OMSA SPOTLIGHT


JALESA CAMPBELL | campb044@rangers.uwp.edu

OMSA is the acronym for the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. OMSA’s purpose is to represent the four underrepresented minorities on campus. This includes Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, and students of Hispanic-Latino heritage.

This organization has the desire to connect, empower and develop students for success even if the student isn’t considered a minority. “It’s not a place that pushes people away. It’s a very inclusive environment,” said Damian Evans, the Director of OMSA.

Evans adds “OMSA is very necessary for all students, but the organization isn’t all about higher education; it’s about higher education and the people. We’re introduced to people through higher education and we take high interest in our students and staff on an individual level.”

The Programs

OMSA collaborates with other organizations on campus, especially the multicultural organizations which are BSU, PAO and LU and also incorporates the tradition of hosting kick offs for each heritage month. They value promoting cultural awareness and informing students with necessary information on any subject.

The Always Reaching Upward program was designed for incoming freshmen to develop relationships and being able to obtain the necessary guidance and attention most freshmen need. The freshmen are assigned a success coach who will assist them to achieving a successful first year of college.

Not every program that OMSA hosts is focused on a multicultural theme, it can be anything . For example, last semester a few “De-stress” events were put on to help students relax. They also have on site advisors available. Anyone can drop by the office at anytime between the hours of 8am-6pm and if an advisor is available to assist them with anything they will do so. If the advisor does not have the necessary answer one seek, they will be more than happy to point the student in the right direction.

The People

Damian Evans is no stranger to the multicultural life. In fact, he had an advisor within the organization and was given the opportunity to work as a peer advisor when he attended Parkside.

After graduating, he decided to come back in 2000 as a hall director and partnered with, then Director of OMSA, Bridgette Johnson. Together they decided to pursue their Master’s degree together while still supporting each other in their respective positions. Damian now holds his master’s degree and is very proud to say he is going into his 16th year of employment.

“When I came back, I vowed to give students the information I wish I had while attending Parkside.” Evans says, “I relive the most rewarding experience of my position every December and May, which is the graduation ceremony. Seeing the students I’ve worked with in the past finally make that transition is a beautiful feeling.”

Senior, Imani Hill, is expecting to make her transition in May with degrees in General Business and Human Resources, as well as certificates in Entrepreneurship and Retail Management, is another great example of the benefits OMSA brings.

“If it wasn’t for OMSA, I don’t think I would be graduating in May. They have been so influential and have pushed me towards success and outside the box. It’s my go to place for anything, everything is on a more personal level.”  

Imani became affiliated with OMSA as a sophomore and began working for them her junior year. Her most rewarding experience is being able to mentor students, which she loves and make a difference in their lives by obtaining the necessary skills to help & guide others.  

Imani isn’t the only senior that possesses excellent mentoring skills in the OMSA office. Maiyer Yang, majoring in Sociology and Communications, won the Mentor of the Year award last year during the Taking Care of Business Banquet. The banquet was designed in order to recognize and appreciate minority student leaders.

“There really isn’t an unrewarding experience working in the OMSA office. We all work as a team and push each other to do better.”, said Maiyer Yang.

“This office is about students, staff and friends. We’re just the voice.”

Contact the office of OMSA for more information

Location: Wyllie D182

Phone: (262) 595-2731

Web: www.uwp.edu

Keyword: Multicultural Student Affairs

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