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Brownlee ’18, Capps ’18, and Wu ’18 Honored with UMN SEED Awards

UMN Equity and Diversity Breakfast 2017
Sarah Freske ’18
Publication date: 
December 6, 2017

Michelle Brownlee '18, Hibbing; Mickey Capps '18, Rogers; and Fiona Wu '18, Shangai, China, have received the 2017 Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award. Sponsored by the the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), the system-wide award honors and acknowledges diverse students doing outstanding work at the University of Minnesota.

Michelle Brownlee '18

Brownlee (anthropology and Native American and indigenous studies, biology minor), Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, says her desire to help others learn about their indigenous heritage began with her work as a peer mentor in the Native American Student Success Program. She since has taken on a leadership position in the Circle of Nations Indigenous Association.

"I'm trying to use my position as an upperclassman to help underclassmen students expand their knowledge in the area of personal heritage," Brownlee says.

After graduation Brownlee plans to attend graduate school for public history and museum studies, which she will use to ensure proper representation of indigenous cultures and artifacts in museums.

Mickey Capps '18

Capps (psychology, communication, media, and rhetoric minor) has made the campus a more inclusive space through his involvement with LGBTQIA2S+ Programs as a Gender/Sexuality Advocate. For Capps, ensuring that all students feel safe on campus is a priority.

"I want to make sure that everyone feels they have a voice, especially on a college campus," Capps says.

After graduation Capps plans to pursue a master's in student affairs in higher education, with which he hopes to work on a college campus.

Fiona Wu '18

Wu (environmental studies, political science, emphasis on environmental leadership and stewardship) has been active at Morris as a Gender/Sexuality Advocate, Community Advisor, Hall Director, and Morris Campus Student Association Vice President. Through their involvement, they hope to enable international students to feel active and accepted.

"I want to make this campus a more inclusive space where all international students can have their voice heard and have their best experience here," says Wu.

Wu plans to attend graduate school to study public policy and affairs, environmental issues, and international organizations. This would enable them to work for organizations like the United Nations, assisting gender minorities in developing countries that face environmental issues.

Brownlee, Capps, and Wu received their awards at the tenth annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast on November 16. Additional information is available at

Pictured above, from left: Raymond Lagasse, assistant director, International Student Program; Adrienne Conley, assistant director for student life and coordinator for LGBTQIA2S+ programs; Mickey Capps ’18; Fiona Wu ’18; Michael Rodriguez ’87; Michelle Brownlee ’18; Hilda Ladner, assistant to the chancellor for equity and diversity, director of equity, diversity and intercultural programs; Tara Nelson ’10, assistant director, Native American Student Success