Student Voice


May 26, 2024


UWRF staff member committed to diversity

April 15, 2010

In April, UW-River Falls Assistant Director of Upward Bound Tyra Nelson will be awarded the Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award.

The ceremony will be held at UW-Whitewater on April 17. The award is given out by the Women’s Studies Consortium of the University of Wisconsin System.

“I am extremely honored to be a recipient of such a prestigious award. It feels good to know that the award I am being honored with has a lot to do with the impact I’ve made on students at UWRF,” said Nelson.

Since Nelson joined UWRF in 2004, she has served the campus in several capacities including: student support services advisor, multicultural student advisor and pre-college coordinator.

As multicultural student advisor, Nelson received the Staff Diversity Award for her outstanding work and commitment to making a difference on campus.

“I feel like I have a voice on campus, and I’m comfortable enough with that voice to know that my perspective, as an African-American woman on campus, is valued,” Nelson said.

According to the Women’s Studies Consortium Web site, “In each position she has been a model of strength, courage, and inspiration for students, faculty and staff.

Through her actions and words she has demonstrated her commitment to cultural diversity and expression in unique and creative ways.”

Nelson is also the campus’ unofficial poet laureate, which means she writes poems to encourage, inspire and that bring understanding to issues like white privilege, racism, sexism and inequality.

For the past three years, she has welcomed first year students to campus with a poem, which has now become a tradition in the early academic day activities.

“I really enjoy working for UWRF. I am blessed in that I have been able to have multiple professional experiences here on campus,” said Nelson.

According to the Consortium, “Whether she is advising college students or facilitating workshops with high school students in her precollege programs, Nelson has an understanding of what will engage her audience.”

The UW System Women’s Studies Consortium, housed in Academic and Student Services, works to ensure the continued development of Women’s Studies in the UW System, to maintain their current national prominence in the field, and to create a unique inter-institutional model for educational innovation.

The Consortium serves as the formal organization of the 14 campus-based Women’s Studies programs and UW Extension.

The Consortium: focuses on initiatives in instruction, research, outreach, library resource development and international programs, encourages all the UW System Women’s Studies programs to fulfill central goals of the mission of the University, leading to the continued growth and development of education by, for, and about women in the State of Wisconsin, offers, through its Women’s Studies programs, approximately 300 courses to a total of over 8,000 students yearly and promotes communication and collaboration among the System’s Women’s Studies departments, programs, research centers, faculty members and scholars.

Since its permanent establishment in 1989, the Women’s Studies Consortium has made significant progress in strengthening ongoing activities and developing new initiatives in women’s studies, while collaborating with other efforts to ensure excellence through diversity in the UW System.