MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Kansas State University and Commerce Bank are recognizing two individuals for their diversity enhancement efforts.
LaVerne Bitsie-Baldwin, director of the College of Engineering's multicultural engineering program, is receiving the Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award for Distinguished Services to Historically Underrepresented Students at Kansas State University.
Marcus Bragg, senior in management information systems, Kansas City, Kan., is receiving the Commerce Bank Presidential Student Award for Distinguished Services in Enhancing Multiculturalism at Kansas State University.
Both awardees will be recognized at a reception from 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in the K-State Alumni Center. The program will mark the 36th year of the awards.
The faculty and staff award was established in 1978 to recognize outstanding individual contributions to the development of quality education for multicultural students at Kansas State University. Bitsie-Baldwin will receive a plaque and $2,500.
"I am honored to have received the Commerce Bank Award for Diversity," Bitsie-Baldwin said. "It's a prestigious university award and those who have received this award before me are the ones who I have looked to as collaborators and role models."
Bitsie-Baldwin is a member of National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates Region D, serving as chair-elect and chair from 2009 to 2011. She also is a member of the Mathematics Association of America, the American Indian Science & Engineering Society and American Society for Engineering Education.
She received the 2006-2008 university Women in Engineering and Science program Making a Difference Award, the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates 2010 Outstanding Region Award and National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates 2010 Outstanding MEP Director Award. She has a bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., and a master's degree in mathematics from Kansas State University.
The student award was established in spring 1997 to recognize outstanding individual contributions to diversity enhancement within the student sector. Bragg will receive a plaque and $500.
"I am honored to have been nominated for the Commerce Bank Student Award, and extremely humbled to find out I'd won," Bragg said "To know that other students and faculty members thought enough of me and my work to nominate me is amazing. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to serve, and truly appreciate those who have supported me."
Bragg is president of Kansas State University's Black Student Union and treasurer of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was the 2012-2013 president of the National PanHellenic Council and 2012-2013 public relations chair of the Management Information Club.
He served on the Student Alumni Board and K-State Proud Advisory Board in 2010-2011. He was a member of Kansas State University's Developing Scholars Program during the 2009-2010 academic year.
He was named the 2013 Big XII Conference on Black Student Government Outstanding Senior of the Year, 2013 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity District of Kansas Brother with the highest grade point average, a 2012 INROADS Outstanding Technical Scholar, a KOCH scholar and Cargill scholar.
A graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences, Bragg is the son of Ricky and Gail Bragg, Kansas City, Kan.