Marriott executive delivers keynote at Bradford Awards
The theme for the evening was “Transcend the Power of Us: Our 2020 Vision,” as students, faculty members and others gathered for the 27th annual William D. Bradford Awards Reception, an event dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
"All of us here have a role to play. Only when we live and breathe diversity will we become the school we were meant to be," Interim Dean Ritu Agarwal told the audience.
The evening included networking, an awards presentation and an address from keynote speaker Apoorva N. Gandhi, ’91, vice president for multicultural affairs at Marriott International.
Gandhi discussed the importance of diversity in the workplace, and how learning from others can improve everyone’s experience. “Diverse thoughts and diverse ideas build innovation,” he said.
The mark of an inclusive company is that employees can walk into work and be exactly who they are in their everyday lives, he said.
“The worst thing you can do is be selected for who you are, and then change who you are when you walk in the door,” he said. “Companies are hiring you for you.”
He also showed a video from his company’s diversity and inclusion department that underscored his message, saying: “What makes us different is what makes us succeed.”
The awards presentation recognized students who demonstrate excellence in diversity and inclusion at Maryland Smith.
The award recipients are listed below:
Academic Excellence Award
- Silvana Perez Corrales
- Snigdha Sinha
Community Engagement Award
- Michael Parra
- Anthony Woodard, Jr.
–By Emma Grazado