UW-Parkside Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Holds 40th Anniversary Kick Off Celebration

Published: October 10, 2022

SOMERS, WI- The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside will kick off its yearlong 40th anniversary celebration on Oct. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Callahan Family Student Success and Learning Commons. 

Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m., immediately followed by a networking session and tours of the Callahan Family Student Success and Learning Commons from 5 to 6 p.m. The formal program begins at 6 p.m. and will be emceed by Luis Benevoglienti, OMSA’s associate director of Multicultural Initiatives. OMSA provides advocacy and support services to underrepresented and ethnically diverse students.  

Colette Bell, Multicultural Initiatives Specialist recognizes the importance of UW-Parkside to the campus community. "The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs has served as more than just an office for many students throughout the years. The staff, students, and programming have created a life-long community for many of us. There is nothing else like it,” Bell Explains. 

Chancellor Debbie Ford and Vice Chancellor for Advancement Willie Jude II will welcome attendees and speak about the importance of OMSA and the office’s role in the success of UW-Parkside’s students. Multicultural Initiatives Specialists, Amanda Markwardt and Colette Bell, will highlight events planned throughout the year. 

There will also be a special award recognition for April Puryear ‘06, University Services program associate, for nearly 30 years of service to OMSA. Puryear has been an integral advocate for OMSA and UW-Parkside students. 

The creation of the OMSA Excellence Scholarship will be another highlight of the celebration. This scholarship aligns with the mission of the Office and is intended for new students who are from historically underrepresented groups. Future recipients will be part of the Office’s Always Reaching Upward (ARU) mentoring program to support their success at UW-Parkside.  

Upcoming Events 

Over the next year, one event during each heritage month celebration will be held in honor of the 40th anniversary. On Wednesday, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, OMSA will host its Latinx Community Mixer at 4 p.m. in the Library Coffee Shop, the Book & Brew. Latinx and Hispanic students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to enjoy conversations, food and refreshments, games, and giveaways to fortify the UW-Parkside campus community. 

As part of Native American Heritage Month, OMSA and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will host an opening celebration from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Nov. 7 in the Brookwood Foundation Main Place, which will feature an afternoon of food and performance to kick off the month. OMSA has also planned events during Black History Month in February and Asian Heritage Month in April; more information will be available in the coming months. 

Visit the OMSA 40-Year Celebration website for more information and updates on future events, uwp.edu/omsa40

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs is committed to the recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented students. The office’s mission is to holistically support underrepresented students in their success while fostering a culture of belonging, recognition, and equity at UW-Parkside.

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities. We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress.

Media Contact: 

Luis Benevoglienti 
Associate Director of Multicultural Initiatives 

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