MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents will honor the first-ever winners of its Regents Diversity Awards on March 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:  Roseann Mason, Director of Community Dialogues in the Center for Community Partnerships at UW-Parkside.  Among her accomplishments, Roseann developed Diversity Circles that focus on recognizing and countering racism in its many forms. The circles, which launched in 1999, have been integrated into local high schools since 2003.
  • Team Category:  “Portals of Discovery: Increasing Opportunities in STEM through Collaborative Research,” directed by Rebecca Abler, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, UW-Manitowoc, and Kitrina Carlson, Associate Professor of Biology, UW-Stout.  Portals of Discovery capitalizes on innovative research collaborations to increase the number of women and people of color into the science, technology, engineering and math fields.  Its research on Hmong medicinal plants, for example, addresses cultural preservation while simultaneously diversifying curriculum appeal.
  • Institutional/Unit Category:  The Master of Science, Adult Education at UW-Platteville.  Since 1995, the off-campus graduate program at UW-Platteville has been highly successful in resolving the difficulties that first-generation college graduates have historically experienced in pursuing graduate education while maintaining full-time employment, particularly in the areas of human service and education.  Program coordinator Patricia Bromley reported that in 2007-08, 40 percent of the 125 enrolled students were black and nine percent were Latino.

“The high caliber of the nominees made this a very challenging but ultimately rewarding process to be involved in,” said Regent José Vásquez, who chaired the special Regents’ committee to select the winners. “It was gratifying to see the commitment of so many to closing the achievement gap for historically underrepresented student populations. These winners should be recognized and applauded for their leadership in helping to make our UW institutions a place where all students can succeed and thrive.”

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 5, 2009, 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 Contact

David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464