CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced Friday that Bowling Green State University has claimed the MAC Diversity & Inclusion Institution Award for the first time in program history. Taylor Jefferson, assistant athletic director for Marketing and Brand Enhancement at BGSU, was named winner of the MAC Diversity & Inclusion Administrator Award.
“I am excited and honored to receive this award from the MAC,” said Jefferson. “I am thrilled that the DPEP program has created so much positive influence at the school and conference as a whole. The goal was to influence positive change towards diversity in collegiate athletics, and this program is accomplishing that. Thank you to everyone involved with bestowing this honor and thank you to the BGSU athletics administration for supporting the effort.”
As a department, Bowling Green’s goal has been to instill the value of belonging through inclusive leadership and civic/community engagement. By engaging within the BGSU athletic department, the campus and local community, they have been able to foster an environment for our student-athletes that values servant leadership.
“It is my honor to name Bowling Green State University as the winner of the Diversity & Inclusion Institutional Award,” said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. “President Rodney Rogers and the entire athletic administration staff have provided BGSU with tremendous leadership in establishing a culture that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Department wide, BGSU’s staff and coaches were trained on LGBTQ+ inclusion by completing the Athlete Ally Champions of Inclusion Education program in the summer of 2021, as well as Mental Health First Aid training. In addition, BGSU athletics currently has a 100/100 score on the Athlete Ally Athlete Equality Index (AEI), the highest in the MAC, and one of only 15 schools in the country to hold this distinction. BGSU Student-Athlete’s completed 2,458 hours of community service, totaling $70,164 of local economic impact, highlighted by our MLK Jr. Day of Service, which saw many of our student-athletes participate in a poverty simulation.
Jefferson recently was awarded the BGSU Administrative Staff Council award for diversity and belonging. This award was developed to honor the work of any administrative staff member who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing a positive culture of diversity, equity, and belonging at BGSU. The main requirements to be nominated for this award were to have developed unique ideas, supported diversity and belonging programming, demonstrated advocacy or allyship, or served as a role model for our campus community.
BGSU athletics’ DPEP also earned honorable mention accolades for the inaugural 2022 NACMA Unity Award.