North Park Recognizes Student Intercultural Leaders at 2021 Annual Multicultural Awards Celebration featured image background
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March 24, 2021

North Park Recognizes Student Intercultural Leaders at 2021 Annual Multicultural Awards Celebration

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North Park’s Office of Diversity and Intercultural Life (ODIL) celebrates the talent and dedication students have demonstrated throughout the year as leaders in diversity. During the Annual Multicultural Awards Celebration on March 26 via a virtual Facebook live event, select students will be recognized for academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and involvement surrounding diversity, advocacy, and justice.

The celebration features awards in:

  • Multicultural Student Leader Recognition
  • ODIL Director’s and Assistant Director’s Awards
  • Honors Convocation Diversity Award

Reflecting the University’s core values—Christian, intercultural, and city-centered— North Park is committed to highlighting the significance of diversity through the work of the ODIL, numerous cultural clubs, and events such as the Annual Multicultural Awards Celebration. Marcus Payne II, the Assistant Director of North Park’s ODIL, highlights the importance of recognizing intercultural leaders.

“The Office of Diversity would not be without the diversity club leaders and dedicated faculty and staff who live out the true mission of the University. I am extremely grateful to learn from and walk alongside these talented leaders,” said Payne.

Multicultural Student Leader Recognition Award

The Multicultural Student Leader Recognition award honors graduating seniors that currently hold or have held leadership positions in a cultural club, student workers in the Office of Diversity with at least 1.5 years of service, or Diversity Representatives in the Student Government Association.

This year’s recipients include:

Mallory N. Coakley, Spring 2021, Bachelor of Music Education (Voice)

Ngbarezere “Fritz” Frezar, Spring 2021, BA in Communication Studies

Michelle Gonzalez, Spring 2021, BA in Early Childhood Education (incl. IL certif.)

Kathryn S. Gustafson, Spring 2021, BA in Sociology

Selena Han

Yuzhen “Selena” Han, Spring 2021, BS in Business (Accounting and Finance)

Haobitai “Melody” Haobitai, Fall 2020, BA in Education

Melody Haobitai

Ayrianna S. Longs, Spring 2021, BA in Sociology

Ayrianna Longs

Emilia I. Ohia, Fall 2020

Kosisochukwu “Kosi” C. Okeke, Fall 2020, BA in Psychology

Emily M. Ostercamp, Spring 2021, BA in Communication Studies

Iga Szelag, Spring 2021, BS in Business (Accounting)

Helen H. Uriostegui, Spring 2021, B.S in Business (Accounting)

Jordan N. Williams, Fall 2020, BS in Business (Marketing)

Michelle Gonzalez

“I went from being a member of LASO to becoming its president for two years, and I have grown a lot from it. I want to accept the award on behalf of those who are underrepresented to let them know that we can push forward and follow our dreams as minorities,” said Michelle Gonzalez, president of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). LASO celebrates Latinx culture through conversation, movies, dance events, and food events that are open to all students.


Kathryn Gustafson

By continuing the Swedish tradition of Fika—a daily break from work to enjoy coffee, treats, and conversations—Kathryn Gustafson, president of the Scandinavian Student Association, hopes to foster a rich community where people can connect with each other. “I feel lucky to be honored at the 2021 Multicultural Awards Celebration. North Park is a very diverse school, and I am proud to continue sharing part of my heritage,” said Gustafson.

Champion of Diversity Award

Formally known as the North Park University Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Champion of Diversity Award recognizes a faculty member, staff member, or administrator that has conducted exceptional work in the areas of interculturalism, restorative justice, or racial recognition. Dr. Liza Ann Acosta, University Dean and English professor, has been selected as this year’s recipient.

Portrait of Dean Acosta

ODIL Director’s and Assistant Director’s Award

The ODIL Director’s and Assistant Director’s Award honors a person or group for outstanding contributions to the campus community through their involvement in promoting an inclusive and intercultural campus culture at North Park.

Iga Szelag

This year, Iga Szelag has been selected as the recipient of the ODIL Director’s Award for her leadership and su
stained commitment as the Rising DREAMers United (RDU) President, COMPASS Mentor, Lighthouse Scholar, DreamUS Cohort Student Mentor, 2020–2021 Student Government Association (SGA) Diversity Representative, and member of SGA’s Advocacy and Finance committees at North Park. In addition to developing a positive intercultural environment on campus and demonstrating high academic achievement, Szelag embodies the ODIL’s 2020–2021 theme of ‘Impact Over Intent.’

Honors Convocation Diversity Award

Honoring a graduating senior, the Honors Convocation Diversity Award recognizes a person that demonstrates leadership and sustained commitment to advancing North Park’s intercultural core identity on campus as well as throughout the Chicago community.

As the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) Vice President, Lighthouse Scholar, member of the Hispanic Serving Institution Student Auxiliary Board, and a principal charter member of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) at North Park, Helen Uriostegui’s leadership has significantly impacted North Park. Based on her contributions to intercultural life, high academic achievement, and embodiment of ‘Impact Over Intent,’ Uriostegui will receive the 2021 Honors Convocation Diversity Award at the celebration.

The event will stream live March 26, 10:30 am CDT at

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