Each year in spring, the PSU President’s Diversity Awards event is held to acknowledge students, faculty, donors, and staff for their outstanding work to support diversity on campus. GSE student Shannon Sprague MA ’14, a counseling major in the Couples, Marriage, and Family program, received the Graduate Student Award at this year’s celebration, held on Wednesday, May 14, in the PSU Native American Center.
Throughout her academic career, Shannon has consistently strived to help promote and advance PSU’s diversity goals. As an undergraduate, she served for four years as an officer in Kaibigan, the Filipino American Student Association. She was instrumental in holding or planning over 100 student-led cultural, educational, political, and social programs. Under her leadership, Kaibigan received numerous awards, including Student Group of the Year from the PSU Student Activities and Leadership Programs and an Exemplary Community Award from the Asian Reporter.
Upon graduating, she took a job as the office manager of the PSU Department of Student Legal Services. No longer a student, Shannon was selected to Kaibigan’s Alumni Advisory Board where she contributed her organizational skills, energy, project management proficiency, and institutional knowledge to formalize the existence of a Kaibigan alumni-led organization.
In November 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, she helped lead the Kaibigan Alumni Advisory Board to join forces with the Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines to raise funds across the Portland area, and she was instrumental in the formation of PDX Relief, a broad alliance of Portland organizations dedicated to disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.
In her role as office manager, Shannon formed and managed PSU’s Explore the Law program whose focus was to prepare underrepresented students for careers in the legal field by providing mentorship, guidance and advising. She also spearheaded an effort to translate all of the department’s brochures into six different languages to make materials more inclusive.
Her efforts serve as a model to her colleagues in other departments and all of the PSU community.