Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment

About PACME 

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 $750. 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 and inclusion 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)
  • The Tristen Sloane Student Award (includes graduate and undergraduate students, post-docs, and student organizations)

Past winners

The 2024 PACME event was held on April 16, 2024. What a wonderful celebration! Read all about it in the VCU News article.

PACME Recipients from 1994-2024

2024 award winners

  • Shawn Utsey, Ph.D., Academic and Administrative Leadership award;
  • Kim Case, Ph.D., Faculty Award;
  • Christina Davis, Staff Award;
  • Austin Ezzard & KáLyn Coghill, Tristen Sloane Student Award;
  • Shawn Utsey, Ph.D., Riese-Melton Award


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