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NOVA receives Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for third consecutive year

Left to Right: Lenore Pearlstein, Diversity in Higher Ed Magazine; Kate Haselhorst, diversity officer, Virginia Community College System (VCCS); Dr. Chris Lee, assistant VP of human resources, VCCS; Charlotte Calobrisi, NOVA’s associate VP of human resources; Everett Eberhardt, NOVA’s director of equity and diversity (Photo Credit: NOVAGraphics)

Northern Virginia Community College has been awarded the prestigious 2016 HEED Award by the owner and publisher of Insight into Diversity Magazine, Lenore Pearlstein.

The HEED—Higher Education Excellence in Diversity—Award is in its 12th year and Pearlstein said she developed it to celebrate the great work that colleges are doing to advance diversity amongst their students, faculty, staff and administrators.

NOVA has been a recipient of the HEED Award for the past three years and, this year, was amongst only three Virginia institutions to receive the award. The other two were UVA and Virginia Tech.

“A number of years ago, I realized that no one was acknowledging the difficult and often thankless work being done by diversity administrators on college campuses,” Pearlstein said. “So, in 2012, I created the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. Now in its sixth year, this award has become a very prestigious recognition because it is the only national award for colleges and universities that shows an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus.”

“The award is not as much about numbers as it is what you are doing and what you want to do moving forward. It’s not a rearview mirror look, but rather the road ahead,” Pearlstein said. “The purpose of the HEED Award is not only to recognize institutions for their exceptional diversity and inclusion efforts, but also to give each school the impetus to continue their work and maybe even work at greater strides to have a diverse and inclusive campus. Applications are received from institutions located throughout the U.S. and represent community colleges, baccalaureate-granting institutions, graduate schools, law schools and Ivy League schools.”

NOVA is one of only 83 schools and only seven community colleges and community college systems throughout the U.S. to receive the award in 2016. NOVA’s efforts to increase graduation rates, increase and retain diverse faculty and its standards for diversity accountability and ongoing diversity training are just some the reasons why it was selected.

“Our excellence in terms of employment of a highly diverse workforce and the record of success of our diverse student population is unmatched amongst similarly situated higher education institutions in America,” said Everett Eberhardt, NOVA’s director of equity and diversity. “NOVA deserves recognition for its accomplishments, and we’re pleased to have received this recognition from Insight into Diversity Magazine.”

NOVA’s Administrative Council approved establishment of the college wide Diversity and Inclusion Council in Oct. 2015. Each of NOVA’s six campuses has a Diversity and Inclusion committee, and one member from each campus is appointed to serve on the college wide council.

Media Contact: Kathy Thompson | 703-764-0896 | kthompson@nvcc.edu

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.