For decades, Lovest Alexander and Brigit Carter served as champions for diversity in their areas of Duke.
Alexander, an assistant professor in Community and Family Medicine, sought to build connections between Duke’s medical education programs and historically black colleges and universities. Carter, an associate professor in Duke University School of Nursing, has served as a mentor for minority students as they chart their academic and personal path through life at Duke.
They didn’t do the work for recognition, but instead to help underrepresented communities and enrich the educational experience for all. When they were singled out with Diversity Awards, one of Duke’s highest honors, it was a satisfying surprise.
“It was very touching,” said Alexander, who received the award in 2016. “You realize that people recognized what you were doing. I do these things because it’s just a part of me.”
Nominations are being accepted until Sept. 7 for the annual Teamwork and Diversity Awards. Winners will be honored by University and Health System leaders at a luncheon in November at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. All nominees receive a letter of congratulations and copy of the nomination and letters of recommendation in a presentation-quality binder.
“Reading my nomination letters was overwhelming,” said Carter, who received her award in 2017. “You never quite know the impact of your work in the moment, so reflecting on that through these beautifully written words carries me through challenging times.”
Here’s more about the awards:
This award honors groups of staff and faculty who display exceptional selflessness while collaborating on a project or effort that has advanced the mission of a department or the University or Health System. The groups can be from one department or span multiple areas of Duke.
Two teams were honored last year. One was a group of employees from Duke Health Technology Solutions, the Population Health Management Office, the Patient Revenue Management Organization, Duke Primary Care and Duke Private Diagnostic Clinic who worked together to streamline the Duke Health System’s billing and coding structure. The other was the Digital Health Research Team from the Center for Advanced Hindsight, which examined health care data through the lens of behavioral economics.
This award is given to a Duke employee who promotes and embodies the institution’s commitment to inclusion and cross-cultural understanding.
In addition to Carter, last year’s other winner was Duke University Department of Medicine professor Laura Svetkey, who has organized and helped run several initiatives aimed at developing and retaining talented minority faculty members.