Cara Wimberley of Blacksburg, Virginia, has been named the 2014-2015 recipient of the University of Mary Washington’s Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership.
The annual award is given to a rising senior enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate degree program at UMW. The student must maintain high academic standards, possess characteristics of leadership and make a personal commitment to advocating an appreciation for diversity and inclusion on campus.
As the award recipient, Wimberley will serve as an active spokesperson for diversity inclusion, a peer mentor to students and a voice for underrepresented populations.
“Cara recently spent a semester abroad at Al-Ahliyya Amman University in Jordan studying Arabic and taking other courses about Middle Eastern culture and history,” said Marion Sanford, director of multicultural affairs. “The experience opened her eyes to many global, social and political issues and further enhanced her leadership skills, as well as increased her understanding of different cultural environments.”
During her UMW career, the psychology major and linguistics and Middle Eastern studies minor served as secretary and vice president of People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM) and participated in the Cross-Cultural BBQ, Arab Culture Night, Day of Silence and Multicultural Fair. Wimberley will be a peer mentor in the InterLink Mentor Program with the Center for International Education this year.
“Her studies at UMW and abroad have encouraged her to work toward causes that promote diversity, equality, social justice and cultural awareness,” Sanford said. “Cara’s UMW and study abroad experiences have taught her that being a leader means learning about diverse identities and cultures in order to best understand the richness of community.”
Wimberley plans to use the Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership as an opportunity to address social justice and diversity issues that impact members of the UMW community and beyond. She aspires to continue these efforts after graduating.