The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at PennWest is accepting nominations for the 2nd Annual Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education’s DEI Keepers of the Flame Award.

These awards are given annually to members of the State System community who are dedicated to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment in which everyone can thrive.

“Keepers of the Flame are truly special people who embody a commitment to promoting environments that cultivate a sense of belonging,” said Sheleta Camarda-Webb, assistant vice president for assessment and external relations in PennWest’s DEI Office. “They strive to improve the human, social and organizational conditions in and around the university, including those that address historical inequities. Keepers of the Flame are members of the university community who inspire others, engage in collaboration and enact positive change.”

To nominate a student, faculty member, staff member or alumnus for the Keepers of the Flame Award, please complete this online form by Sept. 1. One recipient will be chosen from each PennWest campus and recognized at the 2023 DEI Summit at Shippensburg University on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. Award recipients will be notified in September and invited to attend the awards ceremony.

Award Criteria

Recipients of the Keepers of the Flame Award should:

• Demonstrate engagement in academic, organizational and/or community work that exemplifies their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

• Actively contribute to university and community life in ways that fuel positive changes and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging on campus and/or in its surrounding communities.

• Cultivate meaningful relationships with people across the university that support the work of diversity, equity and inclusion. These kinds of relationships could include (but are not limited to): Mentoring their colleagues, peers and/or students; facilitating campus dialogues and bringing groups together from across campus; and engaging in service work at the university and in its surrounding communities.  

Questions about the Keepers of the Flame Award can be directed to Camarda-Webb at or Rogers Laugand, assistant vice president for DEI student support, at