Students, Faculty, Staff Honored with Helping Hand Awards

Daphne Kwok '84 was the keynote speaker.

Daphne Kwok ’84 was the keynote speaker.

Students, faculty and staff who exercised cultural sensitivity, helped promote diversity and inclusion, and improved the campus climate were recognized at the annual Edgar Beckham Helping Hand Awards ceremony held April 27. The event brought together generations of alumni, students, faculty and staff to celebrate the tenets that make Wesleyan “Diversity University.” The keynote speaker this year was Daphne Kwok ’84.

The awards are sponsored by the Administrators and Faculty of Color Alliance, African American Studies Program,  Alumni of Color Council,  Edgar Beckham Fund, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, and Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Honored at the ceremony were:


Foot in the Door Award (Freshman Award)- Sadasia McCutchen ’17

Excellence in Athletics Award- Angela Slevin ’15

Excellence in the Arts Award- Yiyang Wang ’15

Elsa Hardy '14

Elsa Hardy ’14

Excellence in Science Award- LaNell Williams ’15

Academic Excellence Award- Elsa Hardy ’14

Senior Legacy Award- Oladoyin Oladapo ’14

Campus Inspiration Award- Ari Ebstein ’16



Lois Brown, Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor, professor of African American studies, professor of English

Suzanne O’Connell, professor of earth and environmental sciences, faculty director of the McNair Program

Gina Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology

Renee Johnson-Thornton, dean for diversity and student engagement, coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

Sarah Mahurin, visiting assistant professor of English, visiting assistant professor of African American studies
Photos of the event are below: (Photos by Diego Song ’15)

Helping Hands Awards 2014.

Helping Hands Awards 2014.

Debbie Sierpinski: Assisting 4 Departments, Editing Classics Newsletter

Debbie Sierpinski, administrative assistant, pictured here with Christi Richardson ’10, has worked at Wesleyan more than 24 years. She manages the budgets for Classical Studies and English Departments and for the Archaeology and Medieval Studies programs.

Q: Debbie, you’re the administrative assistant for the Archaeology Program, Medieval Studies Program and the Classical Studies Department. Anything else?!

A: In October 2010, I was given a promotion and added the responsibility of also working for the English Department and Writing Workshop in the new Downey House operations support system. At times it is a bit challenging, but I am good at managing my time and priorities so the work gets done in a timely fashion. I wear many different hats and wear them well.

Q: How many years have you worked for Wesleyan, and in what departments?

A: I have credit for 24 years at Wesleyan. I have been at Wesleyan longer than that but I did not bridge all of the time. I have worked for the Classical Studies Department and Medieval Studies Program for 18 years. After a few years, the Archaeology Program was added on and then most recently, the English Department