Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

June 27, 2018

Academic Counseling Services Hosts 32nd Annual Spring Recognition

OMA&D’s Academic Counseling Services (ACS) honored the success of students at its 32nd annual Spring Recognition Ceremony held at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House, May 25.

ACS serves underrepresented minority, first-generation and low-income students with advising and academic counseling through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) and the Champions Program.

EOP Academic Counselors Renata Cummings and Keoke Silvano served as emcees for the program that featured a series of awards presented to high-achieving scholars. Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer Rickey Hall gave a brief welcome. Also in attendance was Adrienne Chan, longtime EOP Counselor who was instrumental in establishing this annual recognition ceremony in 1986. Chan retired in 2007 after working for OMA&D for over 30 years.


Twenty-six students received Merit Awards including Yaneth Garcia (EOP), Fotimakhon Ibrokhim (TRIO SSS), Jordan Jackson (EOP), Yamileth Jacobo (EOP), Rawuda Jamal (TRIO SSS), Elijah-Joseph Lazaro (TRIO SSS), Zekki Kemal (EOP), Victoria Littlefield (TRIO SSS), Jessa Belle Marshall (EOP), Adely Martinez (CAMP), Adriana Martinez (CAMP), Marleny Monterrozo (EOP), Alejandro Montesinos (EOP), Iman Mustafa (EOP), Justice Newhouse (EOP), Lionel De La Torre Ortega (TRIO SSS), Amber Peabody (TRIO SSS), Nayeli Quiroz-Torres (EOP), Cassandra Reano (EOP), Kyle Rearden (EOP), Jennifer Santiago-Sanchez (CAMP),  Lezlie Bueno Tapia (EOP), Mata Phaly Vann (EOP), Cameron Vela (EOP), William Vetsch (TRIO SSS) and Betzy Villa (EOP). Merit Award recipients are selected by advisors to recognize their academic excellence during their time at the UW. The awards were presented by Robin Neal, director of the Educational Opportunity Program.


Dr. Gabriel Gallardo, Associate Vice President for Student Services & Academic Support, presented the High Scholar Awards, given to OMA&D students who have overcome significant academic and/or personal obstacles while excelling academically. Thanh-Thao Buí (EOP), Cian Fox (TRIO SSS), Valentina Guy (EOP), Alfredo Lopez (CAMP) and Sofia Rodriguez (Champions) were the 2018 recipients.

Receiving the Honors Award was Anthony Garcia, who plans to major in microbiology with minors in bioethics and humanities. Garcia hopes to attend medical school to become a pediatrician and contribute to making healthcare equitable. He currently volunteers at Seattle Children’s and works as a lab aide at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Honors Award recipient is selected from among the High Scholar nominees, with an emphasis on academic achievement. The award was presented by Barbara Lord MacLean, president of the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program.


newsome_awardBintou Bandeh, a sophomore with a double major in public health and political science, received the George Newsome Humanitarian Memorial Scholarship. This award was established to honor the memory of Newsome, who served as a dedicated and inspirational EOP advisor for nine years. The award recipient is selected as someone who embodies the ideals of Newsome’s spirit and is a passionate student advocate who is motivated to reach their highest potential.

Bandeh lived in Gambia from the ages of two to nine and was motivated to open up a small mental health clinic there for young women and victims of sexual assault. Her vision is to create safe spaces for people in that village and Gambia as a whole, as well as engage those communities in a dialogue around issues of sexual assault. Bandeh received the award from Raul Anaya, assistant director for the Educational Opportunity Program. On hand for the presentation were members of George Newsome’s family.


ACS also honors a UW staff member who has served as a partner in the work to support the retention and graduation of OMA&D students. James Flowers, associate director in the Office of Student Financial Aid, received this year’s UW Staff Recognition Award from Kristian Wiles, OMA&D Executive Director for Retention & Academic Support Programs and TRIO SSS.


ACS Spring Recognition Ceremony Photo Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)

Photos by Erin Rowley