Alumni News

Well-deserved honors

Diversity Hall of Fame awards recognize alumni accomplishments, commitment to social justice

“You are doing more than overcoming. You are excelling.” That’s how one of the eight inductees into the UNH Diversity Hall of Fame last fall was lauded. Another recipient was complimented for his combination of grit and grace, and still another applauded for ensuring that those with the greatest needs no longer get the least amount of help.

Since 2007, the Diversity Hall of Fame has honored alumni for their work in furthering diversity and inclusion through their professional and personal accomplishments and for their commitments to social justice and equity at UNH and beyond. This year’s ceremony brought together eight inductees as well as their families, friends and faculty mentors for the dinner event in the MUB.

Nadine Petty, chief diversity officer for the university, shared that each of the inductees was a leading example for their fellow alumni, but also for the UNH community on campus. She also shared updates on the progress UNH is making in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

“Efforts are more successful when we all take responsibility for some portion of it. It takes a village to shift culture, and UNH has been a remarkable example of that village,” said Petty, who joined UNH in the summer of 2020. She detailed strides the university has made, including expanded academic offerings on topics like race and class in the media, queer studies and more, as well as educational programs for faculty and staff, such as the 21-Day Equity Challenge and campus resources such as the Beauregard Center. “We continue to be a work in progress; however, we have come a very long way in a very short period of time because of the efforts of people like you.”

This year’s event also included the Advocacy in Action awards, given to graduate students Shantel Palacio and Nathan Harris, Avary Thorne (coordinator, Women’s and Gender Studies program and Global Racial and Social Inequality Lab) and Sarah Leonard ’00 (early childhood teacher, Child Study and Development Center). Vituu Touch ’23 gave a student address. The chemistry major has been involved in the United Asian Coalition, MOS:DEF and CONNECT and has been a Beauregard Center staff member, an orientation leader and an RA.

Alumni Board member Joël Nkounkou wears a red and navy plaid suit and speaks to Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila ’15PhD who stands in the foreground
Alumni Board member Joël Nkounkou, right, served as emcee for the event, and here speaks with Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila ’15PhD.
Sid Nigam ’16 and Alumni board member Jordan Long ’10 stand together for an award photo
Sid Nigam ’16, left, Alumni board member, and Jordan Long ’10.
Student speaker Vituu Touch ’23 at the podium
Student speaker Vituu Touch ’23
Susan Yen ’15 and Alumni board member Keith Hinderlie ’88 stand together for an award photo

Susan Yen ’15, Alumni board member, with Keith Hinderlie ’88.


This year’s Diversity inductees are:

Wayne April ’74
Gay rights activist, founder of UNH’s Gay Students Organization, social worker; graduated from the College of Liberal Arts

Mariah L. Arral ’18
National Science Foundation graduate research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University; graduated from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Stephanie S. Bramlett ’06G ’11PhD
Chief diversity officer, Phillips Exeter Academy; equity and justice leader; graduated from UNH Graduate School

Taylor Chace ’11
Former member of the U.S. Paralympic Team, Paralympics Sports Man of the Year, 2010; graduated from the College of Health and Human Services

Keith M. Hinderlie ’88
Psychologist and owner of Hinderlie and Associates Consulting; graduated from the College of Liberal Arts

Freda N. Katunda ’12
CEO and co-founder of LEAP EdTech, product manager at Laerdal Medical; graduated from the College of Health and Human Services

Jordan Long ’10
Assistant director, advising team at Capital Community College, former UNH football player and UNH Athletics administrator, youth mentor; graduated from the College of Health and Human Services

Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila, ’15PhD
Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Forest, Harvard University; graduated from the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture