The Faculty Student Association (FSA) at Stony Brook University is the proud recipient of the NACAS Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence. This national award recognizes outstanding campus leadership, activities and/or programs that promote cultural awareness and inclusion.
“The Faculty Student Association is the most remarkable and sustainable community/university partnership on campus. This auxiliary group went far beyond its mission to help promote cultural awareness and inclusion to have positive impacts on the campus community,” stated Dr. Jarvis Watson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer.
In the past several years, the campus and FSA have collaborated to host cultural month open houses with world renowned chefs: Native American Heritage Month, Asian Heritage Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month. During this year’s Black History Month, FSA hosted a variety of cultural and educational programs with the University’s Black History Committee, which included the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of the Chief Diversity Officer and student groups such as the African Students Union, the Caribbean Student Organization, and many historically Black fraternities and sororities.
“FSA is thrilled to receive the NACAS Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence for all of the exciting collaborative programs, services, learning experiences, and opportunities that we have developed to celebrate diversity and promote greater inclusion for all members of the Stony Brook University campus,” stated Angela Agnello, FSA Director of Marketing and Communications.
Through FSA’s collaboration, Chef Kwame Onwuachi was invited to serve as the keynote speaker for Stony Brook University’s annual Black History Month Opening Ceremony. Onwuachi has been the recipient of a Rising Star Chef nomination from the James Beard Foundation as well as Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine. However, it was Onwuachi’s cultural heritage, professional mobility and personal story what would be a source of inspiration for our students.
This communal approach toward planning and execution resulted in a very successful event with more than 500 campus and larger community members attending, everyone sampled culturally significant cuisines, and several major communications outlets covered the event. Stony Brook received praise from national publications for achieving a successful and culturally appropriate celebration.
As part of the tradition of hosting invited chefs, FSA created an opportunity for the chefs to meet key student and professional leaders on campus during a private VIP dinner. The celebrity chefs worked with campus chefs to create a three-course culturally relevant meal. “I have enjoyed the results of working with FSA and our students have grown exponentially by being part of this process. I look forward to developing future projects and programs with FSA to promote diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness,” stated Watson.