Juan Florencia, enrollment management specialist and academic advisor in the Office of Student Services, received the 2020 Dean's Inclusive Excellence Award for contributions to create an environment of social justice, inclusion, and equity in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
As an academic advisor in the CNHS Office of Student Services, Juan recently requested that University leadership update the institutional course repeat policy so that students could retake a course to improve their grade point average. He is also expanding the LINKS peer-mentoring program to address the needs of first-year students of color in the College.
Juan's commitment to issues of diversity and social justice - particularly those involving race and its intersection with American popular culture - stem from his academic background in cultural anthropology and fuel a passion to improve the experience, and success, of traditionally underrepresented students in higher education.
"For me, inclusive excellence means speaking truth to power and laying yourself on the line even when it is uncomfortable and unpopular," Juan says. "It also means disrupting the status quo when necessary and being self-aware while continuously evaluating policies and structures that give rise to inequalities and injustices."
His more than 15 years as an academic advisor and instructor have prompted Juan to regularly learn and apply new methods in his work to support his students and colleagues.
"Ultimately, inclusive excellence means helping others realize their full potential," he says.