UNC Greensboro’s Augusto “Gus” Peña has been named a 2021 Leader in Diversity by Triad Business Journal.
The inaugural Leaders in Diversity awards recognize individuals who successfully incorporate authentic diversity and inclusion practices in the workplace. Individuals were recognized in the following categories: Diversity Champion, Outstanding Voice, Top Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and Board Champion. Peña is one of three Top Diversity and Inclusion Officers recognized in this year’s class of award winners.
As director of UNCG’s Office of Intercultural Engagement, Peña leads a team of student affairs professionals in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. He has 18 years of experience in higher education, working in a variety of areas that include academic support, student mentoring, teaching, multicultural leadership development, cultural programming, and policy development.
“Gus Peña is a talented educator and a tireless leader, and he is passionate about improving conditions for others. He is a true advocate who lives the call to action, and his service is integral to the inclusion and equity efforts here at UNCG,” said Dr. Cathy Akens, vice chancellor for student affairs. “The work that Gus leads through the Office of Intercultural Engagement helps ensure more equitable experiences for our students, in turn making it more possible for them to achieve their goals – which is also reflected by our achievements in social mobility rankings. We are so proud of the work that he does not only on campus, but also in the Greensboro community, and we are thrilled that he is being recognized as a Leader in Diversity.”
Peña was the recipient of the 2019 UNCG Outstanding Student Group Advisor Award and was recognized as a Notable Latino in 2017 by the Latino Community Coalition of Guilford County. Peña’s impact at the local, regional, and state levels include recent DEI presentations, consultations, and training provided to the Guilford County Parks Division, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the UNCG Global Engagement Summer Institute, the NC Employee Assistance Professionals Association, and the North Carolina chapter of the American Board of Pediatrics. He earned a Bachelor of Science in political science with a concentration in international relations and comparative politics and a Master of Arts in higher education administration, both from Appalachian State University.