PLEASE NOTE- The 2020 OADI Honors Awards Ceremony is canceled due to the Coronavirus. 

The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives is committed to finding new ways to celebrate and honor Senior's academic journey over the past four years. We are looking into ways for you to share your story, connect with fellow Seniors, and celebrate your significant accomplishments. Please stay tuned for more information and check the following website for updates https://oadi.cornell.edu/oadi-events/oadi-annual-events/oadi%20honors.html


OADI Honors Undergraduate Awards


Recipients of the following individual undergraduate awards will receive a physical award to recognize and commemorate their outstanding achievements.

Eligible nominees must:

  • Currently be enrolled at Cornell
  • Complete two semesters, or the equivalent, at Cornell by June of this year
  • Be an active participant in programs specified below
  • Have a cumulatve grade point average of 3.0 or above (unless noted otherwise)
  • Be in good judicial standing with the university


1. Solomon Cook Award for Engaged Leadership and Scholarship

The Solomon Cook Award for Engaged Research & Scholarship recognizes a scholar-leader in the OADI Research Scholars Program or the McNair Scholars Program

Nominees demonstrate

  • Engaged learning and leadership inside and outside of the classroom and/or
  • Exceptional capacity in research and scholarship



Solomon Cook (Akwesasne) (B.A. 1938, M.Ag.Ed. 1942, Ph.D. 1950), after earning his bachelor's and master's degrees from Cornell, became the first Native American student to earn a Ph.D. at Cornell University. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and was elected Chief of the St.Regis Mohawk Tribal Council.

The 2018-19 winner was Laura Vasquez-Bolanos '19

Nominate someone for the Solomon Cook Award here


2. George Washington Fields Award for Professional Development

The George Washington Fields Award for Professional Development recognizes a Pre-Professional Programs (P3) student. 

Nominees demonstrate

  • Exemplary commitment to developing themselves for post-graduate success throuch internships, research and/or professional learning opportunities
  • An ability to motivate other students to commit themselves to their professional development and academic excellence



George Washington Fields (JD. 1890) was born into slavery and later escaped with his mother and siblings during the Civil War. Believed to be Cornell's only former slave graduate, he was part of the inaugural law school class at Cornell. When he earned his degree in 1890, George Washington Fields became not only the first African American graduate of Cornell Law School, but was also joined by two other undergraduates that same year to become the very first African Americans to graduate with a bachelor's degree from Cornell. 

The 2018-19 winner was Vivian Utti '19

Nominate someone for the George Washington Fields Award here


3. Gloria Joseph Award for Opportunity Programs

The Gloria Joseph Award for Opportunity Programs is presented to an EOP/HEOP student or a POSSE Scholar.

Nominees demonstrate

  • An ability to serve as a role model to their peers through scholarship, leadership and advocacy for the EOP/HEOP or POSSE Programs


Gloria Joseph '67 graduated from Cornell with a PhD in Educational Psychology and became the first Director for the University's Council on Special Education Projects (COSEP) which was Cornell's first institutionalized diversity initiative. After also serving as an Assistant Dean of Students at Cornell, Dr. Joseph later became a professor with the Africana Center. Many students, staff, and faculty considered Dr.Joseph instrumental to their success at Cornell.

The 2018-19 winner was Diala Haddad '20

Nominate someone for the Gloria Joseph Award here


4. Marvin Jack Award for OADI Emerging Scholar-Leader

The Marvin Jack (Tuscarora) Award for OADI Emerging Scholar-Leader recognizes a rising sophomore or rising junior.

Nominees demonstrate

  • An ability to motivate other members of the OADI and campus communities to strive for excellence in scholarship, leadership and advocacy


Marvin Jack (Tuscarora) (B.S. 1909) was Cornell's first Native American student to earn a bachelor's degree. Mr.Jack later became a horticulturist and advocate for Native American education and success in agriculture.

The 2018-19 winner was Sofie Wilson '21

Nominate someone for the Marvin Jack Award here



5. Jerome Holland Award for OADI Outstanding Scholar-Leader

The Jerome "Brud" Holland Award for OADI's Outstandind Scholar-Leader recognizes a rising senior or graduating senior.

Nominees demonstrate

  • A deep commitment to exploring and exemplifying OADI's values of diversity, scholarship, leadership, advocacy and community engagement
  • A commitment to developing themselves and motivating their peers tto seek opportunities for advancement
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or above


Jerome "Brud" Holland (B.S. 1939, M.S. 1941) was Cornell's first African American football player. After working his way through Cornell by shoveling coal into a fraternity's furnace, he earned his bechelor's and master's degrees at Cornell. He later became the first Black member of the New York Stock Exchange and U.S. ambassador to Sweden. Dr. Holland also served as President of Delaware State University and Hampton University, and as chairman of the American Red Cross. 

The 2018-19 winner was Tatiana Ferraro '19.

Nominate someone for the Jerome Holland Award here