Dr. Vicki Hawsey Karolewics, President of WSCC, Receives 2016 Insight Into Diversity Magazine Giving Back Award

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HANCEVILLE – Dr. Vicki Hawsey Karolewics, president of Wallace State Community College, has been named as a recipient of the 2016 Giving Back Award from “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Giving Back Award honors presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and “give back” to their campuses and communities. Karolewics will be featured, along with 26 other recipients, in the April 2016 Leadership Support and Giving Back issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Giving Back Award recipients were nominated by a colleague and selected by INSIGHT based on their outstanding demonstration of social responsibility, a commitment to charitable services, and involvement with students, faculty and staff to serve underrepresented populations. Each honoree is recognized for his or her passion, dedication and philanthropic achievements.

“First, as the mother of a child who is “differently abled,” and throughout my 30-year career as an educator and now as president of an institution that serves a diverse student body of all abilities and backgrounds, ensuring that as a college we always act with compassion and sensitivity, treating each person as an individual, meeting each student where they are on their educational journey, and helping them to achieve their goals, has, and always will, remain central to my work,” said Karolewics.

INSIGHT selected Karolewics for her leadership because she has served as a beacon for equality and the celebration of diversity for many years. She has led the college in a number of diversity-related initiatives, including the development of a Five-Year Diversity Plan, the incorporation of diversity as a module of instruction in the newly implemented Freshman Success Course required of all students and a Campus Read project that features equality themes. Karolewics has also led the college’s efforts to host regular speakers who celebrate diversity and has funded a wide range of diversity engagement through professional development for students, faculty and staff.

During Karolewics’ tenure, the college has raised more than a million dollars in scholarships, many of which go to economically disadvantaged students who receive federal assistance. And through Wallace State’s participation in Achieving the Dream, Karolewics has placed an emphasis on developmental reform and learning communities, so all students can be engaged and successful.

She also has a record of advocating for children with disabilities at the state level and was highly involved in the establishment of Cullman’s Field of Miracles, a ball field equipped for children of all abilities.

"The Giving Back Award is being given to leaders of institutions of higher education who exemplify what it truly means to ‘give back’ to others," said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “These presidents and chancellors are role models, and we honor their efforts to give back to everyone on their campuses and in their communities.”

Recipients of the 2016 Giving Back Award include:


  • Stephen C. Ainlay, Ph.D, President, Union College in New York
  • Daniel M. Asquino, Ph.D, President, Mount Wachusett Community College
  • Eric J. Barron, Ph.D, President, Penn State University
  • Lee C. Bollinger, J.D., President, Columbia University
  • David L. Boren, J.D., President, University of Oklahoma
  • Robin E. Bowen, Ed.D, President, Arkansas Tech University
  • William W. Destler, Ph.D, President, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • John M. Dunn, Ed.D, President, Western Michigan University
  • Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, Ed.D, President, DePaul University
  • Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Ph.D, President, Wheelock College
  • Vicki Hawsey Karolewics, Ed.D, President, Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
  • Linda Katehi, Ph.D, Chancellor, University of California, Davis
  • Thomas L. Keon, Ph.D, Chancellor, Purdue University Calumet
  • Harvey Kesselman, Ed.D, President, Stockton University
  • Leo M. Lambert, Ph.D, President, Elon University
  • Carolyn W. Meyers, Ph.D, President, Jackson State University
  • Jacqueline F. Moloney, Ed.D, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Jere W. Morehead, J.D., President, University of Georgia
  • Richard J. Pappas, Ed.D, President, Davenport University
  • Jay A. Perman, M.D., President, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • H. Jeffrey Rafn, Ph.D, President, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • John J. Rainone, E.dD, President, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
  • Elizabeth “Beth” J. Stroble, Ph.D, President, Webster University
  • Jerry L. Steward, J.D., President, Oklahoma City Community College
  • M. Roy Wilson, M.D., President, Wayne State University
  • Terri L. Winfree, Ph.D, President, Prairie State College
  • Nicholas S. Zeppos, J.D., Chancellor, Vanderbilt University

Award recipients were selected among presidents and chancellors of both community colleges and baccalaureate-granting institutions.

For more information about the 2016 Giving Back Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit http://qrne.ws/diversity.