MAC Scholarship Provides Community Opportunities

For Rachel Norman, applying to Central Michigan University granted her the opportunity to make long lasting relationships and participate in important volunteering opportunities.

After receiving the Multicultural Advancement and Cofer Scholarship, which consists of a community of students who come together to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the community, Norman said, “This scholarship is really important because of the opportunities in academics, community service, as well as personal growth.”

Coming to CMU from Saginaw, the MAC scholarship allowed Norman a way to feel included, while giving back to the community at the same time. Because all the recipients live in Troutman Hall their freshman year, Norman said recipients spend most of their time together.

“Since we all lived in the same residence hall there is a really strong sense of community,” Norman said. “We can all relate to each other because not only do we all have the same scholarship and the requirements that go along with it, but we were all mostly freshmen at the time.”

Along with academic qualifications, recipients of the award must attend cultural events on campus every month to really drive home how important diversity discussions are.

Amber Johnson, assistant director in the Multicultural Academic Student Services for scholarships and mentoring, said this award is important because it provides students with knowledge about how important increasing multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion is in the CMU community. It also helps students communicate through cultural barriers and gives them an opportunity to become a leader.

“Often times students are called into leadership positions because they know how to work with and love and enjoy to work with a number of different types of people who have different values and beliefs and traditions,” Johnson said. “They become the leaders on campus, in addition to many others leaders, they become well-known leaders on campus and continue to advance and embrace differences and similarities.”

Johnson said because the students live together, they have formed a bond that will turn into lifelong relationships.

“It’s like their family. We love having that type of relationship,” Johnson said.

While the award offers many opportunities to form lasting bonds, Johnson said the most important aspect is the promotion of diversity that the students do on campus and within the community.

“Taking the opportunity and the time to understand someone and their culture is such an amazing and enriching experience,” Johnson said. “There are so many different things that happen in a world that it’s really just an educational experience.”

Receiving this award can create a domino effect, where everyone is working to make the world a more accepting society.

“Promoting diversity while at Central, the goal is for them to go out into the world and promote this, ultimately resulting in a better living environment and community and society at large for our students and others,” Johnson said.