The Indiana University School of Medicine created the Outstanding Staff Commitment to Diversity Award in 2019 to recognize a professional staff employee who demonstrates a commitment to the creation, promotion, or advancement of diversity on our campuses. Support of the success of our community in the School of Medicine is of paramount importance. This award encourages and reinforces behaviors that support learner, faculty, and staff success and the strategic efforts garnered towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. The School will support up to two awards annually. Awards will be funded through Faculty Affairs | Professional Development | Diversity (FAPDD).

Current Winner(s)

2021 Awardee

Nastassia Belton

The 2021 Outstanding Staff Commitment to Diversity Award winner is Nastassia Belton, STARK Neuroscience Research Center

  • Goal: Provide a visible and powerful way to communicate and reinforce the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within all levels of IUSM
  • Encourage the growth and sustainability of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at the Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Recognize and reward outstanding contribution

Outstanding performance that may merit a bonus includes: The IUSM Outstanding Staff Commitment to Diversity Award is an annual award of up to $3,000 conferred to full-time IUSM staff who have made an extraordinary* contribution to the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of IUSM. This award is not a substitute for a base salary increase, a temporary pay increase, or an equity adjustment. It is intended to reward those members of our staff for a specific instance where they assisted, coached, and/or developed programs, events, efforts, and/or initiatives centering on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Assistance: partners with the faculty member and/or students on a complex organizational issue or project that advances the tripartite mission (education, patient care, and research). Outcomes that better allow faculty to work at the top of their license or overcome administrative hurdles to achieve professional goals. (e.g. process improvement project leadership)
  • Coaching: solves an administrative/faculty affairs/human resources problem by providing counsel, resources, and tools. Outcomes may include creative solutions to complex faculty and/or student affairs issues, the ability to influence others, and challenge the status quo when necessary (e.g. leading a faculty member or group through change management, organizational development, or performance management issues).
  • Development: helps a faculty member and/or student achieve career goals such as advancement, award, new/renewed funding, professional development, or scholarship through the coordination of counseling, development, mentorship, review, or scientific/scholarly activities and programs.

*Extraordinary contributions are above and beyond the usual responsibilities, occur over a finite period of time, and do not recur on a regular basis.


  • Employees must hold a full-time appointed staff position within IUSM and be employed on the date the payment is awarded.
  • Vice chairs excluded given eligibility for other staff awards.
  • Employees must have a minimum of one year of service in IUSM.
  • Employees must have a current written performance evaluation (within the last 12 months) on file.
  • The extraordinary contributions must have been made within 12-18 months prior to the nomination.
  • Employees must not have current (within the last 12 months) corrective action.
  • Employees must not have a current performance improvement plan.

Payment: A lump-sum Discretionary Bonus payment(s) of up to $3,000 for a maximum of two staff employees in a fiscal year may be considered. Payments will be distributed in June of each fiscal year.

Nomination Process:

  • A staff member may be nominated during the annual call for nominations.
  • Any member of the faculty, staff, or student may nominate any staff employee within the IUSM.
  • If a nominator is not the nominee’s supervisor, a letter of support from the supervisor is required.


Selection Process:

  • A review committee comprised of leaders from Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity and Human Resources, with at least three ad hoc members, will determine the most deserving nominations of up to two awards annually.
  • Once selected, awardees will be notified by email with a cc to the supervisor.

Human Resource Services will verify eligibility, review for completeness, and resolve any questions by mid-October. Requests will be evaluated by a review committee against the criteria in the discretionary bonus guidelines, and requests meeting the criteria will be forwarded to the Dean and Executive Associate Deans with a recommendation for approval. Nominators submitting requests will be notified if the bonus has been approved or does not meet the criteria in the guidelines.

Past Winners
Year Name
2019 Awardee Francine Epperson, Clinical Research & Autopsy Coordinator for the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center and the Dementia Research Laboratory