Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment

While the pandemic prevented us from gathering in person, VCU hosted the 2021 PACME celebration virtually on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The archived video of the virtual ceremony can be viewed below. Read the VCU News coverage of the ceremony.

PACME 2021 winners

  • Academic and Administrative Leadership Award: Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D., School of Education
  • Faculty Award: M. Alex Wagaman, Ph.D., School of Social Work
  • Staff Award: Michelle D. Hawkins, MA, Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU
  • Student Award: Amanda M. Parks, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences

The Riese-Melton Award was presented to M. Alex Wagaman, Ph.D.

This year, the President's Inclusive Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Seth Leibowitz, Ed.D., Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, College of Humanities and Sciences.


The Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment recognizes those VCU and VCU Health individuals and groups who have made exemplary contributions with regard to promoting civility, building community, establishing cross-cultural initiatives, advocating equity, and nurturing a welcoming and inclusively excellent environment throughout the university and area communities.

PACME recipients are honored for their efforts and contributions that move beyond the routine expectations of the individual or group’s position and enhance the goals of inclusive excellence and VCU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Each award winner will receive $500.  In addition, one of the four recipients will be selected to receive the capstone award – The Riese-Melton.  This special award is given for contributions made in advancing cross-cultural relations.  The awardee will receive an additional $250.

The Riese-Melton award is a long tradition at VCU and is named for two pathfinders in our institution’s history who dared to reach across the racial divide during less enlightened times.  Dr. Walter J. Riese served as professor of neurology and psychiatry at our medical center.  During his tenure, he championed the rights of African American employees during a time when it was unpopular to take a stand.  One of these employees was Mr. Herman Melton, who worked at the medical center for more than 50 years.  We continue the award because it reminds us of these individuals in our own past who created a culture of diversity that endures to this day.

Award categories

  • Academic and Administrative Leadership Award (includes administrators, directors, and university organizations)
  • Faculty Award (includes teaching, research, and adjunct faculty)
  • Staff Award (includes classified, hourly, and part-time staff, and university and academic professionals)
  • Student Award (includes graduate and undergraduate students, post-docs, and student organizations)

Past winners

The 2020 PACME event was held on April 30, 2020. It was our first virtual PACME event. What a wonderful celebration! View the archived video of the virtual ceremony and read more about the winners in the VCU News article.

View PACME past winners


For additional information, please email the Division for Inclusive Excellence at