Daniel Nidzgorski, a PhD candidate in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior graduate program, is the one of two recipients University-wide of the 2014 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award. Nidzgorski has advance equity and diversity at the collegiate and University-wide levels and made many important contributions during his time at the U of M. He has been part of many social justice and diversity efforts including the College of Biological Sciences Diversity Collaborative, MN Queer Science, the St. Paul GLBTA Advisory Group. In addition to the Josie Johnson Award, he received a 2011 Breaking the Silence Award, which recognizes individuals who make important contributions to improving campus climate, community engagement, and university-wide change work regarding GLBTA identities.
The Josie R. Johnson Award was established in honor of Dr. Josie R. Johnson's lifelong contributions to human rights and social justice, which guided her work with the civil rights movement, years of community service, and tenure at the University of Minnesota. Johnson, who served as a member of the faculty and as associate vice president for academic affairs, helped built a coalition among diversity efforts focusing on women, GLBT people, people with disabilities and others. The award honors University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students who, through their principles and practices, exemplify Dr. Johnson’s standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments.