For outstanding service and dedication to furthering diversity and inclusion, six University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumni have been inducted into the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center Hall of Fame.
The 2020 class, honored Oct. 29 during a Multicultural Homecoming celebration hosted by the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services, includes Chandra C. Díaz, Misty Frazier, Ahn Le, Jeannette Eileen Jones, Reshell D. Ray and Shannon Teamer. The induction ceremony was held virtually due to COVID-19 concerns.
Launched in 2018, the Gaughan Center Hall of Fame honors outstanding multicultural alumni. The award ceremony is part of the university’s Multicultural Alumni Homecoming, which was created by the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color and the Gaughan Multicultural Center. The activities are designed to increase connections between Nebraska’s multicultural alumni, faculty and students.
Hall of fame honorees are featured in a display in the Gaughan Multicultural Center. Learn more about the 2020 award winners below.
Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Chandra Díaz is the daughter and granddaughter of farm workers and a first-generation college student who came to the university in 1992. While on campus, involvement with OASIS (then the Culture Center) and the Mexican American Student Association, propelled Díaz to be deeply involved in MASA work. She earned a Bachelor of Science in 1997, a Master of Arts in 2003 and doctorate in teaching, learning and teacher education in 2015 (all from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln). Díaz is now working as an associate dean, assistant professor and adviser of middle-level education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In her work, she helps prepare middle school educators. Díaz’ hall of fame induction included an award for outstanding service and dedication to the Mexican American Student Association and the Gaughan Multicultural Center.
Misty (Thomas) Frazier is a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska and a descendent of the Tingit of Alaska. She is currently executive director of the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition. Frazier was director of the Dakota Tiwahe Service Unit, the social services department for the Santee Sioux Nation. For her tribe, she administered child and protective services, Native Employment Works Program, AmeriCorps, Tribal Youth Program Grant, and the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program. Frazier earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources and family sciences in 2001 and a master’s degree in sociology in 2006, both from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She has been recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House, received an Early Achiever Award from the University of Nebraska Alumni Association, and her domestic violence program was honored by the Nebraska Crime Commission. Frazier’s hall of fame induction included an award for outstanding service and dedication to UNITE and the Gaughan Multicultural Center.
Jeannette Eileen Jones
Jennette Eileen Jones is an associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is a United States historian with an emphasis in American cultural and intellectual history and African American studies. Her research is focused on how the role of race continues to shape American cultural and intellectual discourse and production. Jones earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hofstra University, as well as a Master of Arts and doctorate from State University of New York at Buffalo. Jones’ hall of fame induction included a Dr. Michael W. Combs Legacy Award. In her acceptance speech, Jones said Combs, a professor of political science who died in 2019, made an indelible impact on her as a young Black woman scholar.
“His advice and mentorship was invaluable, as he spoke plainly and unflinchingly about the hurdles and obstacles I would face,” Jones said. “Yet, his voice was one of encouragement and perseverance, boosting me to move towards my professional goals with purpose.”
Jones said she is working to follow Combs’ dedication to mentoring and being engaged with Black student scholars.
Anh Le, an academic adviser and success coach in the International Student and Scholar Office, has been actively engaged in diversity and inclusion efforts, especially for Asian-American students. She has served as an adviser of the university’s Asian Student Union and the Vietnamese Student Association. In the work, Le persistently and passionately advocated for Asian American student leaders’ empowerment, leadership development and voices in conversations regarding social and racial justice issues. Le has also served in leadership positions for local and national professional associations including the university’s Multicultural Young Professional Association, the American College Professional Association’s Asian Pacific American Network, and the UNL Academic Advising Association. Le has been actively engaged in research activities as a scholar practitioner, including study into the international and Asian American student experience at U.S. higher education institutions. Le is first-generation Vietnamese immigrant and the first college graduate in her family. She earned a doctorate in educational administration in 2014. Le’s hall of fame induction included an award for outstanding service and dedication to the Asian Student Union and Gaughan Multicultural Center.
Reshell D. Ray
Reshell D. Ray is associate director of student involvement and assistant manager of the Nebraska East Union. In her work on campus, Ray is dedicated to students, producing well-attended events that contribute academically and socially to the college experience. She previously served as the coordinator of the university’s cultural center, developing educational programs for students of color. The work included the creation of curriculum for Critical Moments, a program designed to ease cultural isolation for underrepresented college students. Ray is a community innovation fellow with the Rural Futures Institute and received the Patsy Morley Outstanding Programmer Award during the 2013 convention of the National Association for Campus Activities. Ray’s hall of fame induction included special recognition as the Gaughan Multicultural Center’s Influencer Award winner.
Shannon Joshua Teamer is the senior director of inclusion programs and services and director of the TRIO Project Achieve at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Teamer is a University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was also an active member of the Afrikan Peoples Union. Teamer also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Creighton University. In August 2020, Teamer and colleagues secured funding for Project Achieve through 2025. The award ensures that nearly 1,000 students will benefit from the program, which keeps academically underperforming students on track to graduation. Teamer also helped develop and launch UNO’s First Generation Guild, a cross-campus group that supports first generation students academically, socially and financially. An Omaha native, Teamer is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the 100 Black Men of Omaha; author of the book, “Start. Stay With It. Finish Strong.,” and chief executive office of “I Am Better than Me.” Teamer’s hall of fame induction included special recognition for outstanding service and dedication to the Afrikan Peoples Union and Gaughan Multicultural Center.