Kingdom Diversity Champions

The Rodney K. Sisco Diversity Students’ Choice Awards

Rodney SiscoThis annual award program recognizes Wheaton College faculty and staff’s commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive educational environment, making Wheaton feel like home to all. Recipients of the award carry the designation of Diversity Champions.

Candidates for the awards are nominated by students. The Award honoree will receive the Rodney K. Sisco Diversity Students’ Choice Award trophy and a $1,000 cash prize.

Nominate a faculty or staff member for the Sisco Diversity Award >

Meet The 2023 Award Honorees

The Wheaton College Office of Intercultural Engagement is pleased to announce Wheaton’s 2023 diversity honorees, Reverend Stephen Cartwright and Dr. Melissa Harkrider. Dr. Harkrider and Rev. Cartwright have demonstrated exceptional service to Wheaton College students by deepening Kingdom diversity, inclusion, justice, and unity in their efforts on Campus. Through contributions, seen and unseen, both honorees have sacrificially shared their time, talents, and resources to the glory of God for the sake of the body of Christ. They will each be presented with a custom-made glass trophy and a $1,000 cash prize at our annual awards ceremony. 

Melissa Harkrider 2023
2023 Rodney K. Sisco Diversity Students' Choice Award Faculty Honoree

Melissa Harkrider

Melissa Harkrider enjoys teaching students in the First Year Seminar, an Advanced Integrative Seminar - Native Chicago, and a variety of history major courses. She offers classes on the Atlantic world, European history, Native American Studies, and religious history. She earned her doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her first book, Women, Reform, and Community in Early Modern England: Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and Lincolnshire’s Godly Aristocracy 1519-1580, examines how Willoughby, her friends, and family responded to religious change in sixteenth-century England. Dr. Harkrider’s current research studies Cherokee responses to Christianity in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Her project focuses on Cherokee language hymns and the ways these texts reflected Cherokee culture and belief in this period. She is the wife of Curtis and mother of Ethan, whose experiences as enrolled citizens of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma helped shape her current research and teaching commitments.

 Wheaton College students are saying;

"Dr. Harkrider consistently advocates for students to consider the perspectives of our neighbors and those who are marginalized, and learn from those whose opinions we might otherwise dismiss."

Stephen Cartwright
2023 Rodney K. Sisco Diversity Students' Choice Award Staff Honoree

Stephen Cartwright

Stephen Cartwright serves Wheaton College as the Assistant Director of Residence Life and the Residence Director of Fischer Hall. He served in Residence Life throughout much of college and seminary and values the unique opportunities it presents to encourage, challenge, and develop one another. Stephen also serves as a minister at New Generation Church in Oak Lawn, IL. When not in Fischer, he can likely be found preaching, hosting his podcast, playing basketball, reading, having theological conversations, or laughing at random nonsense. Stephen majored in Business Management at Trinity International University, and just after graduating with his bachelor's, he decided to pursue a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His prayer is that Wheaton would be a place of piety and practice. A place that edifies students, staff, and faculty, and glorifies the Risen Christ. A place where the love of Christ is embodied by the ways in which we live out the Good News. A place where individuals are seen, known, valued, and are compelled to help others feel the same.

Wheaton College students are saying; 

"Steve is years wiser than I am, and still, he asks for my opinions and wants to learn from me. I think that Steve deserves to be recognized for the wonderful ally, mentor, and friend that he is."

2023 Sisco Diversity Awards Honorable Mentions

Crystal Cartwright

Ms. Crystal Cartwright

Director of Student Involvement


Dr. Justin Heth

Dean of Residence Life

RD of Upper Class Halls

Ms. Sarah Roop

Sarah served as Resident Director for Campus Apartments and Houses. She is no longer employed with the College.


Sisco Diversity Award Past Winners

2022 Sisco Diversity Award Winners

  • Dr. Theon Hill,  Associate Professor of Communication
  • Mary Yeboah, past Director of Graduate Student Life

2021 Sisco Diversity Award Winners

  • Dr. Michael McKoy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations and Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Pastor Raymond Chang, President of Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC)

2020 Sisco Diversity Award Winners

  • Dr. Nathan Cartagena, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and faculty advisor for Unidad Cristiana
  • Daniel Watts, Manager of the Building Roads to Intellectual Diversity and Greater Education (BRIDGE) program