center for Black Culture are proud of the justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts of graduate and professional BIPOC student community in antiracist community engagement, activism, and involvement within and outside of the University community. The Social Change Award for Equity is presented to graduate and professional students (master's and/or doctoral level) who have made positive contributions that promote social justice, equity, cultural diversity, inclusion, and understanding and/or awareness  and who have demonstrated excellence in DEI programming or initiatives, including online/remote.

Eligible graduate students must be fully matriculated in a graduate program or have graduated in the current academic year. Medical and law students may also be nominated. Self-nominations will also be considered for this award, but must be supported by a faculty member, professional staff member, and/or an external supervisor.

Up to two awards are presented for $250, one sponsored by the Center for Black Culture.

Nomination Process & Timeline

Faculty and professional staff members are encouraged to nominate eligible graduate and professional students. External professionals who supervise the student in a related capacity may also nominate. Students may also self-nominate for this award, but self-nominations must be supported by a faculty member, professional staff member, and/or an external supervisor.

Submissions for 2023-2024 awards cycle are now closed. The deadline to submit nominations was by 12 p.m. EDT Monday, April 22, 2024.

Awardees will be notified and announced on or around May 13, 2024.

Required Materials

  1. Completed Nomination Form - Please see below and prepare your responses in advance as the form will not save a draft.
  2. Nominations from a faculty members, professional staff member, or external supervisor require a letter of recommendation or statement on the student's commitment to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and their eligibility using the criteria below.
  3. Self-nominations require a 500-word personal statement on the student's commitment to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and outlining their eligibility using the criteria below.
  4. Resume/CV- Maximum of 2 pages (such as an NSF or NIH biosketch)

Evaluation Criteria

Nomination materials should provide examples of two or more of the following criteria:

  • Committed to changing how Drexel addresses social justice issues
  • Serves as a change agent and made a tangible impact promoting equity, inclusion, or social justice
  • Fosters meaningful relationships between diverse populations
  • Challenges stereotypical perceptions of systematically marginalized populations
  • Helps people learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds
  • Generates an awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures
  • Has a record for enhancing awareness and understanding of diverse cultures among the general community
  • Contributes to systemic/institutional/policy change to help remove barriers to historically systemically marginalized communities

Award Selection & Distribution

The Graduate College appoints a diverse group of faculty and professional staff representing Drexel's Colleges and Schools to review nominations and select University-level awardees based on the evaluation criteria. Awards are usually distributed each year at a Graduate Student Day awards ceremony and reception. Graduating awardees are also listed in the official Commencement program and may also be recognized during their individual College or School Commencement ceremony.

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate College at

Visit the Graduate College website for more information about the Graduate Student Excellence Awards.