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Eastern’s Walter Diaz Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Published on December 10, 2018

Eastern’s Walter Diaz Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

The Connecticut Association of Latinos in Higher Education (CALAHE) presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Walter Diaz, vice president for student affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University, at the CALAHE annual meeting on Dec. 7 at the University of Hartford.

The award was given in recognition of Diaz’s commitment to CALAHE’s mission and for his dedication to helping students achieve their academic potential.

Diaz has served Eastern in a variety of capacities since arriving on campus in July 1999. In addition to serving as the director of career services, he also served for two and a half years as acting director of the Office of Housing and Residential Life, before becoming the dean of students in 2010.

He has more than 30 years of higher education experience, having also served at Tunxis Community College, Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, SUNY’s Institute of Technology, and the University of Connecticut, before coming to Eastern.

In his various capacities at Eastern, Diaz has implemented a number of innovative programs, including Haven training on sexual misconduct; “Tell Somebody,” a campaign to improve the reporting of student behavioral concerns; the Academic Performance Notification System; the Occupancy Management Group, which increased retention and occupancy rates for on-campus housing; the Warriors’ Cup to promote the campus culture; Friday After Dark, which provides weekend activities for resident students; the Priority Points System for preferred housing; and an expanded Cultural Calendar that has seen a 50 percent increase in diversity and social justice programs.

In addition to his administrative duties, Diaz is known around campus for his commitment to students. He has mentored hundreds of students as an advisor to the MALES and OLAS student clubs and through his support of the Unity Wing, STEP/CAP, and other University initiatives. Diaz has also provided leadership on a number of University committees, including as chair of the Enrollment Management Committee, the Professional Development Committee, and the SUOAF Minority Mentoring and Recruitment Committee.

He is also active in national organizations associated with student affairs professionals, including the American Association of Latinos in Higher Education; NASPA, the national association for student affairs administrators in higher education; and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. More locally, Diaz was a member of the Latino Endowment Fund of the Hartford Foundation of Public Giving, and is past vice president of CALAHE.

Diaz earned his bachelor’s degree at Central Connecticut State University, his master’s degree at the University of Connecticut, and his doctorate at Johnson & Wales University. In 2016, he completed a fellowship with the New Leadership Academy, coordinated by the University of Michigan on behalf of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and the National Center for Institutional Diversity.

Written by Ed Osborn

Categories: Student Activities