The UCF Advancement Records and Gifts team and Gender Standards Task Force earned a Diamond Award from  the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP) at AASP’s 2021 Aspire awards ceremony. This is the highest award possible and only two were awarded this year.

The AASP awards are designed to recognize and acknowledge outstanding and innovative solutions that advancement services professionals are creating to solve the complex challenges facing their organizations.

The UCF Advancement team received the award in the category of Inclusivity in Data Standards in recognition for its work on creating gender pronoun standards in the UCF Foundation’s database.

In an effort to create more inclusive data standards, the UCF Foundation launched a new data program surrounding the collection, storage and maintenance of gender identity and pronouns with the database. Implementation of the project led to gender identity and pronoun information on more than 1,000 records as well as inclusivity training across the foundation and improved communications with donors and alumni.

“This project was more than just cleaning up data and changing the institutional culture on gender pronouns,” says Vicky Medlock, juror for the award committee and past president at AASP. “Other institutions should use this project as a best practice on gender pronoun data.”

Kelly Travis, director of Records and Gifts, says the team realized their goal through research, internal and external partnerships, and innovative use of data collection and storage technologies.

“We knew that we wanted to get this important project right for our alumni and donors but also realized that we needed to educate ourselves first,” says Karen Cochran, interim vice president for advancement and interim CEO, UCF Foundation. “Kudos to the gender standards committee for not only improving data collection but for spearheading the training for the rest of our advancement colleagues.”

In addition, the program continues to grow, says Travis. “Colleagues now share articles and information about gender standards with the task force and reach out about possible partnerships to expand the data program.”

Members of the Gender Standards Task Force are LaToya Jackson, Alison Kubala, Kelsey Moscater, Stephanie Odierno, Azela Santana, Tenley Sterkel, Kelly Travis.

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