In light of this year’s Diversity Symposium theme, “Celebrating Women at Georgia Tech,” Institute Diversity created the Gender Equity Champion Awards to recognize members of the faculty, staff, and student body, and a unit (office, department, school, or lab) for significantly demonstrating gender diversity, equity, and inclusion within the campus community.

The Gender Equity Champion Award winners were honored at the Eighth Annual Diversity Symposium on Friday, September 16.

“I am excited to be part of an effort that celebrates and recognizes the remarkable contributions of campus community members who are advancing gender equity at Georgia Tech,” said Julie Ancis, associate vice president of Institute Diversity and chair of the Gender Equity Champion Awards Committee.

Gender Equity Champion Award recipients have demonstrated one or more of the following in the last three years:

  • Commitment to gender diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Leadership in building a culture of gender inclusion and equity.
  • Behavior that illustrates commitment to the inclusion of persons within the Institute who represent the gender diversity of the Georgia Tech community.
  • Organized, conducted, and/or supported events and activities that promote respect and inclusion related to gender and gender expression.

Award recipients included:

  • Faculty Award – Mary Frank Fox, ADVANCE Professor, School of Public Policy, and co-director, Center for the Study of Women, Science, and Technology
  • Staff Award – Shannon Sullivan, graduate program manager, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Student Award – Kendall Rankin, undergraduate student, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • Unit Award – School of Physics

Mary Frank Fox’s research focuses on gender, science, and academia — the study of women and men in academic and scientific organizations and occupations — with significant implications for science and technology policy. “The Gender Equity Champion Award embodies values that are close to my heart — equitable conditions that benefit all,” said Fox.

Shannon Sullivan is a licensed professional counselor whose passion is empowering young people to develop themselves personally and professionally. “My work is about daily conversations with people. For someone to recognize that our individual conversations make a difference in students’ lives, I am deeply touched by this honor,” remarked Sullivan.

Kendall Rankin is the founder and executive director of The Diamond Campaign, a nonprofit she started during her sophomore year to empower women through service and education. As Rankin stated, “I believe that Georgia Tech is committed to gender equity as we have made huge strides in recent years, but I encourage each of you to find a way to support women on campus and to ensure we have an inclusive community.”

Diversity is a top priority to the School of Physics, and the school is committed to recruiting and retaining women faculty and students. “For the past two years, the incoming class of graduate students is 30 percent female in the School of Physics, which is currently above the national average,” explained Pablo Laguna, school chair and professor.

These awards at the Eighth Annual Diversity Symposium come on the heels of Georgia Tech’s Gender Equity Initiatives announcement at the Institute Address in fall 2016 and the Office of the President’s listening sessions on gender equity in fall 2015.

“One of the impact areas of the Gender Equity Initiatives is to create recognition opportunities and increase the visibility of the Institute’s commitment to gender equity,” said Archie Ervin, vice president of Institute Diversity. “The annual Diversity Symposium is one of the best opportunities to come together as a campus community, honor campus leaders who are committed to diversity, and have robust, informed discussions on important issues like gender equity.”

To learn more about the Gender Equity Champion Awards and the Diversity Symposium, visit