The Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives Committee was hard at work this year, bringing awareness to the RMASFAA and financial aid community about multicultural and diversity related issues in higher education and financial aid. We could not have done it without each of our outstanding committee members:
Manuel Gant Bernal, Fort Lewis College, Durango CO
Nicole Casey, College of Saint Mary, Omaha NE
Eleni Beaty, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins CO
Julian Gomez, Southeast Community College, Lincoln, NE
La’Lisa Coley, Hutchinson Community College, Hutchinson KS
Sheelu Surender, Wichita State University, Wichita KS
Christian Gonzalez, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder CO
Dawn Nottingham, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins CO
Glo Hennig, Concordia University, Seward NE
Our committee once again offered opportunities for RMASFAA members to apply for the DMCI Scholarship to attend either Summer Institute or the RMASFAA Annual Conference. This year our committee received 22 total scholarship applications from 6 different states!
Scholarship winners for the Summer Institute scholarship were Yuliana Reyes from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas and Gerardo Saldana from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. Scholarship winners for the Annual Conference were Ashlee Dutton from Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO and Angela Osborn from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND.
We also teamed up this year with the Leadership Pipeline Committee to offer a DMCI scholarship to one of the Leadership Pipeline Participants to help them attend the RMASFAA Annual Conference. This DMCI scholarship was awarded to Hayley Shipton from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT.
CONGRATULATIONS to all of the DMCI Scholarship winners! Keep an eye on the RMASFAA Blog to read about their experiences at Summer Institute and the Annual Conference.
You may have already seen a couple of stories on the RMASFAA Blog from our committee this year. Dawn Nottingham wrote about cross-cultural communication tips, and we shared some information about the RealLife101 scholarship organization.
We also have arranged for a unique experience during the RMASFAA Annual Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota. Members of the Black Hills Powwow Association will be performing a cultural dance/song and discussing Native American culture for us. This is intended to be a new and exciting way for us all to become more aware of a diverse cultural group that we work with as financial aid professionals. We hope to see all of you in Rapid City in October!
If you have any experience working with underrepresented communities or are passionate about advocating for these communities through diversity awareness initiatives, please consider volunteering for the DMCI committee this upcoming year. This is a great committee to volunteer for if you are new to financial aid. We hold most of our meetings via email or conference call, so everyone will be a valued member of the committee.
Chair, DMCI Committee