Multicultural Student Services honored with UW Diversity Award

By University Communications
February 2, 2016
The office of Multicultural Student Services at University of Wisconsin-Stout, led by Director Barbara Miller, has been chosen to receive a 2016 UW System Regents Diversity Award.

Photo: Multicultural Student Services staff (left to right):
Barbara Miller, Bo Vang, Sue Scholfield, Victoria Sanchez and Kalvin Yang.


The office of Multicultural Student Services at University of Wisconsin-Stout, led by Director Barbara Miller, has been chosen to receive a 2016 UW System Regents Diversity Award.

The eighth annual awards will be presented Friday, Feb. 5, in Madison during the Board of Regents meeting. The awards were established to recognize and support individuals and programs that foster access and success for students in historically underrepresented populations.

Since 2010, underrepresented minority enrollment at UW-Stout has increased 25 percent and the number of graduates has increased 30 percent. The six-year graduation gap between underrepresented minority students and the overall student populations decreased by almost 11 percent.

Multicultural Student Services coordinates support; intercultural and leadership development; and living and learning communities for African-American, Asian, American Indian and Latino students.

Miller expressed pride in and appreciation for underrepresented minority students, faculty and staff.

“This award is in honor of our courageous students. Asian, black, Native American and Latino students are too often excluded from the curriculum and receive messages about minimizing their cultural differences in a predominately white community. This recognition provides much hope for continued increases in enrollment, graduation and intercultural understanding,” she said.

“Too often, minority people and perspectives are not popular or accurately represented in media and books, so it is significant to recognize the strengths of the Multicultural Student Services community at UW-Stout.”

Multicultural Student Services staff members receive the award from UW System officials.

The Ethnic Services Center was established in 1975 and was re-established as Multicultural Student Services in 1997. Since that time, its impact on the university and its graduates has been substantial, according to Miller.

“We believe that the almost 900 underrepresented minority students enrolled at UW-Stout strengthen our university and local community.

“Because more Asian, black, Native American and Latino students now graduate from UW Stout than ever before, families and communities are changed through education. Students too often denied, polarized or minimized for their cultural differences can be empowered to access increased career and financial opportunities,” she said.

Multicultural Student Services also coordinates precollege programs for middle and high school students from low income environments. “(We) would not be as successful without the collaboration of numerous departments to share knowledge and resources to create beneficial outcomes for students,” Miller said.

The office works with faculty, staff and offices on campus including University Housing, Financial Aid, Career Services, the Dean of Students Office, Admissions and Counseling Services.

The staff includes Victoria Sanchez, student services coordinator; Kalvin Yang, adviser; Bo Vang, associate adviser; and Sue Scholfield, office manager.

Miller, Sanchez, Vang, and Yang will attend the ceremony Friday in Madison.

For more information on the award and two other UW System winners, see the UW System news release.

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Photos

Second Photo: Multicultural Student Services staff members receive the award from UW System officials.