College News

Board of Regents honors equity, inclusion efforts with Diversity Awards

Following the announcement of the Board of Regents 2019 Diversity Awards, the three recipients will be honored for their dedication to equity and inclusion efforts on their UW System campuses.

Image By: Gracie Wallner

The UW System Board of Regents will honor the recipients of the 11th annual Regents’ Diversity Awards at their next meeting Friday.

The Regents’ Diversity Awards celebrate individuals and programs that promote opportunities and success for students who are a part of historically underrepresented populations. Each recipient will receive $5,000 to support professional development or foster the development of the program being honored. 

This year’s recipients are Dennis K. Beale Jr. — the assistant director of Blugold Beginnings program at UW-Eau Claire — the Food Center and Pantry at UW-Milwaukee and Titan Advantage Program at UW-Oshkosh. 

Beale, who is the only individual selected of the three recipients, says it was “truly an honor” to be selected, saying that it represents the “passion and fruits of [his] labor” that he has invested in the past few professional years. 

He also shared how his experiences growing up have influenced his efforts to create an equal, inclusive environment for every student.

“One thing that I always say is that if you want to see a change, you have to get the opportunity,” Beale said. “And that’s something that I will forever live by and make sure that I give every student equal opportunity.”

The newly minted UW-Milwaukee Food Center and Pantry recently began in 2018. However, their efforts among students, faculty and staff that stress the importance of equity issues relating to hunger and food insecurity on campus have not been small. 

The Food Center and Pantry integrates a variety of sources, including the Student Association Professional Staff, Dean of Students, Inclusive Excellence Center and LGBT Resource Center.  

“What was really compelling is: one, how many people mobilize around this issue, and two, they stay with us and keep trying to move it forward,” said Renee Elizabeth Scampini, a UW-Milwaukee graduate student who actively participates in the Food Center and Pantry, “We felt really amazing, [because] it is an impact that makes you want to continue to do more.” 

The Titan Advantage Program at UW-Oshkosh received the award for efforts on improving conditions in recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented students. Mai Khou Xiong,  the assistant director and program manager for retention students of color in Student Achievement Services, coordinated the program alongside Associate Vice Chancellor Sylvia Carey-Butler. 

The program is made up of experts on academic resources, specifically for students of color, organized the summer bridge program for low-income, first-generation college students and underrepresented students. 

For now, 137 students of color have completed the program and UW-Oshkosh has increased the enrollment of students of color from 11.4 percent in 2013 to 15.7 percent in 2018.

Their efforts were crowned with honors as recipients are commended by members of the Regents’ committee regarding their outstanding efforts and contribution. 

“The remarkable people and teams we selected for this year’s Regents’ Diversity Awards are making an impact on their campus to increase opportunity for all student populations,” said Regent Mark Tyler, who chaired the committee that determined the recipients. “We are delighted to recognize their profound dedication to building partnerships to support retention and student success.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.