Notable Honors Awarded to Two African American Women in Higher Education

Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia and the former Poet Laureate of the United States is one of three inaugural winners of the Roosevelt “Rosey” Thompson Award from U.S. Presidential Scholars Foundation. The award is named for a 1980 Presidential Scholar who died in a car accident just before he was to leave for England on a Rhodes Scholarship. The Thompson Award honors individuals for their accomplishments and contributions to a civil society and advancement of educational opportunities.

Professor Dove, who served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995, won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1987. She joined the creative writing faculty at the University of Virginia in 1989. Professor Dove is a summa cum laude graduate of the Miami University and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa.

DiOnetta Jones Crayton, associate dean for undergraduate education and director of the Office for Minority Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the Inclusive Culture and Equity Award from the Women in Engineering Pro-Active Network. Crayton joined the staff at the university in 2009. Earlier, she was director of diversity programs for the College of Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Crayton is a graduate of Northwestern State University in Louisiana. She earned a master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

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