It is with extreme pleasure that I announce good news - that Dr. Brigit Carter has won the 2017 Duke University Blue Ribbon Diversity Award. This annual award is one of Duke’s highest employee honors for faculty and staff who consistently demonstrate respect and value for differing backgrounds and points of view.
I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of this award than Dr. Brigit Carter. Her unwavering commitment to the success of diverse students, staff and faculty has made our school immeasurably more humane and supportive. As program director of our ABSN program, Dr. Carter is a powerful role model and change agent related to the recruitment and retention of under-represented minority students. She has created opportunities and experiences that shape these students as dynamic leaders for the future of nursing. Her work as director of the Health Equity Academy each summer has inspired and supported over 100 pre-nursing students to be successful in their chosen program. Brigit Carter is a leader who leads by example and influence. Her recently funded HRSA grant “The Academy for Academic and Social Enrichment & Leadership Development for Health Equity” builds on, expands, and elevates the work with the Health Equity Academy, but also deepens our faculties’ knowledge and expertise in admitting and supporting unrepresented minority students. Her leadership in obtaining the recent HRSA grant has facilitated bringing in the Association of Colleges of Nursing this fall to work with the faculty to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence they will need to implement holistic assessment for a highly competitive program. Dr. Carter has also worked diligently with our faculty to implement a holistic admissions process.
Dr. Carter was also one of the strong proponents of having diversity and inclusion as one of our 6 core values in the strategic planning process. As one of two Executive Champions for the “People and Environment” focus area, Dr. Carter worked with several strategy teams who made recommendations for the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for our school. She championed two additional Racial Equity Institute workshops over the past 18 months attended by over half of our faculty and staff. These workshops provided a bedrock and foundation for the work the school will continue to engage in to develop an inclusive and welcoming culture. The respect and value her faculty and staff colleagues have for her made these accomplishments look easy, and I am very clear they would not have all converged and happened in the school in such a timely fashion without Dr. Carter’s clear commitment, her leadership, and persistent approaches to engaging so many others in pursuit of one unifying goal – valuing all perspectives and individuals.
As Benjamin Reese, Vice President of the Duke Office for Institutional Equity wrote in his letter announcing the decision, “Your efforts not only reflect these values, but you provide the leadership that helps us move further along on our journey to enhance diversity and more fully utilize the talents of everyone in our workforce. With this honor, we recognize your accomplishments and look to your continued leadership and modeling of what it means to be a true champion of diversity and inclusion’.
Please join me in congratulating Brigit Carter on winning this prestigious Duke award!