MIT Professional Education Executive Director, Bhaskar Pant, has been selected as the winner of the first ever UPCEA Leadership in Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) – a leading association for professional, continuing and online education.
In making the announcement, Mary Angela Baker, Chair of the UPCEA Awards Committee, said, “As the Chair of the 2021 Awards Committee, I am deeply honored to congratulate you on your achievement. After a nationwide search, Bhaskar has been selected to receive the national 2021 UPCEA Leadership in Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award. This inaugural award recognizes outstanding accomplishment by an individual who represents “best practices and demonstrates a positive impact in promoting a cultural shift in the organization that promotes diversity and inclusive excellence”. Pant is slated to be honored on April 8, 2021 during the virtual 2021 UPCEA Annual Conference.
Since arriving on campus in 2008 to head the professional education arm of MIT, Pant, with his multicultural background and global work experience, has conducted scores of cultural awareness sessions and intercultural communication workshops for staff, faculty and student groups. In addition, Pant has been proactive in hiring a highly diverse staff – one that mirrors the US population. Pant has also consistently worked with his staff to expand the reach of MIT’s professional programs among underrepresented and underserved populations globally, including women and non-English speaking professionals.
“Bhaskar’s commitment and passion for advancing MIT’s mission through innovative professional programs among diverse populations around the world, and his dedication to making his colleagues at MIT more culturally aware, is exemplary. Congratulations Bhaskar on this most well-deserved award,” said Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering.
“I cannot think of a better example of inclusivity, equity, and success than Bhaskar’s work and leadership. Our Institute community is fortunate to have him, and stronger as a result of his efforts. I extend my deepest congratulations on this achievement,” John Dozier, Institute Community and Equity Officer for MIT.