February 19, 2021
Brauss receives FMU’s AAFSC Diversity Award
Dr. Daniel Brauss, assistant professor of Mathematics at Francis Marion University, received the FMU African-American Faculty and Staff Coalition’s Diversity Award at the organization’s annual scholarship celebration Thursday night.
The event was extra special because it marked the 25th anniversary of the AAFSC, an organization that supports and champions diversity on the FMU campus and beyond. It was unusual in that it was held in front of a small, socially distanced audience in Chapman Auditorium, and no meal was served. The event was also live-streamed to friends and supporters of the coalition.
The AAFSC diversity award, given annually by the coalition, highlights the work of individuals who are dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusiveness at FMU and beyond. Organizers noted Brauss’ commitment to encouraging inclusivity, especially within the FMU student body.
Brauss is a native of St. Louis, Missouri, who joined the FMU faculty in 2017. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and his Ph. D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Auburn University. Prior to becoming an FMU faculty member, Brauss was a lecturer at the University of Belize in Belmopan, Belize, and a visiting assistant professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.
The presentation of the Diversity Award was one of many highlights from the event. Recipients of AAFSC-sponsored scholarship were also recognized, WPDE ABC 15 reporter Tonya Brown was the master of ceremonies, and FMU President Dr. Fred Carter lauded the group during brief remarks.
“This has been the toughest year in the history of the University, but the Coalition has been an important part in the cohesion that has held this University together,” Carter said. “Not every university has a coalition.”
Carter presented founding members of the AAFSC who were in attendance with a framed photograph of the commemorative campus plaque that honors the group’s founding. He also announced that a new scholarship had been established in honor of AAFSC President Linda Sullen.
Sullen, a long-time employee in FMU’s payroll department, is the current president of the AAFSC.
The AAFSC’s scholarships are funded through donations to the AAFSC, as well as support from the Francis Marion University Education Foundation The AAFSC funds named scholarships for Dr. Freda Campbell Wilson, Dr. Joseph E. Heyward, Dr. Leroy “Pete” Peterson, Mrs. Rebecca Lunn, and Dr. Dorothy Harris, and now Sullen.
The AAFSC was founded at FMU in 1995 to stimulate and enhance cultural awareness, and to promote professional development and welfare among faculty, staff and students.
The organization’s goals include increasing morale, and communication among members; creating an atmosphere of community for FMU African-American faculty, staff and students; serving as a liaison between the administrative personnel of FMU and the African-American faculty and staff; and examining the university’s efforts in recruitment and retention of African-American faculty and staff.
Past winners of the AAFSC Diversity Award included Dr. Rebecca Lawson, Dr. Louis Venters, Ms. Angela Crosland, Dr. Rhonda Brogdon, Ms. Yvonne Davis, Mrs. Crystal Graham, Dr. Will Wattles, Dr. Jason Owens, Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, Dr. Shayna Wrighten, and Dr. Erica James.