Only a select few achieve recognition.
Two seniors at the University of Minnesota, Crookston are the recipients of the prestigious Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) award. Wemimo Samson Abbey and Dae Yeul “Danny” Lee are recipients of the Sue W. Hancock Undergraduate SEEDs of Change Award. The two were recognized on at the University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity Breakfast held at the McNamara Alumni Center on the Minneapolis campus.
Abbey, a senior from Lagos, Nigeria, has a passion for leadership, research, family, and country. He is majoring in business management and organizational psychology and has taken on leadership roles both on campus and outside campus organizations that have led to exciting opportunities for him in the areas of research and the creation of a non-profit. Inspired after attending the 22nd Annual Diversity Recruitment Program at Harvard University, Abbey established the non-profit organization “Change Africa,” dedicated to fighting poverty with education and sustainable free enterprise endeavors. With a grade point average (GPA) of 3.7, he credits experiences at the University of Minnesota, Crookston with empowering him to devote his life to fight for the powerless, stand up for women, and never give-up on the hopeless.
Abbey's advisor, Kenneth Johnson, instructor in the Business Department, admires Abbey’s dedication. “It is safe to say, I cannot imagine any other student who could accomplish what he has while simultaneously excelling in classes, research, and a plethora of other activities,” Johnson says.
Lee, a senior accounting major from Seoul, Korea, is dedicated to issues of equity and diversity. A 4.0 GPA student, he has been a critical part of the Crookston campus recently being named a tax preparation site, and as an IRS certified tax volunteer, he has helped many of the community’s elderly complete their tax forms. When Lee first came to campus, he saw the need for increased awareness of diversity and worked with members of the Multicultural International Club to host an international market, game night, language lessons, and a celebration of holidays around the world, among others. Lee believes that empowering people and using what he has learned in his classes will change lives and continues to work to build a better world which respects diversity and strives for equity and social justice.
Advisor to Lee, accounting instructor Ken Bulie, J.D., says Lee stands out. “I have had several very good students over the years, but probably none that have the unique combination of personality, determination, intelligence, and commitment to valuing diversity through service that Danny has,” Bulie says.
The Office for Equity and Diversity's SEED awards program honors and acknowledges diverse students who are doing outstanding work at the University of Minnesota, both in and out of the classroom. Undergraduate SEED Award recipients are diverse students who demonstrate impressive achievement and leadership in the area(s) of academic performance and/or community outreach/activism.
In addition, SEED Award recipients must demonstrate a deep understanding of and commitment to issues of equity, diversity, and social justice through their academic work and/or service to the community. Six to ten undergraduates are honored with the SEED Award each year. For more information, visit academic.umn.edu/equity/awards/seed_awards.html.
Past recipients of the SEED award from the U of M, Crookston include Lhakpa Gurung in 2010 and Yangchen Gurung in 2011.