Campus Diversity & Inclusion to be Honored by National Student Affairs Association

March 3, 2009 -

The University of Redlands Office for Campus Diversity & Inclusion will be honored by the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) for its cycle of programs addressing the needs of first generation students.

The Office for Campus Diversity & Inclusion has been awarded the Silver Excellence Award in the International, Multicultural, Cultural, Gender, LGBTQ, Spirituality, Disability, and related category. The awards will be presented at the association's conference on March 10 in Seattle.

The NASPA Excellence Awards recognize the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration.

Among the programs recognized by NASPA is the university's PUEDE, Summer Bridge, SEEDS and "I'm Going to College" series that has been developed over the last six years.

PUEDE, a peer mentoring program for students already on campus, began in the spring of 2003 as a response to first generation students' comments that they didn't feel connected to campus or understand the resources available. Summer Bridge is a program to acclimate incoming freshmen, often first-generation college students, to the intricacies of university life.

 "I'm Going to College" extends a welcome to middle and elementary school students to visit the campus and learn about the college experience. The SEEDS program is an initiative providing mentorship and educational support to San Bernardino High School sophomores and juniors, geared to improving their academic abilities, personal skills and knowledge about higher education and post-secondary opportunities.

The office's cycle of programs also aligns with the university's most recent strategic plan, which emphasizes a focus on diversity, according to Leela MadhavaRau, special advisor to the president and associate dean of Campus Diversity and Inclusion

A comment from one of the first Summer Bridge participants best articulates what the office hopes to accomplish with all its programs directed towards first generation students, said MadhavaRau: "Without the Summer Bridge Program, college would have overwhelmed me and I would feel alienated because of the difference from home. Summer Bridge prepared me to make U of R home for the next four years."

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Thurber, an English bulldog, is the University's mascot.

He is named after Clarence Howe Thurber, University president from 1933-37.

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