Pictured above: the 2014- 2015 Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership recipient, Cara Wimberley.
Each year the President’s Community Advisory Committee on Diversity presents a Mary Washington student with the Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership. This award is given to a rising senior enrolled in the University, who possesses strong characteristics of leadership and demonstrates a personal commitment – advocating for diversity and inclusion across campus. Once the recipient is chosen he or she serves as an ambassador for diversity, a peer mentor to underrepresented students, and a voice for underrepresented populations to the faculty and staff.
To apply for the Citizenship Award for Diversity presented annually during the Diversity Program, which is part of Orientation Week, a student must complete the application as well as submit one (1) faculty or staff recommendation. Faculty and Staff may nominate students for this award as well.
Once chosen as the recipient of the Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership, the recipient will be asked to serve in various capacities throughout the 2014- 2015 academic year. The on-going service agenda will be mutually beneficial, service will be provided to the campus community, and the student will continue to develop academically and socially.
Cara Wimberley is a senior attending the University of Mary Washington from Blacksburg, Virginia. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Linguistics and Middle Eastern Studies. Cara recently spent a semester abroad at Al-Ahliyya Amman University in Jordan studying Arabic and taking other courses about Middle Eastern culture and history. This experience has opened her eyes to many global, social and political issues. Participating in this study abroad program has further enhanced her leadership skills, as well as increased her understanding of different cultural environments. Her time in Jordan has added to her ability to communicate effectively and establish positive relationships in an international arena. From this opportunity, Cara has a heightened desire to experience life in multiple areas of the world, as more than just a tourist.
During her UMW career, Cara has held several leadership roles and been very involved in a number of campus-wide cultural programs. She is a member, past secretary and vice president of People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM). In addition, she has consistently participated in the Cross-Cultural BBQ, Arab Culture Night, Day of Silence and the Multicultural Fair. This year, Cara will be a peer mentor in the InterLink Mentor Program with the Center for International Education.
Her studies at UMW and abroad have encouraged her to work toward causes that promote diversity, equality, social justice, and cultural awareness. Cara’s UMW and study abroad experiences have taught her that being a leader means learning about diverse identities and cultures in order to best understand the richness of community. They have also led her to explore her own identities, as well as her role in the UMW community. Cara appreciates receiving this award as a special opportunity to address social justice and diversity issues that impact members of the Mary Washington community and beyond. She aspires to continue these efforts after graduating.