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.

2022 VIMS Award winner Jenny Dreyer with Dean & Director Derek Aday.The recipient of this year’s award is Jenny Dreyer.

Jenny has been a driving force in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion both across the VIMS campus and in our surrounding community, and her efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of many. She is a relatively new addition to the VIMS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee (Dive-In), and has been a great asset because of her work ethic, attention to detail, upbeat attitude, and devotion to improving the work environment for VIMS employees. 

She has been a key member of the Dive-In training subcommittee, and everyone at VIMS is familiar with her annual work with the Salvation Army Angel Tree. She has enthusiastically supported these and other initiatives through her hard work on issues surrounding student inclusion (particularly acting as a mentor for students of color at VIMS for many years), her remarkable ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and her fearlessness to speak up about issues that need to be addressed to increase equity at VIMS. 

For several years she was the Program Coordinator for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Intern Program, where she has demonstrated a willingness to do whatever is necessary to ensure programmatic success. In her capacity as a research technician and as the curator of the invertebrate collection, she enthusiastically welcomes anyone to visit the collection and is generous with her time and knowledge.  

Jenny Dreyer presenting preserved invertebrate specimens to guests on Marine Science Day, 2023.  Photo credit: Lathan Goumas

In sum, Jenny is a hard-working, devoted, and friendly colleague at VIMS who cares for others and fights to bring awareness and change to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. She is welcoming to all, and always treats everyone with respect and kindness. Jenny’s commitment to enhancing the culture and community of VIMS is visible and appreciated, and she is certainly deserving of the VIMS Diversity and Inclusion Award. 

Congratulations, Jenny!