The ACE Awards

About the ACE Awards

The Accountability, Climate and Equity (ACE) Awards, formerly known as the Diversity Awards, were renamed in 2016 in the spirit of the goals of the Texas A&M University Diversity Plan (http://diversity.tamu.edu/Diversity-Plan).  As the Texas A&M Diversity Plan  outlines, The Aggie family is diverse. The ACE Awards recognize the appreciation of our diversity, which involves an exploration of individual differences in a safe, positive, welcoming, and nurturing academic environment.  The ACE Awards center the three overarching goals of the Diversity Plan: Accountability, Climate, and Equity, which are infused throughout the award categories and are considered criteria for nomination.

The ACE Awards acknowledge and honor students, faculty and staff in honor of their demonstrated commitment to the Texas A&M core value of RESPECT by promoting respectful treatment of others, affirming and encouraging individuals to take pride in their social and cultural identities, and including all in their definition of the “Aggie Family”.   The Awards are sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Office for Diversity, Department of Multicultural Services, Department of Disability Services, Women’s Resource Center, Aggie Allies, the Consensual Language, Education, Awareness, and Relationships Office and the Student Government Association Diversity Commission.

Awards Categories

The ACE Award categories include the Diversity Service Award, Gary Gray Memorial Student Recognition Award, Partners in Learning Award of Excellence, Aggie Allies Rainbow Award, Phyllis R. Frye Advocacy Award, Women’s Progress Award and Stand Up Award.

The Diversity Service Award, sponsored by the Department of Multicultural Services, acknowledges and honors the efforts of students, faculty, staff, student organizations and university teams for working to create an environment where the diversity of individual social identities and ideas are treated equitably in a climate that fosters success and achievement by all. Diversity Service Award recipients will be given in the categories of student, faculty, staff, and student organization. Nominees have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the value of diversity in the areas of accountability, climate and equity, exercised extraordinary efforts to take action against acts of insensitivity and incivility and diligently worked to provide students, faculty, and staff a university experience rich in perspectives and opportunities to learn from each other. Award recipients receive a $250 monetary award and commemorative item.  University affiliated teams will receive a commemorative item.
The Gary Gray Memorial Student Recognition Award, sponsored by the Department of Disability Services, recognizes a student or student group who promotes an inclusive environment at Texas A&M University by removing barriers for students with disabilities through education or inclusive activities. This award was established in 1994 in honor of Gary Gray, an Aggie who consistently challenged Texas A&M University to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities so that all students could actively participate in the Aggie experience. Award recipients receive a $250 monetary award and commemorative item.
The Partners in Learning Award of Excellence, sponsored by the Department of Disability Services, recognizes a staff member, faculty member, or administrator who has actively removed barriers for students with disabilities on campus. The recipient of this award should provide an example to others of inclusion through education, collaboration, and/or innovative practices. Award recipients receive a $250 monetary award and commemorative item.
The Rainbow Award, sponsored by Aggie Allies, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to diversity by serving as a role model and by contributing to the education of the Texas A&M University community regarding Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) people and issues. Award recipients receive a commemorative item and monetary award of $50.
The Phyllis R. Frye Advocacy Award, sponsored by Aggie Allies, recognizes work done in welcoming transgender faculty, students, and staff into the Aggie Family through creating safe spaces and raising the dialogue surrounding transgender realities at the interpersonal and institutional level in the higher education setting. Award recipients are shining examples of real work done at Texas A&M towards the acceptance and nurturance of transgender faculty, staff, and students. Award recipients receive a monetary award of $50 and commemorative item.
The Women’s Progress Award, sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, honors students, staff, faculty, and administrators who encourage and promote sensitivity to and awareness of issues that relate to women.

Student nominees must be currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students, who demonstrate commitment to an improved environment for women students and commitment to women’s issues through volunteer work, elected position, advocacy, and/or other forms of leadership on or off campus.

Staff nominees must be non-faculty employees, who strive to improve the work environment for women and positively promote women in the workplace.

Faculty nominees must be tenure or non-tenure track faculty, who foster an environment that is supportive to the needs of women and provide class content and lectures that are inclusive in their approach and sensitivity to women’s issues.

Administrator nominees must be at department head level or above and encourage and direct attention to an improved environment for women through policy formation, goal-setting, programs, staff selection, etc. and positively promote women’s issues in the workplace.

Award recipients receive a commemorative item and $250 monetary award.

The Stand Up Award, sponsored by the Department of Multicultural Services and the Consensual Language, Education, Awareness, and Relationships Office, acknowledges students and student organizations who take action by stepping in and standing up against power-based interpersonal violence and bias/hate related incidents. Nominees have taken action against behaviors that involve the intentional selection of a victim based on their membership in a group identified by race, ethnicity, disability, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Nominees for this award may have also taken action against sexual violence, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and dating violence and demonstrated outstanding efforts to promote the message that sexual and dating violence is not acceptable in our campus culture. Award recipients will each receive a $250 monetary award and commemorative item.

For more information regarding the award process contact Dr. Tonya Driver, Director of the Department of Multicultural Services at tonyadriver@tamu.edu.

Nomination Process

Nominations may be submitted by any member of the University community (co-worker, supervisor, adviser, dean or department head, student).  No self-nominations will be reviewed.

Nominations must be submitted online and include 1) a nomination letter from the nominator and 2) two additional letters of support.

Nomination statements, including specific examples, should describe the nominee’s eligibility for an award focused on Accountability, Climate, and Equity as outlined in the Texas A&M Diversity Plan (http://diversity.tamu.edu/Diversity-Plan) and how the nominee meets the specific award’s criteria as outlined in the Awards Categories section.  Letters of support are submitted with the understanding that the individual or group is being nominated and should shed additional rationale as to why the nominee is an ideal candidate for the award.  For faculty and staff nominees, greater consideration will be given to those individuals whose accomplishments are above and beyond standard job responsibilities.

Selection Process

Review and selection of the Diversity Service Awards will be coordinated by the Department of Multicultural Services.  The Rainbow Award and The Phyllis R. Frye Advocacy Award will be selected by Aggie Allies.  The Gary Gray Memorial Student Recognition Award and The Partners in Learning Award of Excellence will be selected by staff from the Department of Disability Services.  The Women’s Progress Award will be selected by a committee convened by the Women’s Resource Center.  The Stand Up Award will be selected by staff of the Department of Multicultural Services, Consensual Language, Education, Awareness, and Relationships Office and Student Government Association Diversity Commission.

Recipients of Diversity Awards

Please click here for a list of winners of Diversity and ACE Awards.

Watch the 2017 ACE Awards