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Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

May 31, 2017

OMA&D’s Sharifova, Washington MESA to Receive Honors at UW Awards of Excellence Ceremony

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) student Narmina Sharifova will receive a President’s Medal and the Washington MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) team will receive a 2017 UW Distinguished Staff Award at the UW’s 47th annual Awards of Excellence Ceremony in Meany Hall on June 8, at 3:30 p.m.

The program includes a one-hour ceremony hosted by President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Jerry Baldasty, followed by a reception. UW students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the general public are invited to attend.

President’s Medal

Since 1932, the President’s Medal has been awarded to the graduating senior who has achieved the most distinguished academic record at the university. Beginning in 2004, the president began giving the medal to two graduating seniors: a student who as completed at least three-fourths of their degree requirement at the UW and a student who entered the university with at least 60 transfer credits from a Washington community college.

Narmina Sharifova

Narmina Sharifova

Sharifova is a senior majoring in Law, Societies and Justice. After immigrating from Azerbaijan, she discovered a passion to study law and human rights. Since then, she has completed research and delivered presentations on a wide range of social justice issues, resulting in her having the most distinguished academic record of all graduating seniors at the university.

A recipient of a 2015 OMA&D Academic Counseling Services’ High Scholar Award, Sharifova has been involved in many OMA&D programs during her time at the UW. She has participated in the Early Identification Program and TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), as well as utilized the Instructional Center.

Sharifova uses the knowledge she acquired in the classroom to provide aid to disadvantaged communities, such as participants in TRIO SSS at UW and clients at the Seattle Municipal Court. She will graduate from the UW in June, along with her both of her parents and her brother.

Sharifova has been accepted to the UW School of Law and will begin pursuing a juris doctor degree in the fall. She hopes to use it as a tool to make the voices of underrepresented communities heard.

Distinguished Staff Award

Established in 1997, the UW Distinguished Staff Award recognizes individuals or teams based on their extraordinary accomplishments and contributions to their departments and the university.

Award for Excellence Recipients: James Dorsey (executive director), Phyllis Harvey-Buschel (curriculum director/government relations), Lucy Casale (senior associate director) and Ku’ulani Seto (executive assistant)

(left to right) Phyllis Harvey-Buschel, Ku’ulani Seto, Lucy Casale and James Dorsey

Housed within the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Washington MESA builds pathways to college and careers in STEM for kindergarten through community college students who are underrepresented in these fields (including African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Latinos, Pacific Islanders and women).

Washington MESA’s honored team members include James Dorsey (executive director), Phyllis Harvey-Buschel (curriculum director/government relations), Lucy Casale (senior associate director) and Ku’ulani Seto (executive assistant).

Washington MESA provides support such as classes, hands-on competitions, counseling, transfer support and a community environment.

According to one of the team’s nomination letters, “James, Lucy, Phyllis and Ku’ulani view the MESA Program as an extension of their purpose on this planet. It is why they have dedicated their careers to it. Collectively, their dedication to the program has created so much opportunity for thousands of young girls and students of color interested in a STEM education.”

This marks the third-straight year that an OMA&D staff member or team has received this award. Tribal Liaison and Intellectual House Director Iisaaksiichaa Ross Braine was honored in 2015 and Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center Associate Director Magdalena Fonseca was honored in 2016.

Read more about the Awards of Excellence and see a complete list of this year’s winners which includes Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus honoree, the Honorable Norman Rice, ’72, ’74, who utilized OMA&D’s Educational Opportunity Program as a student.