Distinguished Staff Award
Photograph of Ross Braine

Ross Braine

Tribal Liaison, Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Nominated by Nataly Brockwell, Administrative Assistant, Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Awarded 2015

I nominate Ross Braine for the Distinguished Staff Award for his diligence here at the University of Washington.

Ross is the most influential individual to the communities, to our students, and to this campus. Starting at the University of Washington as a student he went through the struggles, challenges and fun times our students face, not only giving him the firsthand experience of what this campus has to offer, but also where some of the resources lacked. Fortunately, the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD) hired him on as an admissions counselor to outreach to Native American youth. His time here, he has watched the numbers increase in the Native American community on campus. Not only does he care about his students, he is very well connected to the rest of the faculty and staff here on campus, being a part of the Native American Faculty and Staff association and other committees here at the University. He volunteers and dedicates a lot of time in the community as well.

Currently, Ross has been able to create his own position with in OMAD. He works directly with Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange on all of his projects. A current project he is overseeing is the long house being built on North East Campus by the dorms. This is a huge accomplishment for him as he personally wrote for the grants and funding and interviewed the construction committees that would be appointed for the project. He has provided over $3 million dollars worth of grants to this University. On a day to day bases Ross is also traveling to connect with students in the K-12 pipeline, connecting with community members, and attending school to achieve his Masters in Information Systems through the Ischool.

When I first met Ross, I myself was a recent graduate of UW and new employee. To put things in perspective, I am only 5’ 2’’ tall. So imagine this 6’ 2’’ man with big green eyes and a huge smile just towering over you saying “whats up?!” That was his welcome to me. Over time Ross and I established one of the most important relationships I could have at this institution. Not only did he become a dear friend, but he became a mentor and an ally. We are passionate about the students and the work we do. His encouragement and mini trainings on various policies and procedures helped me grow not only professionally but personally. I can always count on him to be representing the purple and gold on Fridays and greeting people with a smile. Unless he is doing homework to further his studies, I have never seen the man be selfish in any way. He is always ready and gung –ho to start the next big project, help the next person, or connect with the student who might be struggling here at the University. He personally mentors a lot of Undergraduates at UW, including the boys in his fraternity Phi Kappa Theta.

I know that many people would agree that Ross is a brilliant man, and a fantastic person. He does not just work a room like many would; Ross takes it one step further. No matter who you are or what your story is, he will always be genuine and connect with you on a level many people would not dare to connect on.

His 9 years as an employee may be short but they have definitely been impactful. It will be great to walk with Ross at graduation and celebrating one more accomplishment. With him as coworker, the future is always bright, rewarding, and adventurous.

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