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Psychology student Eve Hawpetoss and academic adviser Reneé Simpson, both of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, are among those being honored this week in Madison by Universities of Wisconsin.

Hawpetoss is one of 13 recipients of the 2023 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People. Simpson is one of 13 recipients of the 2023 Outstanding Women of Color in Education award.

Eve Hawpetoss

Poorman Award

The Poorman Award is presented to LGBTQ+ people or their allies who have helped create a safer and more inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ people. The award celebrates the memory and legacy of Dr. Paula B. Poorman, a highly regarded faculty member at UW-Whitewater dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people. This is the 15th anniversary of the founding of the award.

“Honorees are helping build a better experience for our students, faculty and staff,” said Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman. “This award recognizes their achievements in creating a safer and inclusive climate at our universities.”

Eve Hawpetoss will be honored in part due to their promotion of social justice in their schoolwork, programming and everyday conversations. Their student leadership roles on campus include vice president of the Rainbow Alliance for Helping Others Perceive Equality (HOPE), president of the Inter-Tribal Student Council, president of the Women’s Advocacy Council and student lead for the Center for Pride and Gender Equity.

They are a fierce advocate for vulnerable communities and use their scholarship to continue advancing UWO’s core values in inclusive excellence. Hawpetoss has been a steady voice for gender equity and multiracial identity representation in predominantly white areas.

Reneé Simpson

Women of Color

The Women of Color in Education Award is given to faculty, staff, students or community members to recognize achievements in advancing equity and inclusion for people of color within the UW as well as communities across the state.

“The Universities of Wisconsin have a longstanding commitment to inclusion at our universities,” Rothman said. “We are proud to honor these women of color whose achievements in advocacy and scholarship are transforming our campuses and communities to be more equitable and inclusive.”

UWO’s recipient, Reneé Simpson, is an academic adviser beginning her third year at UWO. She previously served at Western Illinois University. In addition to academic advising, Simpson has worked in other areas of higher education for over 20 years. Her background includes work in diversity, equity and inclusion; college admissions counseling; and human resources management.

Her expertise includes academic coaching, proactive advising, developmental advising, community outreach and student persistence and retention. Her professional background has been centered in serving various students regardless of their educational background as well as individuals within the campus community. She has a focus of working with minoritized and underprivileged student populations.

Outside of higher education, Simpson has served in the Oshkosh community teaching high school health. In Illinois, she worked at a nonprofit agency serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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