Last updated: August 23. 2013 2:13PM - 545 Views

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LIMA ‚?? In a time when John Upshaw wanted to take the lead in creating a more diverse OSU-Lima, Dean and Director John Snyder gave him the go ahead.

On Friday, Upshaw thanked Snyder by surprising him with the first Distinguished Diversity Leadership Service Award. The recognition comes from the school‚??s Diversity Council.

‚??He believed in me enough and believed in the concept of diversity enough that he actually changed what I did here and gave me the opportunity to lead diversity on this campus,‚?Ě said Upshaw, director of the Office of Institutional Diversity.

The award, presented during a Diversity Council meeting, is designed to annually recognize people affiliated with the school who demonstrate a devotion to diversity and inclusion through exemplary leadership and service.

‚??I am really humbled that there is a sense that I had a role in helping this council and the good work they are doing,‚?Ě Snyder said.

Upshaw said diversity among students and staff have increased in recent years. He hopes the award will not only provide an opportunity to show what has been achieved in the area of diversity, but also to encourage others to follow.

Snyder described a continued development of programming and thinking about diversity on campus. It‚??s been an important piece of his 10 years as dean.

‚??We have been able to increase the diversity on the campus and more important than that I think we have been able to embrace diversity,‚?Ě he said. ‚??Percentage wise, we are more diverse on the campus than the counties that we serve, and that is great.‚?Ě

Upshaw also pointed to Snyder‚??s international health work. He has served as a fellow for Project HOPE in Haiti, an external evaluator for Kuwait University, a curriculum consultant to the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia and laboratory trainer for the President‚??s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Zambia, Ethiopia and South Africa.

‚??It is his compassion, his inspiration to provide a service to individuals who may not otherwise get that service,‚?Ě Upshaw said.

Snyder has also served the local community on the boards of the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Allen County Chamber of Commerce Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of the Allen Economic Development Group and St. Rita‚??s Health Partners.

Snyder will end his tenure as dean June 30. He will take a year of sabbatical and then return to the Lima campus to teach. He is a professor of allied medical professions and has continued to teach some while serving as dean.

‚??It is a bit bitter sweet,‚?Ě he said. ‚??The thing I take comfort in is I am not going anywhere. I am still going to be here. I have the great opportunity to plan every day to be working with students.‚?Ě

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