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Boston Business Journal Presents Bentley University’s Earl Avery with Lifetime Achievement Award for Work as a Leader in Diversity

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Boston Business Journal Presents Bentley University’s Earl Avery with Lifetime Achievement Award for Work as a Leader in Diversity

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Leadership, News

The Boston Business Journal presented Earl Avery, special assistant to the president and ombudsman at Bentley University, with a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of its 2011 Leaders in Diversity Awards, the publication’s annual program that honors companies and businesspeople for their leadership in promoting inclusiveness and economic opportunity. The award was presented in October at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston.

“Earl is an essential part of the Bentley fabric, and has been the central catalyst for building a more diverse faculty, staff and student body,” says Bentley President Gloria Cordes Larson. “He has also supported and mentored countless students, faculty and staff over the years. His influence has also expanded beyond the Bentley campus, through his work with several national organizations to promote greater diversity in business schools and business practice.”

The BBJ noted Avery’s ability to tackle diversity issues in myriad ways, including creating a series of two-and-a-half day retreats on the topic that have now reached a majority of Bentley staff and faculty.

Other highlighted accomplishments include:

  • Serving as the campus ethics officer  and as a mentor and counselor to a variety of campus minority employee groups
  • Organizing the school’s gospel choir and annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast
  • Developing the Summer Transition Education Program (STEP) program, which provides support for students from urban schools who may not meet Bentley’s traditional admission requirements
  • Increasing faculty diversity through a partnership with historically black colleges and universities, including visiting professorships and distance learning programs that provide a diverse experience for students and faculty both at Bentley and the partner schools
  • Assisting in the formation of a consortium of seven Boston-area business schools that work together to attract diverse faculty to the region
  • Addressing a surge of applicants and students from Asia, particularly China, by working with a cross-cultural expert to help tailor a suite of programs designed to ease their transition

Avery was honored among local business leaders who have set personal examples for others in the area of diversity and inclusion. Several companies were also recognized for building strong, effective and measurable diversity programs.

“Providing economic opportunity to a wider cross-section of Bostonians and promoting more diversity are key components to making Boston a better place to live and work,” BBJ Publisher Chris McIntosh said of winners. “We’re pleased to honor individuals and companies that are taking the lead.”

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