Award presented at annual conference on race and ethnicity in higher ed

Friday, June 9, 2023
Yashwant Prakash Vyas wins an NCORE award

Yashwant Prakash Vyas, director of UNH’s Aulbani J. Beauregard Center for Equity, Justice, and Freedom, was recognized with an Equity and Social Justice Award for his excellent contributions as a change agent for equity and social justice by the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE) at its 2023 annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

NCORE is the leading national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in higher education. The annual conference creates space for individuals and campus teams to work collaboratively under the guidance, tutelage and expertise of recognized and effective scholars, practitioners, and change makers. NCORE provides a significant forum for critical dialogue, collaboration, professional development and for the exchange of technical guidance and resources as institutions of higher education search for effective strategies to enhance access, social development, education, positive communication, and cross-cultural understanding in culturally diverse settings.

The NCORE conference supports the complex task of creating and sustaining comprehensive institutional change designed to improve racial and ethnic relations on campuses and to expand opportunities for educational access and success.

“Even though it is positive, change is not easy. And visioning and facilitating positive change are even more challenging,” Vyas says. “I am grateful for this generous recognition from NCORE of my work. Although this is an individual recognition, it represents a shared journey and support from many folx. I share this recognition with my family, mentors, colleagues and students.”

The Equity and Social Justice Awards were established to provide the conference with an important way to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate members of the shared community who demonstrate exemplary service in three categories – mentorship, scholarship, and change agent. Vyas was recognized in the change agent category. The award honors an individual who would be considered a scholar and/or change agent in the field of diversity, inclusion, equity, or social justice.

“NCORE is a nationally known organization and top notch when it comes to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion engagement. To receive recognition from them is an incredible honor and a testament to Yashwant’s good work and continued impact in the field,” Nadine Petty, associate vice president and chief diversity officer (and interim Title IX coordinator) at UNH, says. “DEAI efforts are essential to minimizing discrimination and ensuring that everyone has a voice and is represented at the table. Yashwant’s collective efforts have certainly been noteworthy relative to this.”

Vyas has worked at Texas A&M University, University of Iowa, and University of Mississippi prior to joining the University of New Hampshire in his current role. Vyas was nominated to receive this award by colleagues from across these institutions as well as the field.

Vyas also led educational sessions around peer leadership programs, student retention, graduation, leadership development, and diversity and social justice training and development efforts at the conference.

"It amazes me that Yashwant continues to receive national recognition while still having a huge impact on our students,” says Michael Blackman, dean of students at UNH. “I'm humbled to have him leading the Beauregard Center."