The Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (WHCC) has awarded Friends University its 2017 Community Partner Award. WHCC presents this award annually to an educational institution, a nonprofit organization or an individual who has contributed to the advancement of the Hispanic community.
By granting this award to Friends University, the WHCC recognizes Friends University as an organization that “has and will continue to impact (the Wichita) community in a significant and meaningful way.”
Dr. Amy Bragg Carey, president of Friends University, accepted the award for Friends University at a reception and awards dinner Sept. 21 at the Holiday Inn in Wichita.
“Friends University is pleased to be recognized as an educational leader in partnering with the Hispanic community in Wichita,” Dr. Carey said. “Through our new Hispanic initiatives, Friends University will continue to cultivate lasting connections with members of our community. One of our R.I.S.E. core values—inclusion—means we promote a spirit of cooperation and equality beginning on our campus and extending into the community and world.”
During the past two years, Friends University has implemented a Latino Leaders program, a Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) and a new focus on interpretation/translation for the Spanish degree program.
The Latino Leaders program began this past summer and provides opportunities for high-performing students of Latino descent to earn scholarships, receive coaching and be trained to lead and guide other Hispanic students. The unique pilot program currently has six students who are mentored by three individuals (peer, faculty and professionals). Dr. Jerry Smartt, professor of Spanish and director of foreign languages, says the program is unique and knows of no other institution who is doing this level of intentional mentorship.
HALO, a group of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, promotes Hispanic culture and awareness, serves the campus and community, and supports Hispanic students.
“The refocused Spanish degree prepares graduates for a world where the demand for interpreters and translators is sky-rocketing,” Dr. Smartt said.
Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.