The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been recognized as a 2019 recipient of the “Colleges and Institutions Committed to Diversity” Award by Minority Access, Inc. The award was given for the institution’s continuous work in expanding the pool of minority scientists, researchers and professionals in the respective fields in which they are underrepresented.

Colleges and universities nominated for the honor were asked to provide information regarding programs they have established that show a commitment to diversity.

In addition, Christopher Jones, inaugural director of UAB’s Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs, was recognized by Minority Access, Inc., as a 2019 National Role Model for his efforts in advancing the recruitment, retention and enhancement of underrepresented students at UAB.

Jones continues to support the success of historically marginalized groups on UAB’s campus through his leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion. These efforts have included the creation of a student Safe Zone training program, a diversity programs board, and the development of an intergroup dialogue initiative designed to help students discuss issues around diversity.

“UAB is honored to receive this prestigious award in recognition of our core commitment to diversity and equal opportunity,” said UAB President Ray Watts. “I thank our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Christopher Jones, and our faculty and staff campus wide who continue to make us a national model for widening access to higher education and growing the ranks of underrepresented scientists, investigators and other professionals.”

Minority Access, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization, provides support to individuals and entities of all kinds to help diversify campuses and worksites through improved minority recruitment and retention and enhanced institutional experiences.

Christopher Jones and UAB were recognized officially Sept. 28 at the 20th National Role Models Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.