2019 Equity Awards to recognize outstanding University of Tulsa students, faculty and staff


The TU Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Coalition presented the 2019 Equity Awards to recognize outstanding University of Tulsa students, faculty and staff who have demonstrated commitment to promoting, creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of our campus community. The award recipients were nominated by their peers in acknowledgment of their hard work and demonstrable commitment to these principles.


Nkem Ike is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology studying African diaspora archeology and, more specifically, the archeology of race massacres. She is the co-founder of the Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Coalition and has long advocated for issues of diversity and inclusion. Her nominator said of her: “She is instrumental in bringing new training initiatives about race and inclusion to the university and department. [She] always is determined to reset the dialogue about inclusion and help students and faculty higher levels of understanding.”

Megan Lowry is an undergraduate student studying sociology and is a long-time advocate both at TU and in the community. She has been involved in several initiatives dedicated to diversity and inclusion, including the Tulsa Indian Club, Pride at TU, the LINC Mentorship Program and the Diverse Connections Committee for Diversity. Her nominator said of her: “Megan took such a lead role creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, but the biggest role she took is the Pow Wow and ONASHE (Oklahoma Native American Students for Higher Education). She has built so many bridges between different universities and different communities both inside and outside Tulsa.”

Kyla Sloan is a master’s student in speech-language pathology. She has served as an orientation leader, the student government’s executive director of diversity and multiculturalism, a graduate student advisor and vice president of the Association of Black Collegians. Her nominator said of her: “In each position, she is a strong, consistent voice advocating for inclusion of all people. . . . Kyla has been involved in many community service projects and asked to serve on panels in the community to discuss issues of diversity. Kyla’s work and leadership are both inspiring and promising for the future.”


Emily Contois is an assistant professor in the Media Studies Department and is a scholar and teacher of media, food and gender. Her nominators said of her: “Within the university, she has provided resources to low-income students, first-generation college students and even first-generation immigrant students. She dedicated her time on weekends and always finds resources when students need them.”

Tim Hart is an assistant professor of management in the Collins College of Business. His research addresses corporate social responsibility and sustainability, organizational learning and corporate executives. His students said of him: “I deeply appreciate the lessons and your profound knowledge in CSR, but, perhaps more importantly, I wanted to acknowledge the lessons in basic human decency and subtle reminders to ‘be the change’ and inspire goodness did not go unrecognized or unappreciated.”

Alicia Odewale is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. Her teaching and research on African diaspora archeology is a testament to her commitment to promoting the dignity of the communities she researches. She is also the faculty advisor for the Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Coalition and is a leader in promoting events surrounding diversity and inclusion. Her nominator said of her: “Dr. Odewale’s commitment to lead difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion is apparent both within and outside of the classroom. She is a powerful mentor and pillar of support, especially for students of color.”


Eruore Oboh is the admissions counselor and diversity outreach coordinator for the College of Law. She serves on the Diversity Leadership Council, works closely with diverse student organizations and is deeply involved in promoting diversity initiative across the campus and in the community. Her nominators said of her: “Eruore takes it upon herself to go above and beyond to further diversity initiatives. . . . In her relatively short time at TU she has gladly served on the Diversity Leadership Council, introduced new programming targeted at community college students [and] expanded the breadth of our current programming. . . . The law school and the university are well-served by Eruore and her commitment to the values of equity.”

Amanda Chastang uses her position as the Office of Diversity and Engagement fellow to advocate daily for diversity and inclusion. She works tirelessly with university administration, departments and students to create a more diverse and equitable environment well beyond regular business hours. She collaborates with and supports countless student organizations and coordinates the LINC mentorship program, which is dedicated to helping minority students achieve success on campus. Her nominator said of her: “I’ve seen her work tirelessly to commit her time and effort to diversity within and outside of the TU community. . . . She makes sure that any students who are marginalized or stereotyped feel welcomed on campus. She has inspired me and motivated me to grow in many exceptional ways.”