Yolanda Morris Honored with IDEA Award

By | December 7, 2021

Yolanda Morris

Yolanda Morris has been chosen by Buffalo Business First to receive an IDEA (Inclusion Diversity Equity Awareness) Award.

Morris, director of admissions events and special programs at Daemen, takes home an honor that recognizes “defenders of diversity and champions of inclusion,” per Buffalo Business First – which created and operates the yearly contest, now in its third year.

The award will be given out at a Jan. 27 dinner hosted by M&T Bank and Phillips Lytle LLP.

Morris was nominated, in part, for creating the SEEN program at the college, as well as the Sister-to-Sister organization. 

The award nomination – written by Greg Nayor, vice president for strategic initiatives – focused on the personalized experiences Morris creates for prospective students and their families who visit campus. 

“Through this direct work with students she ensures that individuals work in an environment that is inclusive and where everyone has a voice,” wrote Nayor. 

Morris’s work with the college’s Trustee Scholars program, advocacy for first-generation college students, and a reputation for promoting fairness, equity and transparency were also key components of her nomination. 

“Ms. Morris helps those who may not have the same access to education as others receive an equal playing field,” Nayor wrote. “This is true for what she does in both words and actions.”

Nayor added, “Ms. Morris is one of those key figures on campus who builds relationships with students who may be struggling and helps them – quietly and compassionately – behind the scenes without fanfare or publicity, just to ensure that they can be successful.” 

“Year in and year out, so many graduates come back and look back fondly on their interactions with Ms. Morris,” Nayor wrote. “She is a change maker in the lives of students.”

The IDEA Award joins a host of other honors for Morris. 

In 2017, she was recognized by her alma mater Russell Sage College with a Woman of Influence Award for her contributions to her professional field and in the community.

She was also an honoree at the 44th annual Buffalo Black Achievers Annual Awards in 2016.

Last year, Tiffany Hamilton was chosen as an IDEA Award winner