Lia Plakans

May 13, 2020

Doctoral student smiles
Elizabeth Getachew

Elizabeth Getachew, doctoral candidate in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, and Lia Plakans, professor and departmental executive officer in the Department of Teaching and Learning were awarded the 2020 Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award.

The Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award is named in memory of Professor Qualls who was a student and faculty member in the department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations and Iowa Testing Programs from 1982-2002. She was widely known for her commitment to her students and advancing and advocating for issues of diversity in the college and across campus.

Sponsored by the College of Education Diversity Committee, The Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award is designed to honor College of Education faculty, staff, and students who have shown a commitment to diversity.

Getachew was nominated for her extensive work to support diversity related professional development, her work on the AVID program, a collaboration between the college and Kirkwood Elementary that focuses on improving the educational experiences of K12 students of color, and her research on the opportunity gap’ that exists for students of color in many K12 schools across the country. 

Plakans was nominated for her work championing the strategic pillar of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College of Education. She also spearheads a group of  faculty, staff, and students who collaborate to bring meaningful and timely diversity, equity, and inclusion programming to the college.