Kat Werchouski is the recipient of the Women of Color in Education Award at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The award is given annually to faculty, staff, students or community members to recognize their achievements in advancing equity and inclusion for people of color within the UW System as well as communities across the state.
“I do what I do for others, not for recognition, but for the betterment of our students, staff, faculty and community members,” said Werchouski, assistant director of equity, diversity and inclusion. “This is usually done behind the scenes and very quietly. Though I enjoy what I have the privilege of doing every day, and the results for others, I don’t ever put myself on the consideration list. It is great for the work itself, and what it stands for, to be recognized and celebrated.”
Werchouski is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe with ties to the Leech Lake and Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe tribes as well as the state of Jalisco, Mexico. She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Native American studies from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, and a Master of Science in in environmental studies from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. Werchouski is pursuing a doctoral degree in student affairs administration from UW-La Crosse.
Previously Werchouski served as the director of the Indigenous Center at Northland College.
“I want this to show others to see that change is possible, especially when you approach it from doing ‘the right things, the best way you can,’” Werchouski said. “Eventually, it will get recognized and hopefully inspire others … The ability to help people, no matter their background, is one of the biggest honors one can be handed in this world — and should not be taken lightly.”
Regents, chancellors, provosts and UW System leaders will recognize Werchouski at a ceremony Nov. 7 in Madison.