MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will honor the second annual winners of its Regents Diversity Awards on February 5 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.

The awards honor winners in three distinct categories:

  • Individual category: Marion McDowell, Administrative Program Manager, College of Health Sciences, Office of Student Services, UW-Milwaukee. McDowell has spent more than 30 years working on issues related to diversity, most of them at UW-Milwaukee. Through collaborative efforts within the university and with the Milwaukee-area community, McDowell has helped to recruit and retain a growing number of students from minority and disadvantaged groups to the health care field. Since 2000, the number of students from these populations enrolled in the College of Health Sciences has jumped from 108 to more than 200.
  • Team category: Multicultural Awareness Program (MAP) Facilitation Team, UW-Extension. The MAP team consists of 28 volunteer facilitators from UW-Extension and UW Colleges. To meet the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce and student body, MAP has focused on transforming the two institutions by facilitating a deeper understanding of cultural issues. To date, more than 800 faculty and staff members from both institutions have participated in MAP workshops and other programs.
  • Institutional/unit category: Summer Business Institute, UW-Whitewater. For two years, the College of Business & Economics at UW-Whitewater has enrolled new students of color in a week-long summer program intended to improve retention of these students in business majors. The institute, which originated in a cross-departmental initiative led by Minority Business Program director Freda Briscoe, encourages stronger connections between students and the business faculty and staff, as well as fostering improved communication and study skills, and better understanding of university life.

“At a time when it is vitally important to close the achievement gap for historically underrepresented student populations, it is very gratifying to see the dedication and commitment to this goal exhibited by so many at our UW institutions,” said Regent José Vásquez, who chaired the special Regents’ committee to determine the winners. “We recognize and salute the award recipients for their leadership as we continue to move forward.”

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on February 5, 2010, in conjunction with the Board of Regents meeting. Each winner will receive up to $5,000 to support the recipients’ professional development or to continue the program being honored.

Media Contacts

Sara Kuhl UW-Whitewater (262) 472-1194
Laura Glawe UW-Milwaukee 414-229-6444
David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464
Teri Venker UW-Extension and UW Colleges 608-263-5061