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Associate Professor Keith Lambert Receives AILACTE’s Diversity & Inclusion Change Agent Award

July 12, 2021

Whitworth University is pleased to announce Associate Professor of Education Keith Lambert has been awarded the 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Change Agent Award presented by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE). 

The award was announced last month. Lambert will be presented his award at the AILACTE annual convention in March 2022 and recognized for his efforts to grow and diversify teacher candidates through the Wai‘anae-to-Whitworth scholarship program. The primary goal of the program is to assist an underrepresented population in Hawai‘i with growing its own teaching workforce. 

The program has allowed Native Hawaiian students interested in attending Whitworth to complete their education and then return to their communities to serve as teachers and other professionals. It has also provided Whitworth education students with an intercultural teaching experience during which they complete practicum hours in the elementary and secondary schools along the Wai‘anae coast. This special partnership between Whitworth, Kamehameha Schools and the Hawai‘i  State Department of Education resulted from relationships forged between a number of Whitworth alumni, now in Hawai‘i, and Whitworth faculty. 

Whitworth has graduated more than 300 students from Hawai‘i, many of whom are of Native Hawaiian ancestry and have returned home to work, raise families and give back to their communities. These include many graduates and people like University of Hawaii Professor of Law & Hawaiian Studies Malia Akutagawa ’93, Kamehameha School land asset manager Kalani Fronda ’92, and Wai‘anae High School educators Desiré DeSoto ’96 and Walter Young ’03, who all played crucial roles in the success of the Wai‘anae-to-Whitworth program.

Lambert, one of the co-creators of the program, has worked for years to identify and support many diverse candidates in the teaching profession.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Diversity & Inclusion Change Agent recipient for 2022,” Lambert says. “This award is not possible without the collective work of this team and the vision cast by Desiré, and so many others from Wai‘anae and Kamehameha Schools who set out to grow leaders and change the lives of a community from within.”

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or