Students Receive Seed Awards

Tsion Woldeyes
January 29, 2019

Two UMD students are honored for their excellence in commitment to equity and diversity.

In November 2018, at an event entitled, "All of Us," the University of Minnesota system honored students, staff and faculty across the system for their commitment to issues of equity, diversity and social justice inside and outside the classroom and the workplace.

UMD students Dani Grutkoski and Tsion Woldeyes were both presented with Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards. They were recognized for excellence within and outside the classroom and received SEED Award scholarships which are supported by funding from 3M and Target.

Dani Grutkoski

Dani Grutkoski, a senior, is studying integrated elementary and special education. She was recognized for her commitment to becoming an educator who highlights social justice issues. "I want to make a safe space for students where everything is valued," she says. "I identify as queer, Jewish, and a woman, and safe spaces weren't always available to me when I grew up. Most UMD professors, especially those like Joan Kwako and Helen Mongan-Rallis, are willing to learn when they meet students who don't come from the dominant culture."

Tsion Woldeyes, a junior, is majoring in public health education. She was recognized for her promotion focusing on creating spaces where students can feel a sense of belonging on campus. She plans on getting a master's degree. "After I finish with my masters, I want to educate, promote, and advocate health in schools or hospitals," she says. "I enjoy working with people so much, I'd like to work as a health education specialist."  Tsion has high praise for UMD's Writer's Workshop. "They have helped me with my essays, my resume, and other writing projects. They've been really helpful."

Jill Pinkney Pastrana, dean of the UMD College of Education and Human Service Professions said, "We are proud of the work Tsion and Dani have done to effect change at UMD. They have been student leaders in the areas of equity, diversity and social justice and they've made a real impact."

Photos— Top: Tsion Woldeyes, Center: Dani Grutkoski

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