Montana State University

Diversity Awareness Office



The Diversity Awareness Office (DAO) provides information and support to the university community in the areas of multicultural awareness and community building, prejudice education, and practical resources relating to diversity issues. The DAO sponsors, produces and promotes events that encourage and foster diversity awareness around issues of gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. Awareness of diversity is examined through lectures, movies, discussion groups and social events. The DAO provides a safe supportive environment in which students can begin to understand the diversity they experience on campus as well as the larger global community.

Part of the vision of the DAO is to also foster and support the growth of understanding and tolerance of difference throughout the university and in the surrounding community. We see the existing diversity as a valuable resource towards this goal, and seek to involve students in all steps of the process.  From this, we hope to add to the leadership skills of those students interested in the processes of raising visibility and understanding of difference and multiple perspectives.

Featured Event:

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2014 Diversity Awards!

Spirit Outstanding Student Award: Recognizes a current student at Montana State University who embodies leadership, citizenship and involvement, and also identifies as a member of an underrepresented minority group.

The 2014 Spirit Outstanding Student Award was given to Lisa Lone Fight! According to one of Lisa’s nominators, Dr. Walter Fleming, “Lisa is a proud member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Sahnish Nations and is an Indigenous scientist and remote sensing researcher at Montana State University. She is completing her Master’s Program and is newly accepted in to a PHD program in Ecology and Environmental Studies. Lisa is active in so many projects; it is difficult to remember them all!” Lisa serves as a mentor for incoming Native Science Fellows. Lisa has been a member of the advisory boards for the Indigenous Women in Science Network, Montana INBRE, Museum of the Rockies, and American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Congratulations, Lisa!

Spirit Activism Award: Recognizes a current student who embodies leadership, citizenship and community involvement, demonstrating these characteristics through his/her achievements and work towards social justice.

The 2014 Spirit Activism Award was given to Kiah Abbey! Kiah served as ASMSU Student Body President in 2012, overseeing an enormous budget, supervising over 200 employees, attending Board of Regents meetings, and interfacing with high level administrators on a daily basis.  Kiah helped to found Sustained Dialogue, a unique and incredibly powerful program that fosters meaningful dialogue around identity issues. Kiah has a passion for equality, natural leadership ability, and an incredible ability to connect everyone in a non-judgmental, compassionate and empowering way. Kiah was instrumental in writing the language for the newly adopted Board of Regents Non-Discrimination Policy that expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Kiah has displayed phenomenal leadership and advocacy skills through her work on campus and is taking the initiative to create programs and support service to better serve all students, staff, and community members. 

Other Spring 2014 events and programs:

Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture with Carl McNair
January 21, 2014
6:00 pm, SUB Ballroom A

Public Dialogue
White State: Unpacking White Privilege in Montana

January 28, 2014
SUB Ballroom B

Sustained Dialogues
Spring semester

Bozeman Interfaith Panel
February 5, 2014
SUB 235, 11:00am-12:30pm

Black History Month film
More Than a Month
February 19, 2014
6:30 pm, Procrastinator Theater

5th Annual Fast-a-Thon
February 24, 2014
6:00 pm, SUB Ballrooms A and B

One Woman, One History: A Conversation with Ida B. Wells
March 5, 2014
6:30 pm, Procrastinator Theater

Safe Zone Workshop
March 26, 2014
3:00 - 5:00 pm

(Un)common Ground: Place Based Identity Dialogue
April 2, 2014
6:00-8:00 pm

Diversity Awards
Day of Student Recognition
April 8, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Event
April 27, 2014
Emerson Cultural Center
More information to follow