WMU News

High-achieving students honored at Platinum Awards

July 25, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Sixty Western Michigan University students were recognized for their academic achievements and leadership abilities during the 2001 Platinum Awards celebration held this past spring at WMU.

The annual event is sponsored by the Division of Multicultural Affairs to honor and encourage students who participate in the division's programs.

This year's recognition celebration featured seven students who received named scholarships and leadership awards for the 2000-01 academic year. In addition, 23 freshmen and 30 sophomores received Excellence in Academic Achievement certificates for attaining a 3.0 or higher grade point average.

Two named scholarships were presented to participants of WMU's Martin Luther King Jr. Program.

Maggie Chin, a recent graduate from Ada, Mich., majoring in elementary education won the Kimon Bournazos Award for having the program's highest grade point average for a senior graduating April 21.

Idris Rashid, an April graduate from Pontiac, Mich., majoring in computer information systems, won the Martin Luther King Jr. Program Award for maintaining high academic standards while being an active community service volunteer.

Five named leadership awards also were presented.

Maria de La Rosa, a senior from Weslaco, Texas, majoring in elementary education, and Samuel Centellas, a senior from Saginaw, Mich., majoring in engineering graphics and industrial design, received the Liderazgo Award, which goes to individuals whose leadership has served as a source of strength and support to the Latino community. Centellas is a member of WMU's Lee Honors College. Both Centellas and de La Rosa expect to graduate in 2002.

Ian LaBlance, a 2001 graduate from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, received the Ogimaawiwin Award, which is presented as recognition of outstanding academic progress and significant contributions to WMU's Native American community. LaBlance majored in art education and has been accepted as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin.

This year's Mentor of the Year award went to Trina Williams, a social work major from Three Rivers, Mich., who graduated April 21.

The final leadership award, the Special Recognition award, was presented to alumna Tania Dwyer of Kalamazoo for her service and commitment to the Division of Multicultural Affairs Mentor/Mentee Program. Dwyer, a criminal justice major, graduated from WMU in December 2000.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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