October 3, 1997
UW-RF Staffer Commended for Efforts in Diversity
By Maria Franco
UW-RF News Bureau
Sometimes the most deserved recognition is that which falls into the hands of one who least expects it.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has chosen Linda Alvarez for public commendation at the UW System Women's Studies Conference Reception for Celebrating Women of Color, because of her contributions to the UW System, in particular to Women of Color.
Alvarez acknowledges she certainly wasn't expecting it. Her response? "I was shocked! What an extraordinary, wonderful surprise!"
Alvarez is the Student Services Coordinator as well as an adviser to the Latino Student Organization and the Native American Council. She admits that participation in Multicultural Services is a time- and energy-intensive area, but says she feels privileged to be involved with the student organizations, to be a facilitator for conferences, to be active with community support programs, mentoring, cultural programming, Outreach education, guest lecturing and collaborations across campus. To Alvarez, however, these events and actions are just "things" if they do not benefit students-not only students of color, but the entire student body and River Falls community.
Alvarez describes the honors as significant recognition to individuals committed to student success which is, essentially, her main priority; student support and faculty relationship enhancement.
According to Alvarez, a notable aspect of the institute is working with a dedicated group of faculty and staff in which "no one works in isolation and diversity is valued. Besides personal and intellectual enrichment, diversity programming and the classroom bring strong support and provide and assist a socially just campus. Everyone takes ownership for a great campus and I just want to make a meaningful contribution. I want to give back to the community and promote the success of students," says Alvarez.
An important aspect to be remembered, according to Alvarez, is that today's college graduate who can communicate with diverse people and understand many different perspectives will gain a competitive edge in tomorrow's job market.
The Women's studies Conference Reception will take place in La Crosse on Oct. 24 and is being held in conjunction with the 22nd Annual Women's Studies Conference- "Making Environmental Connections: Women, Communities, and the Land." The reception is sponsored by the UW System Office of Multicultural Affairs, the UW System Women's Studies Consortium and UW-La Crosse.