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UHP Students Win SEED Awards

November 28, 2017

The Office for Equity and Diversity's Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (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. Of the eight University of Minnesota–Twin Cities undergraduates honored in 20187, three are UHP students! We're incredibly proud to be so well represented in this exemplary group of undergraduates.

Congratulations are also in order for the other undergraduate SEED Award recipients, Alexis Murillo (UMTC/Agricultural Communications & Marketing), Bennet Olupo (UMTC/Biologoy, Spanish), Enoch Sun (UMTC/Sociology of Law, Crimonology & Deviance), Fiona Wu (UMM/Environmental Studies, Political Science), Malik Day (UMTC/Finance), Mia Morton (UMTC/Child Psychology), Michelle Brownlee (UMM), Mickey Capps (UMM/Psychology), and Sebastian Nemec (UMD/Cultural Entrepreneurship).

UHP's 2017 SEED Award Winners

Leah Alemu is a senior studying biology on the Twin Cities campus. She is driven by the belief that wellness should not be a privilege only for those who can afford it, but something that is accessible to all. Her involvement as a food shelf assistant, and as a volunteer in the Vida Sana bilingual health and wellness program at the Waite House has given her insight into the realities of food insecurity, and the ways in which it impacts larger health outcomes. Leah’s experiences at the Waite House, as well as her membership in the Dean’s Scholars Program, and her role as a clinical research assistant have reinforced her goal of becoming a physician, and inspired her desire to specialize in preventive medicine.

Prashasti Bhatnagar is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, studying sociology, and minoring in neuroscience, public health and social justice. She has a passion for health equity, and that passion has led to internships with the Office of Senator Al Franken, the Program for Health Disparities Research and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In those experiences, she has been able to work on projects that informed Minnesota health care professionals about issues ranging from mental health virtual support groups to best practices to support and engage LGBTQ+ communities. Her values, educational experiences and extracurricular involvements are reflective of her dreams of pursuing a JD/MPH and making healthcare a human right for all. (Prashasti was awarded the President’s SEED Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement)

Troy Yamaguchi is a junior studying psychology and sociology whose commitment to diversity has led him to become thoughtfully and intentionally engaged with his community. He has been conducting research on suicide rates within cultural subgroups, and has discovered—via data and interviews with local community members—critical information about the mental health challenges prevalent within some Asian populations. Passionate about finding collaborative mental health solutions for Asian communities, Troy has since applied for public policy opportunities in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and joined the Asian American Student Union Board on the Twin Cities campus.