Friday, May 17, 2024

Love-Vaughn recognized as University of Kentucky Torch Bearer

by BIZ Magazine

Louisiana Tech University Dean Devonia Love-Vaughn was honored during the University of Kentucky’s recent homecoming celebrations as one of the university’s 2022 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence winners.

The UK Alumni Association Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Constituency Group and the university’s Office for Institutional Diversity hosted the awards luncheon as part of the 2022 Lyman T. Johnson Homecoming Celebration. UK’s academic colleges and units selected at least one African American graduate whose “faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation” to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award.

Love-Vaughn, who serves Louisiana Tech as Dean of Inclusive Initiatives and Student Success, earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work at the University of Kentucky.

“I am humbled, I am honored, and I feel somewhat that I’ve come full circle,” Love-Vaughn said. “As a student, I got to meet Lyman T. Johnson…he was a legend in his own right for our community and to be bestowed an award named after him, it’s emotional. I feel a tremendous level of responsibility to incorporate Mr. Johnson’s legacy into my daily goals at Louisiana Tech University.”

After being named the first female African American dean at Louisiana Tech, Love-Vaughn began work to increase cultural competence at the University. Under her leadership, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has grown to provide support and connections for more students and has been renamed the Bulldog Cultural Center. She has also worked with campus and University of Louisiana System leaders on the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program for African American male students.

Love-Vaughn serves as co-lead for the Aspire Institutional Change (IChange) Network which is a part of the National Alliance for Inclusive and Diverse Stem Faculty and represents Louisiana Tech on the Real Change in Ruston committee with the City of Ruston Mayor’s Office.

“Devonia has had a tremendous impact on the Louisiana Tech campus and Ruston itself since her arrival,” said Dr. Dickie Crawford, Tech’s Vice President for Student Advancement. “She has a servant’s heart and the students whose lives that she has impacted will experience those blessings for many generations to come.

“Louisiana Tech is very thankful for Devonia Love-Vaughn, and we are so proud of the recognition she has received from the University of Kentucky.”

Lyman T. Johnson challenged the status quo in his landmark court case that opened UK to African American students in 1949. He dedicated his life to fighting against segregation and racial inequalities in Kentucky.

“The Lyman T. Johnson Excellence Awards are a powerful testament to the passion and tenacity with which torchbearers, strategic thinkers and action-oriented visionary leaders uphold Mr. Johnson’s precious legacy,” said Katrice Albert, UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity. “UK students and alumni continue to advance critical research, uplift and galvanize their communities and light the way on our path toward inclusive excellence. For 31 years, the Lyman T. Johnson Awards have honored those agents of change who left an indelible mark on our campus. We are made by our history. And we are so proud of and grateful for all those who have helped show us the world what is wildly possible with wide open doors.”

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