MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will honor the seventh annual winners of its Regents’ Diversity Awards on Feb. 6 in Madison. The awards program was established by the Board to recognize and support individuals and programs in the UW System that foster access and success in university life for historically underrepresented populations.
This year’s winners are:
- Individual: Victor M. Macías-González, Professor of History, UW-La Crosse. Macías-González, who is also affiliated with the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, founded and serves as the director of the Eagle Mentoring Program (EMP), a retention program for second-year historically underrepresented minority students. Since its founding in 2009, the EMP has served 54 students in five annual cohorts of 10-12 students each, with a 96% success rate in progress toward graduation. Macías-González also contributes to the UW-La Crosse community, including serving as co-chair for the La Crosse Area Latina/o Collaborative and having served as past director of the Institute of Latina/o and Latin American Studies from 2001-2012. In 2013, he was named Wisconsin’s U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- Individual: Erik R. Brodt, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. In 2012, Brodt founded and currently leads the Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP) at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, which is a program to improve the recruitment, support, retention, and graduation rates of Native health professional students. It also promotes research, health education, and community partnerships with Native communities. Brodt is also associate director in the UW-Madison Collaborative Center for Health Equity. He has helped develop the Association of Native American Medical Students chapter at UW-Madison. He secured and serves as Principal Investigator on a $1 million Indians into Medicine five-year grant to the NACHP from the Indian Health Service. He is currently developing a series of films (“We Are All Healers”) that highlight the career paths and practices of Native physicians.
- Institution/Unit: Research Apprenticeship Program, UW-Whitewater. Led by Catherine Chan, director of the Undergraduate Research Program, the Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP) engages mainly first- and second-year UW-Whitewater undergraduate students in the high-impact practice of undergraduate research, aiming to eliminate equity gaps between minority and majority students. RAP began in 2011 as a pilot program for 20 students in the College of Business and Economics and in the College of Education and Professional Studies. It has since expanded to all four colleges at UW-Whitewater and has served nearly 200 students. RAP students are paid research assistants who work with faculty and staff mentors on research and scholarly projects for one year. They also enroll in an online course to help build basic research skills and ethics. RAP students demonstrate significantly better academic outcomes than the campus average, including first-year grade-point averages and second- to fourth-year retention rates.
“The recipients we selected for this year’s Regents’ Diversity Awards are leading by example, using innovative, effective methods to expand educational opportunity for historically underrepresented student populations,” said Regent José Vásquez, who chaired the special Regents’ committee to determine the winners. “We are honored to recognize their dedication to helping more and more students develop their talents and give back to their communities.”
Other members of the selection committee included Regent Tony Evers, Regent Edmund Manydeeds, and Regent Anicka Purath.
The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on Feb. 6, in conjunction with the Board of Regents meeting in Madison. Each winner will receive funding to support professional development or to continue the program being honored.