diversity champion awardThe President's Diversity Champion Award recognizes significant achievements of faculty, staff and students toward developing a more diverse, equitable and inclusive university community.


Nominations are welcome from any member of the University community. Awards will be given in each of five categories noted below:

  1. Faculty
  2. Staff
  3. Undergraduate student
  4. Graduate student and Professional student
  5. Student organization

Priority will be given to nominees who were not previous recipients of the President’s Diversity Champion Award.

Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Students

  • Nominees must be current students.
  • Exhibited leadership which fosters positive interaction between people of different lifestyles, cultural backgrounds, and identities.
  • Demonstrated dedication to advocating for diversity issues, as well as the diversity, equity, and inclusion of underrepresented groups.
  • Participated in or facilitated the development of programs to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organization, on campus, or throughout the community.
  • Active involvement in organizations that foster diversity awareness.

Faculty and Staff

  • Nominees must be current faculty and staff members.
  • Exhibit leadership which fosters positive interaction between people of different lifestyles, cultural backgrounds, and identities.
  • Demonstrated dedication to advocating for diversity issues, as well as the diversity, equity, and inclusion of underrepresented groups.
  • Demonstrated exceptional efforts to promote a university environment that is free from bias and discrimination.
  • Active involvement in organizations that foster diversity awareness.


  • Nominees must be current student organizations.
  • Demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion on campus and within the community.
  • Implemented initiatives that create a supportive environment for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated a consistent pattern of an organizational commitment to the recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented populations.

Award Criteria

Award nominations will be evaluated on the following three criteria:

  1. Significance: How does the activity or project the individual/organization engaged in addressing key areas of diversity such as recruitment, retention, campus or departmental climate, community outreach or other campus diversity goals?
  2. Implementation: How was the activity or project implemented? What strategies were used? What sources of funding were used to implement the activity or project? Projects or activities may be short-term or may have occurred over several years.
  3. Impact: What has been the outcome of the activity or project? For example, has the activity or project, (a) increased understanding or promoted constructive change on issues regarding diversity at UAB, (b) influenced the success of students, staff or faculty of diverse cultural backgrounds, (c) helped to bridge the gap between the university and diverse communities, (d) helped to bring about greater equity in the university community.


Congratulations to the 2021 Recipients: 


Faculty Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Faculty Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Tina Simpson, MD, MPH

Professor and Vice-Chair of Faculty Development, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine

Dr. Simpson is a Professor and Vice-Chair of Faculty Development in the Department of Pediatrics and is actively involved in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities at UAB and at the national level. Dr. Simpson serves as the departmental Diversity Liaison for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Medicine. She has helped lead several diversity education initiatives within the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Simpson led the 2017 Maternal and Child Health Bureau-funded Diversity and Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative, which was comprised of eight teams from training programs across the country and designed to help MCH training programs more effectively address diversity and health equity. Dr. Simpson is a member of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Diversity Committee and in 2020 co-authored a position statement regarding immigrant youth in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers and a manuscript calling for the use of anti-racism approaches to address health inequities.

Because of her involvement with the Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services, Dr. Simpson has been recognized by the city as a “Hidden Hero.” She was honored by BHAM Black Pride with the Dr. Tina Simpson Invisible Warrior Award.

Staff Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Staff Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Jordan Perchik, MD

Department of Radiology, School of Medicine

Dr. Jordan Perchik began his Diagnostic Radiology residency in the UAB Department of Radiology on July 1, 2018. He developed an early interest in medical student education and mentorship and joined the Near-Peer student-resident mentorship program, the Radiology Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the international Radiology outreach organization RadAID; he now serves as a resident leader in these organizations. He has mentored medical students and fellow residents of diverse backgrounds and experiences and has connected them with mentors, facilitated their pursuit of meaningful research, and worked to address health disparities in Radiology. Dr. Perchik's efforts have improved inclusion and representation of women and under-represented minorities in the UAB Radiology Residency and have contributed to overall advances in resident wellness.

Dr. Perchik has also worked to improve transgender health literacy in Radiology at a local and national level. He, along with a supportive team in the UAB Radiology Department, has recently published a systematic review of transgender related research in the Radiology literature, developed sessions in transgender health literacy for the resident education curriculum, and advocates for equitable delivery of healthcare for transgender and gender diverse individuals.

Graduate/Professional Student Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Graduate/Professional Student Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Nia Taylor

School of Dentistry

Nia is currently a third-year dental student at UAB and is enrolled in a dual degree program to pursue both her DMD and MBA degrees with an expected graduation date of May 2022. With a bachelors’ degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Nia first came to UAB and graduated with a Masters’ in Biomedical and Health Sciences in 2018. Since then, she has been actively engaged in student activities at UAB School of Dentistry (SOD). Her current involvement includes serving as the Treasurer of the Student Research Group, Program Director of the Dental Business Club, a UAB SOD Ambassador for the 2020-21 Admissions cycle, and serving as the current president of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA). She has also participated as a dental student mentor to undergraduate students for the past three summers at UAB’s Summer Health Professions Education Program.

Student Organization Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

Student Organization Award, UAB Diversity Champion 2021

MSHA DEI Student Council

School of Health Professions

The MSHA DEI Student Council is a permanent committee of the MSHA Student Organization, established during the summer of 2020. The summer of 2020 presented varying emotional predicaments: students were not only navigating the COVID-19 pandemic but were digesting an influx of media showing social injustices across the country. Naturally, students craved a space to speak candidly, share lived experiences, and ask questions that may have been considered taboo. As a result, the MSHA DEI Student Council was born. The purpose of the MSHA DEI Student Council is to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion as fundamental pillars of the MSHA program, while also bringing heightened social awareness to the faculty, staff, and students of the program. Using a collaborative platform as a foundation, the Council is critical in helping faculty and staff integrate DEI into all aspects of the MSHA program, including the curriculum, admission process, Lunch and Learns, and guest lecturers. The presence of the Council ensures the perpetuity of a platform that calls attention to the diverse perspectives of current students and alumni. The Council will continue to create, support, and sustain initiatives that help achieve the MSHA program’s DEI-related goals.