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UIC Office of Diversity Honors 2023 Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awardees


The UIC Office of Diversity, Equity & Engagement (ODEE) recently announced the 2023 awardees and honorable mentions for the UIC Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. This award was created to recognize extraordinary contributions and commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion on the UIC campus and in the communities it serves.

The 2023 UIC Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion awardee was Teri McMurtry-Chubb, JD, associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law in the UIC School of Law. Dean McMurtry-Chubb is noted for her development of the Critical Race Feminism and Social Justice Lawyering courses at UIC, her conception, design and direction of the J.D. Concentration in Critical Race & Gender Studies program, as a founder of the Writing As Resistance (WAR) annual workshops that support legal writing faculty of color and her authoring of an authoritative text on DEI matters (“Strategies & Techniques for Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the Core Law Curriculum”).

The Emerging awardee was Nic M. Weststrate, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology out of the UIC College of Education. Dr. Weststrate is noted for his co-facilitation of The LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project (in partnership with the Senior Services Program at Center on Halsted, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago), his membership on the OUTAging Committee of Pride Action Tank out of AIDS Foundation Chicago and his leadership on the UIC LGBTQ2SIA+ Campus Climate Study.

Honorable Mention was given to Jeremiah T. Abiade, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering out of the UIC College of Engineering. Dr. Abiade is noted for his DEI work which focuses on dismantling racist and non-evidenced based policies in higher education, cultivating the next generation of STEM professionals and advocating for others to be included in the Academy. As chair of the UIC Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Recruitment, Admissions and Retention, he led multiple efforts to increase equity in UIC admissions processes which ultimately led to the passage of the Augmented College Criteria and Evaluation for Student Success (ACCESS) proposal. He also serves as the faculty executive director of the DuSable Scholars Program, which identifies and supports talented Black and Native American students who are underrepresented in STEM fields, and is an active participant in the UIC Bridge to Faculty (B2F) Program out of the Office of Diversity.

Emerging Honorable Mention was given to Felicia Scott-Wellington, MD, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics in the UIC College of Medicine. Dr. Wellington is noted for being the co-director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Department of Pediatrics, a faculty lead mentor with the Urban Health Program, her collaboration with ECHO Chicago to provide telementoring for community-based providers with a particular focus on advocating for the physical and mental well-being of teenagers and her work in educating medical providers and community members about vaccine hesitance during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic especially as it impacted minority patients.

Awardees will be honored at the annual Faculty Awards Ceremony and Reception, which will be held in the fall.