News at Smith

‘Diverse thoughts and diverse ideas build innovation’

Mar 06, 2020


(l-r) Anthony Woodard, Jr., Snigdha Sinha, Silvana Perez Corrales, and Michael Parra
(l-r) Anthony Woodard, Jr., Snigdha Sinha, Silvana Perez Corrales, and Michael Parra

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

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.