UW Bothell wins inclusion award

University of Washington Bothell’s Office of Student Engagement and Activities won a national award for its work to support diversity and inclusion.

The American College Personnel Association-College Student Educators International awarded the office the Voice of Inclusion Medallion: Exemplary Program Award for IDEA Project and social justice programs.

The association presented the award at its annual convention in Montreal to Andrea Ramirez, director of Student Engagement and Activities, Aliyah Vinikoor, program manager, and Leah Shelton, assistant director whose work includes the IDEA Project.

“We’re so excited to represent the university,” said Shelton.

Office of Student Engagement and Activities staff:  Back row, left-to-right: Leah Shelton, Sam Al-Khoury, Aliyah Vinikoor. Front row, left-to-right: Missy Dominguez, Andrea Ramirez. Not pictured: Samantha Penjaraenwatana, Jerusalem Gebresenbet.

The IDEA Project at Bothell stands for Identity, Dialogue, Expression, Action. It’s a full range of social justice programs, services, and spaces for students. The physical space was founded in 2013 in UW1-161 in direct response to students to give them a gathering place on campus.

Student Engagement and Activities supports student clubs, government and leadership programs funded by the Services and Activities fee. The office's social justice programs promote awareness and understanding of diversity, equity, social justice and historically underrepresented communities. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the IDEA Project held 62 unique events that represented 3,600 student interactions.

The Washington, D.C., based American College Personnel Association is a student affairs association that has nearly 7,500 members representing 1,200 private and public institutions.

The association promotes inclusion for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, celebrates the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and professionals, and considers the needs of all students, be they part-time or full-time, on-campus or off-campus, adult or traditionally aged, international or from the Americas.

Its Voice of Inclusion Medallion recognizes exemplary programs that make the campus a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

Shelton says the IDEA Project embodies the core values of UW Bothell by offering students transformational opportunities and empowering them to lead change on campus and beyond.