Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards

The Office for Equity and Diversity’s Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards program honors and acknowledges diverse students who are doing outstanding work at the University of Minnesota, both in and out of the classroom.

The 2014 SEED Award applications are now available below:

*PLEASE NOTE:  Selected SEED Scholars will be expected to attend the Equity and Diversity Breakfast on November 12, 2014 (unless they will be studying abroad at the time).  They will also be expected to participate in a video highlighting all of the selected SEED Scholars, which will be shown at the Breakfast.


NOTE: Only current sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply.  You must be a junior or senior during the 2014-2015 academic year.


GRADUATE STUDENTS:  Download application here





2013 SEED Award Recipients



TIWALOLUWA AJIBEWA is a senior on the Morris campus majoring in Biology and French.

Tiwaloluwa was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and moved to the United States with his family at the age of four. He was raised in St. Paul and attended Highland Park High. He participated in the first graduating class of L’Étoile du Nord French Immersion elementary and has been speaking French ever since. He is majoring in biology with the hope of obtaining a Ph.D. in human physiology/exercise physiology. 




HAZEN FAIRBANKS is a senior on the Morris campus majoring in Psychology and Liberal Arts for Human Services.

For the past three years, Hazen has been an active student representative of the Morris Campus Student Association (MCSA) and has played a vital role on numerous campus committees. Last spring, Hazen was elected student body president of MCSA. In this position she has demonstrated her passion for UMM student advocacy by organizing UMM’s first-ever Mental Health Awareness Week and Disability Awareness Wheelchair-athon.




EVA GALLEGOS-PEREZ is a junior on the Duluth campus majoring in Teaching Spanish and English.

Originally from Mexico, Eva grew up in Mahtomedi, MN. Eva’s position as an executive board member of the Latino/Chicano Student Association on the Duluth campus allows her to educate and share the history and traditions of her culture with her peers and the community. Additionally, Eva works with the youth of her community to teach about social issues and assist them in creating positive changes.




TASHI GURUNG is a Nepali senior on the Crookston campus majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Environmental Ecology.

While attending Crookston, Tashi has served as president of the Multicultural International Club, Community Advisor for Residential Life, and a Campus Sustainability Coordinator. In spring 2013, Tashi received the Outstanding International Student Scholars Award. Tashi has successfully completed two projects that resulted in providing clean water to more than 2,500 people in Nepal, and he aspires to utilize the knowledge he gained form the projects to attend graduate school and one day make a cleaner and more resilient planet through sustainable practices.




KADIR HUSSEIN is a senior on the Twin Cities campus majoring in Chemistry.

As a chemistry major, Kadir researches the toxicity of nanoparticles in bacteria. Originally from Oromia, Ethiopia, he currently serves as the president of both the Oromia Student Union and the University’s chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. Kadir also serves as a peer mentor for the North Star STEM Alliance Program and Huntley House for African American Men, a living-learning community that explores the shared experience of African American males in and out of the classroom. 




FANNY JIMBO-LLAPA is a senior on the Twin Cities campus working towards a Bachelor of Individual Study with a focus on Family Social Science, Child Psychology, and Public Health.

Originally from Cuenca, Ecuador, Fanny is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and has presented her research on Latino recruitment and retention in health related fields at the McNair national conference. 





SUNGKOOK LEE is a senior on the Duluth campus majoring in Economics and Mathematics.

Sungkook hopes to become an economics researcher and has received a Grace C. Peterson Calculus Achievement Award as well as conducted two successful projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Sungkook’s research, “What Causes Jobless Recoveries in Minnesota?” was recently published in the National Conference of Undergraduate Research journal (2013), and he has served as the International Editor for the Statesman, the official student newspaper of UMD. 



LULETE MOLA is a University Honors Program senior on the Twin Cities campus majoring in Political Science.

Lulete studies political science and family violence prevention as an Honors student in the College of Liberal Arts. She is passionate about community building and social change that inspires young people to lead and change the world. Lulete is the Founder of “SHE," a six-year women’s empowerment organization. In the future, she hopes to work defending international human rights and contribute to the prevention of domestic violence in the United States and in developing nations.




NATASHA MYHAL is a junior on the Morris campus majoring in Environmental Studies and American Indian Studies.

Natasha is from Cleveland, Ohio, and is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Natasha is a junior at the University of Minnesota – Morris majoring in Environmental Studies and American Indian Studies.  She is an active member of the Circle of Nations Indigenous Association at UMM and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. She is also a member of the UMM cross country and track teams.




TAWANA TERRELL is a senior on the Twin Cities campus majoring in Interior Design.

Tawana is known for her compassion and dedication to the numerous community service and outreach programs in which she is actively involved. Tawana is a champion for education and plans to further her education at the graduate level to enable herself to give even more back to the community. Tawana’s credo is “Be the light that you wish to see in the world.”




MAI PA TAO VANG is a senior on the Morris campus majoring in Biochemistry with minors in both Mathematics and Biology.

Originally from Phayao, Thailand and now a resident of Walnut Grove, MN, Mai plans to continue her education through graduate school and begin her career as a nurse midwife.





KIMBERLY WILSON is a senior on the Twin Cities campus majoring in Political Science and Global Studies.

Kim's academic interests include the Middle East, human rights and justice, and international relations. Kim recently interned with a nonprofit called the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project and is currently studying Arabic in Morocco. Upon her return this spring, she will be working on the Human Rights Program’s Student Advisory Board and applying to Ph.D. programs.





AMANUEL ZEWDIE is a junior on the Twin Cities campus double majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics, Cell Biology, and Cell Development.

Amanuel is the president of the Ethiopian Student Association and corporate relations chair for the National Organization of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers. Amanuel hopes to receive an MD and MPH in order to serve his community in a clinic setting. He hopes his community service makes him better able as a physician to cross cultural and socioeconomic barriers. 







MARCUETTA WILLIAMS is a Ph.D. student on the Twin Cities campus studying Educational Psychology and Counseling.

Marcuetta received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Theatre/Dance from Spelman College.  Marcuetta is currently completing her predoctoral internship at Duke University and has experience in individual, group, family, and couples therapy, as well as psychological assessments. She has worked with diverse populations in a variety of therapuetic settings and is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.




GILBERT GONZALES is a Ph.D. student on the Twin Cities campus studying Health Services Research, Policy and Administration and Population Studies.

Gilbert's research interests include state initiatives to improve health, and access to health care for vulnerable families and children. Gilbert’s dissertation examines whether same-sex marriage extends health insurance to gay and lesbian families. Findings from his dissertation have been printed in Pediatrics and accepted for publication in the American Journal of Public Health.




KADENCE HAMPTON is a Masters student on the Twin Cities campus studying Urban and Regional Planning.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Kadence is a DOVE Fellow pursuing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs where she is an active participant in departmental diversity initiatives.  Inspired by her previous research and volunteer experience in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, Kadence’s academic interests include regional equity, environmental justice, community engagement with historically marginalized and underrepresented populations, and sustainable community design and development.