Brotman Awards Honor Student Ambassadors, Business EOP Effort

Two UW units, the Business Educational Opportunity Program and the Student Outreach Ambassador Program, received the 2002 Brotman Diversity Award June 13 in recognition of their campus contributions to education and diversity.

Named after UW Regent Jeffrey Brotman, '64, '67, and his wife, Susan, the Brotman Diversity Award recognizes outstanding programs that advance diversity within the university community.

Founded in 1986, the Business Educational Opportunity Program works with the Office of Minority Affairs to encourage qualified underrepresented minority students to pursue degrees in business administration.

Minority enrollments in the UW School of Business increased steadily from 1986 to 1999, but dropped precipitously after the passage of Initiative 200 to a mere 6 percent of enrollment. However, due to the efforts of the Business Educational Opportunity Program, that number increased to 10 percent last autumn.

The program begins with series of steps to attract underrepresented students and then creates a supportive learning environment once they arrive at the UW. In addition to special outreach efforts to middle-school and high-school students statewide, the business school created a special class, Accounting 199, as a supplement to introductory accounting. Students taking this two-credit course had noticeably higher grades. Program participants are also encouraged to use the Office of Minority Affairs' Instructional Center and attend workshops to prepare them for the business school application process.

The Student Outreach Ambassador Program is staffed entirely by UW students from underrepresented ethnic groups. These students host campus visits for potential students and help organize educational and social events throughout the state each year. This recruiting program has helped increase minority applications to the University-for instance, a 54-percent increase of African American candidates and 43-percent for Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.

Now in its third year, the Student Outreach Ambassador Program was the result of a student initiative presented to President Richard L. McCormick and the Board of Regents in 1999. "Student Ambassadors is by far one of the best programs that stems from the UW's strengthened commitment to diversity," wrote former ASUW president Danica You. "It has greatly contributed to the University's efforts to create a campus that is open and welcoming, and representative of true diversity."

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