Stetson University College of Law receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2020 Higher Education Excellence In Diversity (HEED) Award

GULFPORT, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2020) — Stetson University College of Law 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. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges, universities and professional schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — Stetson Law will be featured, along with other recipients, in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Dean Michèle Alexandre
Dean Michèle Alexandre

“At Stetson Law, we are committed to the work being undertaken here and university-wide to implement meaningful inclusionary practices among students, faculty, and staff, and to continuing to foster an inclusive community where everyone is expected to lead with humanity and professionalism, so we could not be more thrilled that our efforts thus far have been recognized nationally,” said Dean Michèle Alexandre.

Why Stetson Law

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Stetson Law – one of only two law schools to receive the award this year – for increasing the diversity and representation of student and staff/tenured faculty communities, increasing the reach and structure of campus-wide diversity and cultural competence education and resources, and expanding the reach of its social justice advocacy program and initiatives to emphasize the importance of social justice in all that they do.

“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, co-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.”

Key Initiatives

Two of Stetson Law’s specific accomplishments were: the implementation of a concentrated effort to recruit and retain historically underrepresented and first-generation students through a pre-law pipeline program, personalized support and mentorship throughout their academic career, and specialized fundraising efforts for scholarships and endowments to ensure they have the financial wherewithal to complete law school; and the launch of an Inclusive Hiring Strategic Plan to provide a transparent framework to broaden the college’s continued advancements in increasing diversity and representation among faculty and staff.

Carmen Johnson Director of Diversity Initiatives and Recruitment
Carmen Johnson

“We are passionate about this work and have emphasized the importance of analyzing the impact of our inclusion and equity efforts to ensure we are accomplishing our action plans with intention and consistency,” said Carmen Johnson, co-chair of Stetson Law’s Diversity Committee and director of Diversity Initiatives and Recruitment. “Our Stetson Law community should be proud of this recognition and let it serve as inspiration to reinforce our long-term commitment to our goals.”

About Stetson University College of Law

Stetson University College of Law, Florida’s first law school, has prepared lawyers and leaders since 1900. Today, Stetson leads the nation in blending legal doctrine with practical training, evidenced by its top-ranked programs in advocacy and legal writing. Through its academically rigorous curriculum and commitment to social responsibility, Stetson produces lawyers who are ethical advocates ready to succeed in the legal profession.  

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. For more information about the 2020 HEED Award, visit