Latanya Walker, director of alumni relations for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, has received the university’s 2018 Presidential Principles of Community Award.
The award was established in 2013 by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, now the Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, to recognize faculty and staff members who exemplify and promote a welcoming and inclusive environment in accordance with the university’s Principles of Community. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.
Walker’s goal is to build inclusive and just societies by being a resource for the underrepresented and to encourage acceptance of others through education and advocacy.
As a current counselor for Upward Bound, a program that helps first-generation and low-income children prepare for college, she challenges stereotypes and prejudices through workshops and programming. She provides cultural experiences that expose some students to something different, while validating the cultures of others. From 2005 to 2012, she served as the assistant director.
Walker went above and beyond her job requirements. She took it upon herself to use quantitative and qualitative information to identify the students who were most vulnerable. This led her to write and receive funding for a mentor program for black males. She worked with the McNair Scholars program to develop an educational mentor program.
As a result of her efforts, she was awarded the Eastern Star Achievement Award for Community Involvement and the first College of Outreach “Trailblazer Award” for her work on the mentor program.
Walker continues to focus on diversity and inclusion work. In her first year as the director of alumni relations for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, she was given the “Ally of the Year” award by the university.
Walker strives to exemplify the Principles of Community in both her work and her life.
She is a Virginia Tech alumna, who graduated from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences with a major in family and child development. She also has a master’s degree from Radford University.
— Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019