Multicultural Center Awards and Scholarships
A. Tennyson Miller and Joe L. Atkins Scholarship
The A. Tennyson Miller and Joe L. Atkins Scholarship is named for two of the university’s pioneering African American students. In 1954, Miller, a doctoral student, became the first African American to attend UNT, and opened access to graduate programs. A few years later, a lawsuit filed by Atkins paved the way for African American undergraduates to enroll.
Every year, Student Activities hosts a collection of awards called Eagle Awards that recognize outstanding student organizations and individual leadership. This year, the Multicultural Center is announcing three awards recognizing some truly exceptional individuals of UNT. All award recipients were honored at the annual Eagle Awards banquet on April 18.
Mean Green Unity Individual Award: Haley Barnes
This award honors a student who demonstrates a significant and exceptional commitment to promoting diversity within the UNT community. This includes specific examples of how the individual has worked to address diversity issues in a manner that encourages unity and furthers understanding between diverse groups.
As the current vice president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Haley Barnes has brought a vibrancy and energy to diversity crossing all cultures for women. Nationally she was selected for the very competitive Future Leaders Program which identifies student leaders who can make a high impact change at the national level. She is at the table with Ivy League students bringing UNT to the national forefront of the dialogue on gender diversity. She has logged over 100 volunteer hours and was a speaker at the regional conference for SWE giving an encouraging talk on Confidence to Competence to a large audience.
She created a new organization in August 2013 called UNT Compliments. She supervised the implementation of five service projects bringing people from all colleges and student groups together. As the founder and the current president, Haley has grown the membership with a Twitter following of over 5,500 and Facebook likes of over 2,500. UNT Compliments wades into areas that can get ignored. She brings a sensitivity to profiling by communicating the personal pain that students feel when they are identified with a negative stereotype for looking or following a particular religion.
Mean Green Unity Organization Award: Leaders in Family Education (LIFE)
This award honors a UNT organization with extraordinary dedication towards enhancing the community as a whole. The organization's efforts must encourage the education of the UNT community on issues of diversity. The organization also addresses diversity issues in a matter that encourages unity and furthers understanding between diverse groups while promoting diversity on campus as well as in the community.
Leaders in Family Education (LIFE) is a student organization at UNT for future family educators that is a student affiliate of National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), the Texas Council on Family Relations (TCFR) and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). They have hosted LGBTQ lectures and panels such as the "All Walks of LIFE Parent Panel" that helped illustrate how culture and different parenting styles affect a child's growth and development.
LIFE has displayed a sense unity among the UNT community by broadening the horizons of students and networking among other organizations such as the Student Council of Exceptional Learners and The Alliance of Black School Education.
Women Breaking Barriers: Karen Lindsey Smith
This award honors a woman student leader who inspires other women to work toward their fullest potential. Honorees display the variety and/or depth of impact of their commitment toward women's issues.
Karen Lindsey Smith is concurrently pursuing a degree in Math at Texas Woman’s University as well as a degree in Mechanical and Energy Engineering at UNT. She is featured on the College of Engineering's website for her stellar performance at General Electric Transportation in Pennsylvania where she was the only intern to be allowed to participate in permanent employee opportunities such as Six Sigma Green Belt classes.
She has been a high impact student officer at UNT and has been on the event committee of the Society of Women Engineers since 2014. In addition, she's the president of the TWU Math Honor Society, which puts her in a position to encourage students to come from TWU and earn an engineering degree at UNT further strengthening the exemplary UNT-TWU partnership in transfer credit. Her list of accomplishments continues to grow, and we look forward to seeing what her future holds.
Congratulations to all of our Eagle Award winners from the Multicultural Center and everyone at the Division of Institutional Equity & Diversity.