Western’s School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is fully committed to fostering and creating a welcoming and rigorous academic and professional environment for all. In its second year, the Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence recognizes and honors faculty, staff and/or student efforts toward promoting a campus of inclusive excellence.
This year’s recipients are assistant professor Salif Mahamane, and Outdoor Industry MBA student Evan Ferchau, who is a member of the 2020 spring graduating class.
Mahamane is being recognized for his work with students across campus in an effort to increase their success during their time here. He is especially involved with the Black Student Alliance, the Psychology Department and the Master of Environmental Management program. He has also contributed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Internationalization (DEII) efforts on campus.
“Professor Mahamane’s unyielding, genuine and reflective approach to student success makes him a perfect choice for this award. His ‘innovation’ is an authentic presence which his colleagues and students experience as a recognition of their full humanity,” said Kate Clark, Director of Western’s undergraduate Environment & Sustainability program.
Ferchau was selected for the inclusivity leadership he demonstrated on two main projects during his time at Western. The first was co-authoring the “Outdoor Industry MBA Inclusion and Diversity Action Plan.” The second project was his pursuit of creating an Outdoor Industry Equality Index for the LGBTQ+ Community as his capstone project. He is collaborating with Get Out and Trek, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ adventurists.
While creating the Equality Index, Ferchau sought input from industry leaders like Athlete Ally and Reggie Miller, Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity at VF Corp—the parent company to The North Face, Timberland, Smartwool and more. He also interviewed the Human Rights Campaign to focus on best practices for creating an index.
Director of Western’s Outdoor Industry (OI) MBA Scott Borden, Ph.D., and OI MBA professor Brooke Moran, Ph.D., believe Ferchau’s work will help increase LGBTQ+ diversity in the dynamic world of outdoor industry.
“We are confident that Evan’s project will have a positive impact on companies, the industry and those impacts will create ripple effects into the greater marketplace,” Borden and Moran said.