From her early role in Multicultural Student Affairs to her current position as manager of ESL and Transitions in Learning Enrichment and College Readiness, Nina Shoman-Dajani has touched the lives of hundreds of diverse students in meaningful ways. As a result, she was selected to receive Moraine Valley’s 2015 Embracing Diversity Award.

According to her nominator, she is a staunch advocate for all students, but has shown a great deal of leadership in regards to the Arab-American population. She is a long-term advisor for the Arab Student Union and has been instrumental in creating a task force to support Arab-American students. She also has brought many outside speakers and programs to campus.

In her role, Shoman-Dajani counsels diverse students every day and works across campus on multiple committees and projects to help improve retention and graduation efforts. She created a popular support group for ESL students called the ESL Friends Circle. The weekly group was created so ESL students could make new friends, learn about the opportunities offered at Moraine Valley and the surrounding communities, and ask questions they have as they navigate an unfamiliar system. The group of 12 to 20 students also takes “mini field trips” around campus—to the art gallery, culinary arts kitchen, Library—to expose students to the college.

Shoman-Dajani helped lead the coordination of the Naturalization ceremony for the last two years because she oversees the citizenship program on campus and has connections with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Moraine Valley is the first community college in Illinois to host such a ceremony.

“Nina has been a fantastic role model for the diverse community here at Moraine Valley. She embodies the notion of collaborative service. I can think of no finer candidate for his honor,” her nominator said.

“I am so thankful I have the opportunity to work with students from all over the world on a daily basis who have chosen to enroll in the ESL program at Moraine Valley,” Shoman-Dajani said. “I have been able to fulfill my passion for working in a diverse environment during my time in Multicultural Student Affairs, in Learning Enrichment and College Readiness and as the advisor to the Arab Student Union.”