Last week, the Office of Equity and Inclusion held its first-ever Luminaria Awards Dinner to recognize University of New Mexico staffers who have "gone above the call of duty in promoting diversity and support," the story stated.
Jozi De Leon, vice president of Equity and Inclusion, said: "There was a sentiment raised that some diversity efforts hadn''t been recognized to the degree that we should be recognizing them. [The honorees] are a great representation of exactly what everyone around campus should be doing. They take the time to get to know someone and they care about the success of others."
According to University of New Mexico custodian Phil Aragon, one of four recognized custodians, "You start to build acquaintances, some friendships. In 14 years, you meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends."
University of New Mexico professor Maggie Werner-Washburne, who originated the concept of the Luminaria Awards, weighed in by saying: "We have had this group of janitors for a long time. We know them; they know us. These janitors are a key part of the success of the University."
The other janitorial staff members recognized were Toby Lucero, Martin Jaramillo and Magdalena Vela, the story added.