A Stanford senior, a professor emerita of education, and the Leadership Education in Advancing Diversity (LEAD) program of the School of Medicine have each received a 2020 President’s Awards for Excellence Through Diversity.

Arnetha F. Ball (Image credit: Courtesy Graduate School of Education)

Stanford established the awards in 2009 to honor individuals and programs that have made exceptional contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity within the Stanford community.

This year, the individual winners are Arnetha F. Ball, the Charles E. Ducommun Professor, Emerita, in the Graduate School of Education, and director of its Race, Inequality and Language in Education program, and Michael Ocon, a senior majoring in English in the School of Humanities and Sciences who has been active in several student organizations, including El Centro Chicano y Latino.

The 2020 program winner is the Leadership Education in Advancing Diversity (LEAD) program in the School of Medicine.

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne congratulated Ball and Ocon, and the co-directors of LEAD – Carmin Powell, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, and Lahia Yemane, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics – last week during personal phone calls.

The citations honoring Ball, Ocon and LEAD are posted on the website of the Office of Faculty Development, Diversity and Engagement.

Citation honoring the Leadership Education in Advancing Diversity

The co-directors of LEAD – Carmin Powell and Lahia Yemane accepted the award on behalf of the program at the School of Medicine.

Michael Ocon (Image credit: Elena Ocon)

The citation commended LEAD “for educating and empowering the next generation of leaders to advance the mission of diversity and inclusion in academic medicine.”

It also honored the program “for supporting trainees in developing teaching, leadership and advocacy skills to address critical issues and generate outcomes that can be translated to changes in the current system.”

The citation commended LEAD “for tackling barriers to recruitment, retention and success of diverse trainees in academic medicine by fostering
a community prepared to work together to understand and address systemic concerns.”

Finally, it honored the program “for leading change at Stanford and beyond, with LEAD scholars presenting workshops at local, regional and national conferences, including Stanford Medicine’s Annual Diversity and Inclusion Forum.”

Citation honoring Arnetha F. Ball

The award citation commended Ball “for inspiring, encouraging and supporting generations of diverse teachers and scholars through her teaching, mentorship and leadership in the Graduate School of Education.”

It honored her “for giving future educators the frameworks, strategies and tools they need to serve diverse student populations, and for inspiring them to serve these populations through her own enthusiasm, energy and unwavering commitment to service-learning.”

The citation commended Ball “for developing and implementing the Race, Inequality and Language Education (RILE) program, creating opportunities for graduate students to research how race, inequality and language intersect to inform educational opportunity.”

Finally, she was honored “for inspiring more people of color to enter the field of education, and for encouraging more women and people of color to become academic faculty.”

Citation honoring Michael Ocon

Ocon, who expects to finish his degree in the fall, is a student adviser to Provost Persis Drell and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole. Formerly, he served as an outreach coordinator at El Centro Chicano y Latino, a student center that works to support students academically, personally, socially and culturally. He also served as president of MEChA de Stanford, the campus chapter of a national student organization that promotes higher education, community engagement, political participation, culture and history.

In addition, Ocon served as a member of the advisory board of Counseling and Psychological Services at Vaden Health Services, and as an undergraduate representative on the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, a community panel of students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The award citation commended Ocon “for engaging leaders at the highest levels of the university to advance the causes of access, mobility and inclusivity at Stanford.”

It honored Ocon “for modeling leadership, constructive dialogue and resilience in the face of challenge, and garnering the respect of students, faculty and administrators across campus.”

The citation commended him “for organizing impactful events focused on creating positive institutional change, including the “Avenues of Change” program and a photo display and panel discussion highlighting key moments in the history of Stanford student activism.”

Finally, the citation honored Ocon “for elevating multiple viewpoints while still advancing his own perspective, and for his ability to tactfully and persuasively speak truth to power while doing the hard behind-the-scenes work to make things happen.”