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Cathy Couza, Bill Thompson, and Jack Thomas
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Thompson: Couza Diversity Award

May 10, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- Bill Thompson, an associate professor in University Libraries at Western Illinois University, received the Western Illinois University 2013 Cathy O'Neill Couza Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity for his contributions to the University and the community at the 24th annual President's Excellence in Diversity Awards Reception held May 9.

"Since arriving at WIU, Bill has actively engaged in a number of activities to increase awareness and provide support for a wide range of diversity issues," said Cathy Couza, former director of Equal Opportunity and Access at WIU. "He has been a passionate advocate for women, the elderly, families, underrepresented students, individuals with disabilities and the LGBTQA community."

Couza added that in addition to lending his voice to promote dialogue on issues of inclusion, Thompson commits his personal time and resources to increase awareness, and to help ensure that WIU is a welcoming and an inclusive environment.

"He shows a genuine interest and concern for the well-being of underrepresented students and has often been observed going above and beyond to assist them in navigating or removing barriers," she noted.

Individuals receiving 2013 Excellence in Diversity awards include:

Excellence in Education: Tracy Davis, professor, College Student Personnel; UNITY, a campus LGBTQA student organization

Excellence in Leadership: Richard Carter, executive director of the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach; Jonathan Curry, family and consumer sciences student.

Excellence in Service: Mohammad Siddiqi, professor, English and journalism; Veterans Resource Center.

Martin DuPuis Mukti Fund Leadership Award: Ste'Phan Nolla, Centennial Honors College Martin Dupuis Leadership Award; Micah Griffin, Martin Dupuis Mukti Fund LGBTQA Leadership Award.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations