UMUC Director of Diversity Initiatives Receives National Award for Outstanding Service Contribution

Ernesto Santos-DeJesus receives the 2008 President’s Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action

By Kerry O'Neill ( |   June 30, 2008

ADELPHI, Md. (June 30, 2008) – UMUC announced today that Ernesto Santos-DeJesus, director of diversity initiatives at UMUC, received the 2008 President’s Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA). Santos-DeJesus was one of two recipients of this year’s award at the 34th Annual Conference of AAAA held this spring.

"As a diversity pioneer, Ernesto has been instrumental in promoting access to diversity programs for UMUC and its community,” said Dr. Susan Aldridge, president of UMUC. “His efforts and programs have helped make our university an international model for the lively exchange of divergent ideas and perspectives.”

Santos-DeJesus received this year’s President’s Award for his exceptional service contributions to the association. He has been a member of the AAAA for more than ten years, where he has assisted with the planning of several regional conferences and served as co-chair of the planning committee for this year’s national conference. Additionally, Santos-DeJesus provided infrastructure for committee meetings and conference calls and helped implement a sponsorship-telethon. The AAAA is a national nonprofit organization of professionals managing affirmative action, equal opportunity, diversity and other human resource programs.

Santos-DeJesus has been with UMUC for nearly eight years. As director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives, he leads several of the university’s diversity programs including its "Meet the Ambassador” and “Heritage Month” series, bringing global issues to the spotlight and promoting cultural awareness among students, staff and the community.

UMUC’s Office of Diversity Initiatives was established in April of 2000 to promote and support diversity and human relations. In addition to assisting all university departments in resolving affirmative action issues and maintaining productivity in the workplace, they are responsible for fulfilling execution with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies.