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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Associate provost honored with Racial Harmony Award

Josephine De Leon, associate provost for academic affairs at New Mexico State University, was honored with the 2004 Racial Harmony Award at the 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.

ciate provost of academic affairs, De Leon oversees academic matters on campus and chairs the General Education Task Force, which is reviewing the General Education Program at NMSU. She also heads the Provost's Diversity Committee, which provides recommendations on diversity issues and plans an annual diversity event, and minority recruitment and retention matters for students and faculty.

"My whole life has been about honoring and respecting diversity," she said. "In the university environment I have done this through my teaching, daily practice and by engaging in activities that lead to a greater understanding of diversity in all its manifestations."

During her first year in the Provost's Office, she produced a video that enabled professors to understand students from diverse backgrounds.

"In order for professors to be able to teach students effectively, they have to understand and connect with their students in a special way," she said. "This requires them to comprehend their experience and unique perspective."

De Leon has been named to the New Mexico Division for Diverse Exceptional Learners Hall of Fame and received the El Paso Energy Faculty Achievement Award. She was named an Outstanding Alumna during the university's Centennial Celebration and received two Dean's Service Awards from the College of Education.

De Leon received her doctorate in bilingual and special education from NMSU in 1985. She worked in NMSU's Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders from 1992 to 2002, first as an associate professor and later as academic department head.

Racial Harmony Awards are awarded annually to people who have promoted racial harmony and been supportive of students. Nominations are made by students and the directors of NMSU's ethnic programs make the final selections.

Wilson Blount, of the Tuskegee Airmen, was the keynote speaker at this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. Blount is a member and co-founder of the Gen. Lloyd W. Newton Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.