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Felixia M. Rosales '11 honored with a Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity Award

Posted by Judy Korn on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010

The University of Minnesota Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) held its annual awards breakfast in November to recognize students, faculty, and staff, and to reaffirm the University’s commitment to equity and diversity. Morris Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson served as one of the guest speakers. Morris student Felixia M. Rosales ’11, psychology major from Elk River, was honored with a Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award, recognizing diverse undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are doing outstanding equity and diversity work both in and out of the classroom.

Rosales received a SEED award for creating and facilitating a peer support group on the Morris campus for students who have chronic illnesses or chronic pain. Until January 2010 when the group was founded, Rosales thought she was the only young person in a chronic illness situation. Her goal in forming the organization was to provide a safe, comfortable place to share thoughts, receive support, and “realize that we are not alone,” she says.

“I have always known that providing a service on my campus was a big accomplishment,” reflects Rosales, “but the work has become so ingrained in my everyday routines that when I found out that I was a recipient for a 2010 SEED award, it really made me stop and realize how much work that I actually do every day, how important this work is, and how honorable it is to be recognized by such an influential and respected university system. Being a recipient of this award also symbolizes to me how far I have come in my education and in my life when it comes to issues of equity, diversity, and social justice. I wish everyone could see that diversity is more than just those aspects of us that are readily apparent.”

In addition to Chancellor Johnson, The Minneapolis Foundation President and CEO Sandra Vargas addressed the gathering. Both speakers focused on the critical nature and shared responsibility of equity and diversity work within education. Kimberly Hewitt Boyd, OED director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, introduced the speakers.

The OED believes that the University community flourishes when all its students, staff, faculty, and external supporters have a place to grow and thrive. The OED works to infuse the core values of equity and diversity into all aspects of teaching, learning, research, service, and outreach throughout the University of Minnesota system.

Watch Chancellor Johnson’s speech online.