Hawkins named director of Chancellor’s Scholars

Oct. 10, 2013

by Susannah Brooks

A familiar face will lead the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp Scholarship Programs.

Gloria Hawkins, assistant dean for multicultural affairs in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health since 1994, will move from the west end of campus to an office in Bascom Hall. She plans to begin her new position as an assistant vice provost and director of the programs on Dec. 1.

Photo: Gloria Hawkins

Gloria Hawkins

“I look forward to this extraordinary opportunity to work with scholars and the outstanding staff of these scholarship programs,” says Hawkins. “The programs have a philosophy that encompasses not only excellence in scholarship, but also leadership development and service. They have the potential to transform individuals, institutions, and communities.”

The Chancellor’s Scholarship Program is a privately funded and highly selective merit-based program for underrepresented minority groups and culturally/educationally disadvantaged undergraduates pursuing any major at UW-Madison. 

In order to increase educational opportunities for academically talented students, scholars who consistently meet program expectations receive a full tuition scholarship and a $400.00 book stipend each semester. More than half of the program’s graduates pursue graduate or professional degrees, with many going on to become leaders in business, education, medicine, engineering and other professions.

Provost Paul DeLuca extended his thanks to the 12 members of the search committee, led by Douglass Henderson, professor of engineering physics.

“As we have noted previously, the pool of candidates was exceptionally strong, giving us the opportunity to consider remarkably varied perspectives on the work of these programs,” says DeLuca. “Though the search committee already knew of Gloria’s strong reputation, she gave us new reasons to appreciate what she brings to the table, particularly her outstanding rapport with students.”

“The programs have a philosophy that encompasses not only excellence in scholarship, but also leadership development and service. They have the potential to transform individuals, institutions, and communities.”

Gloria Hawkins

Building on nearly 20 years of advising and recruiting students in the School of Medicine and Public Health, Hawkins hopes to pinpoint the key contributing factors that have led to the scholarship programs’ success over the years. In building upon their existing legacy, she also plans to explore strategic ways to expand the pool of talented and highly motivated high school students. She hopes to use social media to market the scholarship programs and connect with alumni and constituent groups. 

“All of the current Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp scholars and alumni that I’ve spoken with recently have expressed the impact that the programs have had on their success at the university and beyond,” says Hawkins. “When they share their experiences, there seems to be something magical in the description of the programs.” 

Hawkins received her doctorate in educational administration from UW-Madison, her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Atlanta University, and her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Michigan State University.

Mercile Lee, former assistant vice provost for academic affairs, founded the scholarship programs in 1984 and served as director until her retirement earlier this year.