ONEONTA, N.Y. -- The SUNY Oneonta President's Council on Diversity has selected Dale Capristo, student development associate and director of the Center for Multicultural Experiences, to receive the college’s inaugural Tapestry of Diversity Award. The award, which annually will recognize an individual or group for exceptional contributions in fostering diversity and inclusion at the college through leadership, service or support, is the culmination of two years of planning by the Council and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
A presentation ceremony honoring Capristo will be held on Friday, October 15, at 1 p.m. in the quad between the Netzer Administration Building and Schumacher Hall on the college's campus.
"I am deeply honored and humbled to be receiving the inaugural Tapestry of Diversity award," said Capristo. "To be recognized for work that has brought so much meaning to my life is truly special."
Capristo, who joined the college's staff in 1974, has served on its Human Relations Committee, Commission for Women, and Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, and also has been involved with the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, and Campus Conversations for Diversity Series. Beyond the campus, Capristo has worked with the National Coalition Building Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based leadership training network whose mission is to eliminate racism and other forms of oppression.
"From the time that she started here in her first job as financial aid counselor for EOP students, she worked with first generation college students, those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and students of color," says SUNY Oneonta Associate Vice President for Student Life Jeanne Miller, who nominated Capristo for the award. "Soon after coming here, Dale joined the campus Human Relations Committee and started holding retreats for students of color and white students to help them build relationships. This was just the beginning of a career of exceptional effort in the practice of diversity and inclusion."
Photographs of Tapestry of Diversity Award recipients along with narratives describing their accomplishments will be placed in public areas where they work or their disciplines are studied. Each year's winner will create a ceramic tile mosaic to incorporate into the Tapestry of Diversity Sculpture, which was created and installed on campus over the summer by noted mosaic artist Haifa Bint-Kadi.
"As I create my mosaic art piece to be incorporated into the sculpture, I am reminded of each person's unique human gifts that were shared with me," Capristo said. "I am grateful to have had the honor of their presence in my life. Each and every relationship over the years has contributed to my understanding and appreciation of the richness of our human community."
More information about the Tapestry of Diversity Award is available at http://www.oneonta.edu/admin/oei/tapestry/.