Cunnick Receives Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement

Joan Cunnick, professor in animal science, is the recipient of the 2022 Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Cunnick has worked tirelessly to enhance diversity in the college, through service on committees, facilitation of workshops for faculty and graduate students, providing hands-on STEM opportunities for high school students from underrepresented groups, and providing academic and career advice to mentees in the research lab and as an undergraduate academic advisor. She requested the animal science department establish a diversity, equity and inclusion committee ahead of the college mandate, and served as chair of that committee from December 2017 to June 2021. She promoted among faculty the diversity lunch and learn meetings and the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity. In conjunction with faculty across colleges, she co-developed and co-presented the workshop “Creating Inclusive Curriculum and Pedagogy” at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. 

Cunnick has been involved in providing hands-on workshops for underrepresented high school students in the area of microbiology, including Science Bound and Ag Discovery Days. A colleague states: “The students are guided through fun, compelling and scientifically relevant activities that also provide them the opportunity to interact with current undergraduate microbiology majors and faculty in the program. The glue holding it all together is Joan’s motivation to inspire students about the world of science and explain how Iowa State is uniquely positioned to help them achieve their career goals and welcome them into our community.”