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Bryan Duff believes inclusion and diversity are both fundamental and educational. That belief has animated much of his work as a teacher in high school and as a faculty member at Cornell.

In recognition of his effort and leadership, Duff, senior lecturer in the Department of Development Sociology, received the 2018 CALS Kathy Berggren Diversity and Inclusion Award at the Dean’s Awards Dinner held April 16 at the Statler Hotel. The award honors members of the faculty or academic staff who have made a significant contribution to enhancing a positive climate for multicultural diversity within teaching, research and outreach. 

Created by the CALS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the award is named for Kathy Berggren ’90, MAT ’93. Berggren, a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication and the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, was a faculty adviser to numerous student groups and co-chaired the CALS Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She died in 2014 at the age of 46.

Duff, a former mentee of Berggren, has been a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion within the college and consistent advocate for inclusion within the Cornell and Ithaca communities.

“Kathy personified inclusion. When I was new to Cornell, she was one of a few colleagues who quickly and thoroughly made me feel welcome and valued,” said Duff. “I try to bring that same spirit to my work with students and community partners.”

Perhaps his deepest impact has been his commitment to racial and socioeconomic inclusion. In summers 2014 and 2015, for example, Duff took Cornell students to Colorado to help teach story-telling to Spanish-speaking early adolescents participating in summer school. The next two summers, Duff and his students taught film closer to home, bringing middle school students to campus from low-income rural areas near Ithaca. Finally, Duff and students spent the last two winter sessions at an elementary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, building student interest and teacher capacity for project-based learning.

“Professor Duff has created opportunities for students of all backgrounds on campus by assisting them with opportunities to go into communities and implement great change,” said Lizbeth Lucero ’20, a development sociology major who taught video production to students at Park Elementary School in Louisiana.

“I believe that Professor Duff exemplifies the strong teaching and role modeling needed to enhance a positive climate,” said Michael Bishop, director of student leadership in the Office of Engagement Initiatives. Citing Duff’s experience coordinating service and leadership programs across the country, Bishop said “I know that Bryan serves not just as a role model to this campus, but to the national landscape of community engagement and multicultural diversity.”

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