Multi-Ethnic Student Program

Unit Annual Report








The Multi-Ethnic Student Program (MSP) is dedicated to working with student affairs and academic offices to meet the needs of U.S. students of color. MSP was instituted as a response to the educational and socio-economic problems fostered by racism and prejudice in our society. MSP works to ensure a stable, strong, and supportive environment for students of color by providing academic assistance and other quality student support services.  These services are designed to improve the opportunities for students of color to participate fully in the life of the University.





Program Evaluation


1. Gateway


The biggest achievement for Gateway 2005 was the successful recruitment and retention of 14 participants during the 4 week program.  Thanks to a good collaboration between Admissions and MSP, the recruitment for the 2006 Gateway program was much more successful than previous years with 20 students participating in the program.  The recruiting materials for Gateway have once again been revamped to make them even more exciting and pertinent to the 21st century.  

2. Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP)

The Multi-Ethnic Mentor Mentorship Program Presentations were held on April 3.  The presentation event was well attended and well received with many excellent presentations.  The brochure and application materials for MMP have once again been updated.  The emphasis is to give the program a cutting-edge look.  We had 12 talented students participate in this year’s MMP.

Projects for Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program 2005-2006




Nii Anyetei Akofio-Sowah

Sarah Buchanan,


The Colonialist Manifesto

Simon Franco

Chris Lee,

Political Science

The V Republic…On-going Revolution? 

Noe Lopez,

Bryan Herrmann, Admissions

UMM's Attractiveness

Linsey McMurrin

Julie Pelletier, Anthropology

A Tribal Research: Past, Present, and Future

Miracle Obeta,

Tom McRoberts, Continuing Education

The Tom McRoberts/Miracle Obeta Administrative, Organizational and Rhetoric Strengthening Project

Mina Ounchith

Jess Larson, Studio Art

Through My Lens

Latrice Robinson,

Pareena Lawrence, Economics/Management

Reasons Why Minorities Leave Morris

A Thao

Fang Du, Multi-Ethic Student Program

Memories of War

Lao Yang

Randi Peterson, Athletics

Kids, Parents and Community

Kyung Mee Lee

James Togeas, Chemistry

Microwave Spectioscopic Investigation of Atmospheric Molecules

Delaine McKenzie


Joe Alia, Chemistry

Feverfew: Herbal Remedy or Just a Plant?

Cecila Thao

Jennifer Rothchild, Social Science

Cultural Identity Within the Hmong Community

The Multi-Ethnic Experience Committee (MEC) in collaboration with the MMP coordinator developed a survey instrument.  The Institutional Review Board has approved the assessment research.  The survey will be administered in the fall with results tabulated by spring of 2007.


3. Early/Academic Alert (Academic Tracking System)


MSP played an active role in designing the campus wide Academic Alert on-line report system at its inception. UMM’s Early/Academic Alert Program has completed its second year.  We will continue to make sure that MSP has a strong presence in this initiative, thus, ensuring that the students of color will benefit to the full extent academically.


4.  Academic Advising


The MSP staff continues to academically advise first year students of color.  We assist students through their major transition to college while connecting them to key resources on campus. We successfully advised over 71 students of color and successfully transferred them to faculty advisors at the end of the academic year.


Advising continues to be our main point of contact with students of color. However, we have found that our transfer population of color does not learn about our services until it is, at times, too late.  This year we will join in partnership with Advising and Admissions in creatively looking at ways in which we can engage transfer and non-traditional populations to our program as early as when they apply to UMM.


5. MSP Orientation Sessions


The MSP Orientation Program was well attended this past year. Verbal feedback from students and parents was very positive.  We had quite a few students and parents attend the MSP opening session.  The MSP reception was better attended by faculty, staff and students than in previous years.  The last MSP orientation event last fall was a barbecue for all new MSP students and returning students.  This event had improved student attendance over previous years.  All MSP orientation programs were quite productive in that they were interactive and well received.  This was the third year we incorporated a power point presentation as part of our program.  The August 2006 MSP opening event for the MSP Orientation is scheduled for the Cougar Room.  This is a better location than our previous location in TMC because it is quieter and more private. 




6. Multi-Ethnic Student Leadership Program (MSLP)   


During the fall, all the student organizations on campus attended a mandatory Saturday meeting to receive AFRC funding information, to learn how to run an organization, to learn how to perform the functions needed to be an effective student organization, and to ask questions.  In the past the Student Organization Leaders Network and MSP coordinated a Sweet Guava Series of leadership workshops for student of color organizations and others.  These workshops were part of the Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP).  However, during the last year, various circumstances led to the postponement and/or cancellation of this series.    Future efforts for the MSLP include rebuilding the leadership series, developing a student portfolio of leadership activities, participating in outside leadership events, and developing other initiatives in student leadership.  The MSLP will also interact with other leadership initiatives on campus.


7.  MSP Student Organizations Officer Committee


There were two meetings during the year where ethnic student organization officers met to discuss various agenda items.  These items included such topics as leadership, inclusiveness, need for discussion about activities and shared problems, concerns about the University’s reaction to racism, student participation, and other such topics.  One of these meetings occurred during spring semester while the other meeting took place in fall semester.  Verbal evaluations indicated that the students liked this format for discussion and leadership.  As part of this process, MSP worked with student organizations wherever needed and assisted in the process of providing and/or coordinating organizational activities during the year.


