Diversity & Inclusion Award

The Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes a community member who supports the broad range of backgrounds and experiences at VIMS and who works to create and foster a respectful, cooperative, and equitable campus environment.

The recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Award for 2018 is Dr. Rochelle Seitz.

Rochelle Seitz (R) with VIMS Dean & Director John Wells following the VIMS Awards Ceremony. © C. Katella/VIMS.Dr. Rochelle SeitzRochelle Seitz has a long track record of distinguishing herself as a champion for diversity and inclusion; both at VIMS and in marine science in general.

Rochelle leads the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program at VIMS, which actively targets underrepresented groups, and directs the Governor’s School Marine Science Apprenticeship program funded by the Virginia Department of Education. She has enthusiastically supported these and other initiatives, including advising students in the Hall Bonner program, which served graduate students from historically underrepresented groups in marine science.

Rochelle has also been a tireless worker and advocate for diversity initiatives across the VIMS campus. Most recently, she was appointed as the inaugural Chair of the VIMS Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, otherwise known as DiveIn. Largely through her organizational skills and commitment, DiveIn has become a standard bearer for other diversity committees at William & Mary.

Rochelle takes her role and responsibility as DiveIn Chair very seriously, and is an effective communicator to all members of the VIMS community concerning the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is most deserving of this award.