HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - A million visitors pass through the doors of the Michigan Technological University Student Development Complex (SDC) every year. Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret is committed to making every one of them feel welcome.
Sanregret's holistic approach to inclusion — a systemic team mindset and whole-building culture that goes beyond brick-and-mortar accessibility — has been recognized with the 2019 Michigan Tech Diversity Award.
The award, established in 2014, honors University thought leaders who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to foster diversity and inclusion at the University through recruitment, projects, on-and-off campus collaborations and other activities that promote diversity in teaching, research and service.
In addition to Michigan Tech's 14 varsity sports, Sanregret is in charge of the University's Recreation, Intramural Sports and Michigan Tech Outdoor Adventure programs. Appointed in 2005, she serves as Title IX Coordinator for Gender Equity in Athletics and is a long-time leader in regional and national athletic circles.
"Dr. Sanregret has made an enduring commitment to women's representation and empowerment throughout Michigan Tech's athletics programs and has integrated her commitment to diversity and inclusion into her service in national athletics associations. She has been the driving force behind the many accessibility improvements made to the SDC in recent years, from the parking lot to the pool, from the football field to the hockey stands, going above and beyond what the law requires. These improvements, along with the lactation facilities and all-gender bathrooms and locker rooms in the SDC, signal to our community that all are welcome." says Audrey Mayer, Assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion.
The Michigan Tech Diversity Award recipient receives a $2,500 award and is honored during the Faculty Awards Dinner in September.
Sanregret, who views diversity as an all-encompassing mandate that in the most basic terms means to do the right thing for all people on an individual level, said the award is entirely unexpected.
"I was so surprised. My first thought was, ‘I'm just doing my job,’" Sanregret said. "It's what everyone should be doing."
"If you love your work and love the people around you and care about them — that's the basis for the work we do."