Wishes for the future: How would you imagine your environment needing to be for you to feel that you don’t have to do DEI work anymore?

I would need to feel that the people in my environment are committed to actively seeking out opportunities to learn about the experiences of people different than themselves and committed to accepting guidance from people in those groups on how to continue to improve the environment.

Catherine Sullivan

3rd Year Undergraduate Student, Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

I was at my best at advancing DEI while I was working on addressing trans and gender non-conforming healthcare concerns. When I found that other trans people had had similar experiences to me, I began asking around in a few LGBTQ+ groups I was involved in to see how deep the problem ran. I worked with university faculty to create a plan for change and communicated between the students affected and the faculty involved to ensure everyone’s issues would be addressed. In the end, this effort resulted in a dedicated place for trans students to voice concerns to several Student Life groups within the University. I felt I was at my best because it required me to use what I had learned about working with diverse communities, making change at the University, and leading groups, and these efforts led to real steps towards change.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

To receive the MLK Spirit Award would mean recognition of my time, effort, and emotional dedication to making progress at the University.