Students honor Nicki Gonzales with second annual Dave Law Award

When Regis students need wise words of advice, many often turn to Nicki Gonzales, Ph.D. Students cherish the words of the Regis Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion so much, in fact, that they printed some of them on stickers. 

One sticker, printed over a floral background, says: “They can take your house, your money, your car. But no one can take away your education.” Another reads, “Our histories teach us that we are resilient and creative and that we have a responsibility to preserve and share them with younger generations.” And another says, “Haz todo con amor,” which translates to “Do everything with love.”  

Students passed out the quotable stickers to the Regis community — and celebrated Gonzales’ commitment to students — during the second annual Dave Law Day on campus. A committee of students chose Gonzales for the second Dave Law Award in recognition of her dedication to ensuring all members of the Regis community feel welcome and can thrive. 

The award, created by students, was established in 2022 in honor of former Director of Student Life and Engagement Dave Law, who now works as the University’s director of alumni engagement. The award intends to highlight the work of a faculty or staff member who goes beyond expectations to serve the Regis community. 

Politics major Christian Muñoz said Gonzales has given him many leadership opportunities, including helping organize Good Trouble Conversations, which bring the campus community together to discuss vital social issues. 

“Dr. Gonzales has not only been a distinguished leader, but also a beacon of inspiration and mentorship for many including myself,” he said. “What stood out to me the most after meeting Dr. Gonzales for the first time was her warmth, passion and commitment and fostering diversity and inclusion. Little did I know that this encounter would mark the beginning of a transformative journey under her guidance.” 

Muñoz, who completed two internships in Washington, D.C., said Gonzales also helped him through the application process. 

Hilary Olivares, a freshman English major, said she participated in the Summer Bridge Program, which offers incoming first-generation students a chance to experience college life before classes officially begin. Olivares said she met many of her first Regis friends in the program. When it was over, Gonzales, who oversees the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence, encouraged Olivares to apply for a position to work in the office. 

“Nicki continues to bring a powerful impact on everyone that gets the chance to interact with her,” Olivares said. “She is truly one of the most kind and hardworking people here.” 

Gonzales’ son, Regis student Danny Gonzales-Hyde, a politics and communication major, said his mom has impacted many students through her mentorship. 

“The dedication and hard work that my mom has shown to Regis throughout her time here has changed the lives of hundreds and continue to inspire many more,” he said. “She's done this through her various roles as a history professor, mentor, Colorado State Historian, and vice provost for diversity, equity and inclusion, along with various other roles she serves at the University and within the Denver community.” 

In addition to the stickers, students gave away plants in recognition of Gonzales’ green thumb. Regis University Student Government Association (RUSGA) President Madelaine Johnson, who helped organize the event, said the award highlights the unique qualities of the honoree. Both winners have made a significant impact on the community. 

“We've been very intentional in the sense that they've been pillars of the Regis community,” she said. “Without their efforts, their passion, and their care, the University would not be where it is now.”  

Gonzales said she was honored to receive the award. 

“It filled me up,” she said. “There was a lot of love.” 


Regis students gave away stickers and plants in honor of Nicki Gonzales, Ph.D.