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 this year’s award is Karinna Nunez.
Karinna Nunez was highly dedicated to furthering the goals and principles of the VIMS Diversity & Inclusion mission over the past year, in addition to her many professional responsibilities. She was an active member of the VIMS Dive-In committee and she now leads the Dive-In Diversity and Inclusion Training subcommittee. She actively encourages and supports people from CCRM to attend the VIMS Dive-In trainings, and enthusiastically recognizes that all movement towards a more inclusive community is commendable.
Karinna was a key motivator for CCRM to have discussions about one of the W&M Core Values at the beginning of each monthly staff meeting. After hearing about CCRM’s Core Value conversations, other groups at VIMS started doing the same thing at their own meetings. One senior administrator admitted it was extremely interesting and even a bit eye-opening to hear what their folks had to say.
Above all, Karinna is a motivational role model who leads by example. She is always kind, polite and respectful of people’s time and what they have to say. This makes her an effective, diplomatic facilitator of sometimes difficult conversations. In addition to all her involvement at VIMS, she stepped up to serve as mentor for a STEM high school student. She willingly provides support and advice for new employees and their families, especially those coming from other nations as they became acclimated to their new culture.
Karinna’s unrelenting commitment to the VIMS Principles of Community and the widespread impact she has had over the past year to advance the Diversity & Inclusion mission within CCRM, at VIMS, and beyond are the reasons why she is being nominated for the Diversity & Inclusion award.