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Martha Warfield earns NAACP Humanitarian Award

June 2, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University administrator Dr. Martha B. Warfield has received the local NAACP's 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award for her decades of contributing to helping students pursue their dreams through education.

Warfield, WMU assistant vice president for student affairs, will receive the award from the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP at its 28th Freedom Fund Banquet 6 p.m. Saturday, June 7, in the Bernhard Center Ballroom.

"It is for her achievement in the field of education, especially as it relates to the education of underachieving students, that she has been selected as the (award) recipient," said Carole Greene, chairwoman of the local NAACP's Humanitarian Award Committee, in a May 30 article in the Kalamazoo Gazette.

In the same article, Warfield was quoted as saying, "It's too bad they can only name one person a year for things like this, because there are so many people who I feel have done some powerful things, more honorable, people who paved the way for me and others to stand on their shoulders."

A multitalented administrator, Warfield came to WMU and the Division of Student Affairs in 1992 as a psychologist and associate professor in the University Counseling and Testing Center. She has been director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs since 1993 and a mental health consultant for the Michigan Department of Labor since 1995.

Warfield was promoted to assistant vice president in 2002 and in addition to her other ongoing duties, was tapped the following year to direct the Presidential Initiative on Diversity and Multiculturalism.

In the latter role, she led the effort to develop the WMU's Diversity and Multiculturalism Action Plan and now oversees the initiative as well as its related administrative unit, which was renamed the Office of Diversity and Inclusion earlier this year.

A licensed psychologist, Warfield has a distinguished professional background that spans careers as varied as social worker, educator, researcher, probation officer, counselor and entrepreneur.

She has been widely involved in community affairs, and in 2000, received WMU's Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to students as well as her willingness to serve on a variety of on- and off-campus organizations, quietly and without fanfare.

Warfield received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science from WMU in 1961, a Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Oregon in 1969 and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University in 1979. She also was a postdoctoral fellow in MSU's Institute of Research in Teaching.

Doors to the Freedom Fund Banquet open at 5:15 p.m. Tickets cost $35 for students and senior citizens ages 62 and older. For others, the cost is $50 if purchased in advance or $60 at the door. For tickets or more information, call (269) 343-4105.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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