Awards Committee

Strategic Plan Progress Report Out April 2021

Committee Name: Awards Committee

Committee Members: Katherine Magnuson, Latoya Kirton, Laura Dresser, Jooyoung Kong, Yang Xiong, Tally Moses, Lauren Bishop, Cindy Waldeck, Russ Portier, Jaime Goldberg

Strategic Plan Goal: Increase the diversity of our students, faculty, staff, and other governing bodies.

Objective 1: Revise Rosenbaum Scholarship questions to prioritize applicants from historically underrepresented groups, who contribute to the diversity of our community and remove barriers to apply

Progress on goal since February 2021

  1. The Awards Committee discussed changes to the Rosenbaum Application for Summer/Fall 2022 application cycle to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will be finalizing these decisions at an upcoming meeting in the Spring 2021 semester. We also plan to include additional questions on the application, including first generation college student status.
  2. For the Full-Time Rosenbaum Scholarship decisions, our 3 awardees are BIPOC women, and all the awardees accepted their offer of admission.

Chair/Co-chairs: Katharine Magnuson

The Awards Committee successfully implemented the revised questions on the Fall Competition and the Rosenbaum Scholarship with considerable success. Award applicants communicated a broader understanding and articulation of diversity than in prior cycles based on the change in the question. The shorter essay requirement also helped to review process move more quickly and resulted in more succinct and direct essays. Adding the ‘Contribution to Diversity’ category to our review rubric also helped strong and diverse applicants rise to the top of the overall scoring. Finally, we added an overall impression score which helped reviewers address any issues in the application materials that we had not captured through the rest of the rubric. The Awards Committee members reported feeling optimistic about the changes and recognized improvement in the overall application and review process. The increased number of committee members helped make the review process more manageable than in prior cycles.  

We continue to prioritize awards for students with various dimensions of diversity. Not only recognizing the diversity of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and first-generation college students but also prioritizing the representation of LGBTQIA, Neurodivergent, undocumented, and indigenous students and other dimensions of diversity.  

Chair/Co-chairs: Marah Curtis

Fall 2023 Committee Members: Latoya Kirton, Jooyoung Kong, Angela Willits, Tally Moses, Sarah Valencia, Alice Egan, Laura Dresser, Stephanie Van Pay, Helenia Quince & Aaron Reilly

Objective(s): Evaluate the effectiveness of revised questions to capture diversity effectively.  Ascertain whether we are learning what we sought from our revised questions.  Take advantage of the institutional learning across academic settings to compare our questions with other departments and schools to see if they can be refined.  The current question has been effective but may be improved.

Current & Future Action Steps/Timeframes:

  • Scan on and off-campus diversity questions for similar processes.
  • Ascertain whether our “Contribution to Diversity” prompt can be improved.
  • If revised questions are chosen, they will be piloted, and results compared with the existing questions.

Identify the academic leaders, departments, or centers, across the nation, who are doing innovative work in this space and see what we can learn.  Universities, cities, states, and localities vary dramatically in terms of population demographics which will, necessarily, influence the way in which the conversations are framed.  UW must recognize that, as a PWI in a relatively racially and ethnically homogenous state can learn from the tools, framing and conversation in more diverse spaces.