Jodi Graff recognized with Diversity Catalyst Award

Jodi Graff poses with her Diversity Catalyst Award. (photo credit: Gabby Estlund)

For all her contributions toward diversity and inclusion at the University of Iowa, Jodi Graff, administrative director of the UI Carver College of Medicine Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, was presented with a 2019 UI Diversity Catalyst Award.

Diversity Catalyst Awards honor faculty or staff members, programs or departments, and students or student organizations engaged in diversity initiatives that have promoted the development of an inclusive, diverse campus community. Graff practices these ideals as a representative of the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Health Care.

“The Diversity Catalyst Award is an opportunity to celebrate members of the University of Iowa community who are building on the UI’s legacy, advancing a more equitable environment, and promoting inclusiveness on every level and for every person,” Graff says.

Teaching and training

Erika Christiansen, MA, assistant director of Leadership and Service Programs for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership,nominated Graff and noted her involvement in many projects striving for inclusiveness, including:

  • Helping the UI Carver College of Medicine to revise the application form to remove binary gender language and broaden inclusion
  • Facilitating new trainings during Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Week in 2018 and 2019
  • Implementing the one-day National Coalition Building Institute’s workshop “Leadership for Equity and Inclusion” for first-year biomedical science students during graduate student orientation.
  • Training and facilitating Safe Zone I, II, and Trans Awareness workshops
Gabby Estlund

Jodi Graff presenting her acceptance speech. (photo credit: Gabby Estlund)

“Jodi Graff has a stellar reputation of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment at the University of Iowa,” says Christiansen “She is able to view the experience in the UI Carver College of Medicine, and collaborate with others to update policies, procedures, and language that foster an environment where all feel welcome.”

Christiansen explains that Graff strives to help move the UI in a direction where human differences are recognized, inclusion is practiced, and equity can be reached.

“I am humbled and appreciate being recognized in this way,” Graff says. “The award is a shared achievement among the outstanding humans that have enriched my life’s journey. I am committed to remain purposeful in learning how I contribute to systems of oppression, and continue to interrupt and challenge systems of oppression on campus and in our community, state, country, and world.”