Excellence in Diversity Awards

Each year, representatives on the College of Music Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee choose three faculty/staff members and three students to receive College of Music Excellence in Diversity awards. Each recipient is also nominated for MSU's All Diversity Award.

The most recent recipients of Excellence in Diversity recognition in the college are:



Deborah Moriarty and Derek Polischuk: For co-creating Celebrating the Spectrum: A Festival of Music and Life, an annual week-long festival designed to give qualified advanced pre-college students on the Autism Spectrum a preview of a life in music.

Marcie Ray: For her research and courses that investigate issues of gender, class, and sexuality in particular, and examine how music intersects with these issues, as well as race, ethnicity, religious identity, and Deaf and Disability Studies.


Kendra Wheeler (DMA) and Kakia Gkoudina (master’s): For co-creating a platform for organizations that are run by and/or fight for underrepresented and people of color in the arts, to help extend their reach into their respective local communities through the power of collective fundraising and fostering interdisciplinary collaborations.

Liany Mateo (BM): For being a female role model in the male-dominated field of Jazz who received the only bass soloist award during the 2020 Jack Rudin Inaugural Collegiate Jazz Competition in New York and served as a mentor for CMS-Detroit’s 2019 Women of Jazz: Empowering the Next Generation.

Congratulations to all of the awardees! Thank you for your hard work on behalf of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts in the College of Music.

Past College of Music Excellence in Diversity Award recipients

2018 - 2019



  • Latasha Thomas-Durrell, DMA
  • Markus Howell, Masters
  • Jordyn Davis, Undergraduate

2017 - 2018


  • Michael Largey: Advancing Global Competency (recipient of All University Diversity Award in same category)
  • Talitha Wimberly: Excellence Within Community
  • Jill Woodward: Excellent Progress Toward Achieving Diversity and Pluralism