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. When she graduates from the U of M, Crookston, Gurung will be the second woman from her remote village high in the Himalayan Mountains to do so. She hopes to return to her village and work to improve the lives of the villagers, especially the women and girls who continue to grow up in the shadow of inequality and oppression.
"My lifelong dream is to help lift the poor out of poverty by giving them education and skills necessary to sustain themselves, their families, and their communities," Gurung states.
Her involvement on campus includes tutoring students in mathematics and economics. Coordinator of Disability Services Laurie Wilson is quick to tout Gurung's skills. "Her gentleness and respectful, nurturing demeanor are hallmarks of her presence in every environment," explains Wilson. "During the past summer, she was able to return home to her village and she used that opportunity to bring enrichment materials from her business program at the University to the children in her village. She plants 'seeds' of hope wherever she goes." Gurung is noted for her academic work as well as her service. Her grade point average is a stellar 3.94.
Gurung is in her second year of working as a community advisor in Residential Life on the Crookston campus, where she is charged with creating a positive living and learning environment for her residents and for upholding the expectations of the University for those environments. She also is involved with Students in Free Enterprise and a part of the highly successful SIFE Presentation Team. She has been involved with the Multicultural and International Club on the Crookston campus since she was a freshman.
Kenneth Johnson, instructor in the Business Department and an advisor for SIFE recognizes Gurung for her work in the classroom. "Yangchen is extremely bright," Johnson says. "Although this may be reflected in her grade point average, it is better reflected in her ability to think critically, see multiple sides of an issue, and learn new concepts with ease."
She follows in the footsteps of her cousin Lhakpa Gurung, a 2010 graduate and a recipient of last year's SEED award.
Undergraduate SEED Award recipients are diverse students who demonstrate outstanding 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. For more information, visit http://academic.umn.edu/equity/awards/seed_awards.html.
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
Contact: : Laurie Wilson, coordinator, disability services, 218-281-8587 (firstname.lastname@example.org); Kenneth Johnson, instructor, Business Department, 218-281-8178 (email@example.com); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (firstname.lastname@example.org)