8.  World Touch Cultural Heritage Week (WTCHW)


This year’s emphasis was on the Asian America culture.  Our keynote speaker could not make it at the scheduled time this year; however, she did speak on Wednesday April 12, 2006, in Edson Auditorium.  Our regular Cultural Heritage Week activities began on Tuesday, March 21, with the CNIA 23rd Annual 3K Peace Run.  Over 90 people participated in this event.  Other successful events during the week included American Indian Storytelling with Matthew Uses Knife who is an alumnus of UMM and Kathryn Akipa, storyteller from Sisseton; an excellent presentation about diversity by Todd Yeary; the Invitational Ethnic Dinner with traditional Asian food; and a folkloric dance by Mexico Lindo.   Over 200 people attended the Ethnic Dinner.  Fourteen students of color who graduated this year were recognized at the dinner.  CNIA’s annual PowWow culminated a very successful week.  We received many positive verbal comments about WTCHW.  This past WTCHW was quite successful in that events were well attended, things ran smoothly, and the events were interactive, entertaining, and very good learning experiences.


9.   Campus-Community Initiatives 


Residential Life Staff Training

Efforts will be made this year to define MSP’s role in developing staff training for new and continuing residence hall directors and advisors.  This training will focus on the theme of building a respectful, caring and inclusive community. 


Community Programs

Other campus-community initiatives such as the Dialogue Project, the ACE Program and the MAMP will continue in the future with renewed energy.   These programs have been slowed somewhat with the completion of Bremer Foundation grant funding and the departure of former Diversity Community Outreach Program Coordinator, Walter Fisher.


10.  Multi-Ethnic Alumni Programming


Two alumni of color were honored this past year as Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients: Cy Thao and Paulette Moline Fairbanks.  They were the only two alumni who received the award this year at the Alumni Association Annual Banquet.  Cy is a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the former president of the Asian Student Association.  Paulette, a noted educator and author, was the first American Indian graduate at UMM. A reception was held in the MSP Lounge prior to the banquet.  Approximately 50 Gateway and other students attended.  This reception was held in the afternoon to give students and staff a chance to meet and hear about Cy’s and Paulette’s UMM experiences and professional careers.  A number of staff and students also attended the Alumni Association Annual Banquet in the evening.




During the past year of 2005-2006, many great things have happened.  The student of color groups have been quite active.  The American Indian Advisory Committee has met twice and acted on many projects. And, we had a poster incident on the UMM campus.


The student of color organizations have provided many wonderful events for the UMM campus; highlights follow.  On Monday November 7, 2005, the Circle of Nations Indian Association (CNIA) presented Winona LaDuke.  She discussed among other things the environment, national politics, and wind energy.  CNIA also sponsored the 22nd Annual CNIA POWWOW in March where over 300 people participated.  The Black Student Union had a very successful Student/Faculty/Staff Dinner at Old #1 in the fall, as well as a great date auction fundraiser in the spring.   Many diverse students from the campus participated in the auction.  The Asian Student Association (ASA) held the very successful ASA Talent Show which showcased many different acts and was well received by the audience in attendance.  They also have a very successful Taste of Asia event later in the school year.  The United Latinos (UL) hosted Elizabeth Badillo-Mooreman in the fall.  She made a presentation entitled “The Dream

Act:  Equal Access to Higher Education”.  In the spring UL held the annual Latino Poetry Reading with various students and staff reading, reciting, and participating in this great annual event.


The American Indian Advisory Committee (AIAC) once again sponsored Native American student travel through support from the Salt Springs Endowment Fund.  This fund was also used to support our Annual Native American Honoring Ceremony and to fund a Native American drum group which performs some honor songs at Commencement.  A drum group has also performed at UMM’s New Student Orientation Program for the past two years.  UMM will continue this tradition of having a drum group perform during Orientation this August.


In the early part of spring semester we had a poster incident on the UMM campus.  One of the posters had the following statement:  “End Racism & Sexism Now!  Kill all White Males.”  This poster statement was taken from the following web site address:  Following the poster incident, Fleurette King, consultant and trainer, was hired as a diversity expert to work with the campus for a couple of weeks.  Fleurette met with numerous students, faculty, and staff.  Ms. King’s written report on her recommendations for diversity issues at UMM is forthcoming.   


We have had a couple of staff transitions this year with Walter Fisher’s departure last summer and Aida’s resignation at the end of spring semester.  During 2005-2006 Aida was on medical leave for the final half of spring semester.  During the last week of the semester, we learned that she will be unable to return to UMM.  Aida has led the Multi-Ethnic Student Program very successfully during the past three years.


The Multi-Ethnic Student Program continues to transform itself into a 21st century model of services for students of color. As we begin the academic year 2006-2007 year we will be planning new initiatives within our old framework of goals and purpose.  In August, under the guidance of our visiting director, Chip Beal, we will continue to develop programming for MSP in cooperation and accordance with the University’s Strategic Planning initiatives.  This year will hopefully be an interesting and challenging growth experience for all of the MSP staff.  Staff development plans for the future will include fieldtrips and new learning experiences.  Individual staff training and experiences will continue to be nourished under Chip’s new leadership. 



Plans for 2006-07






MSP has clearly made a difference in students’ lives and in the life of this college. Students are building significant multicultural relationships. A diverse group of faculty, staff, and students are now collaborating in our programming for the development of students.  In order to continue moving forward, we must seek ways to build coalitions across the University.  MSP is looking forward to being a part of mind expanding innovative efforts to transform UMM into a dynamic model of multicultural organization.