UIC RECEIVES REGIONAL AWARD FOR SUPPORTING DIVERSITY
The University of Illinois at Chicago has received special recognition for its support of diversity from a leading higher education professional organization.
NASPA, the association of university student affairs administrators, named UIC winner of the Celebrating Diversity Award for the Midwest region, which includes seven states and the province of Ontario.
The association noted that UIC has developed a comprehensive program to support campus diversity.
"Through its student development programming, student support services, personnel practices and staff development, commitment to equal opportunity and other actions and activities, UIC promotes and celebrates diversity while improving the campus climate," said Laurie Hamre, chair of NASPA's regional awards committee. "We are pleased to recognize their efforts with this award."
In its current rankings of "America's Best Colleges," U.S. News & World Report says UIC is one of the most racially diverse institutions in the country, ranking fifth out of 228 national universities.
"UIC's undergraduate population has no ethnic majority," notes Interim Chancellor Sylvia Manning. "Our campus has nurtured an environment where everyone - students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors - feels welcome. UIC counts its diversity among its greatest strengths as an institution."
Student organizations and campus administrative units collaborate to sponsor several diversity celebrations each year, said Barbara Henley, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management. These include Native American Heritage Celebration, Black History Month, Unity Fest, Women's Heritage Month, Cultural Fest and Taste of UIC. In campus housing, "Awareness Weeks" promote greater understanding and an opportunity for students to learn about Native Americans, Palestinians, Jews, African-Americans, Latinos, women, disabled people and lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals, Henley said.
The African-American Cultural Center and the Rafael Cintron Ortiz Cultural Center host an array of events and provide a place for students to gather informally or hold meetings, Henley said. Support services for incoming and continuing students include the 30-year-old TRIO Programs, African-American Academic Network, Latin American Recruitment and Education Services and the Native American Support Program.
Staff professional development activities are sponsored by several campus units, said Manning. The Office of the Chancellor also supports diversity through the following advocacy committees composed of faculty, staff and students:
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.
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