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UH Law Center’s inclusion efforts draw national acclaim from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine for fifth straight year


Sept. 8, 2020 - The University of Houston Law Center has received the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The accolade marks five consecutive years for the Law Center as a HEED Award Recipient.

As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the Law Center will be featured in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“It is gratifying to see this continued validation for the work the UH Law Center has achieved to build a diverse culture on our campus,” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “The HEED Award is a reminder of the importance of building an inclusive campus community, and we are committed to that work.” 

"At this time, when acts of racism, violence and hate speech have become even more prevalent, I am encouraged that the Law Center stands as a bulwark of understanding, education and progress towards a more diverse and inclusive future.  I am honored that the Law Center has been recognized for its diversity programs with the HEED Award for the fifth year in a row," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. "The Law Center continues to stand ready to serve as a forum and vessel for achieving lasting diversity, inclusion and excellence.

"Many thanks go to Professor Meredith Duncan, assistant dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Metropolitan Programs, and Kristen Guiseppi, the director of the UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program, for their extraordinary efforts to help us achieve our diversity goals."

HEED Award recipients are selected on the basis of an extensive application, detailing demographics of the faculty and student body, recruitment practices, mentoring and resource programs, community outreach and other efforts designed to increase diversity.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

"We are thrilled to be recognized nationally and awarded for our commitment to diversity and inclusion here at the Law Center," Duncan said.

The Law Center’s award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program was among initiatives cited by the magazine. The program prepares undergraduates who are first-generation, low-income or members of groups underrepresented in the legal profession for a career in law.

"We continue to remain focused about our efforts to support diversity and promote inclusivity within the Law Center community," Guiseppi said. "I am proud of the work we do through our programs, clinics and institutes, and the space we’ve created for ongoing dialogue on diversity and inclusion practices. We are thankful, humbled and honored by the continued recognition from INSIGHT Into Diversity for our efforts and initiatives."

For more information about the 2020 HEED Award, visit

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125,; and John Brannen, Media Relations Rep, 713-743-3055,

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation’s 4th largest city. UHLC’s Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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