SEEDs: Students Educating & Embracing Diversity

SEEDs Mission

SEEDs are student peer educators that have a passion for social justice and inclusion. Through collaboration, SEEDs create workshops, presentations, and programs focused on diversity, education, inclusion, and acceptance. These efforts strive to increase awareness, knowledge, and empathy in the form of hands-on, real-life experiences at UW-La Crosse. They will assist in creating an inclusive, safer environment where all students, staff, and faculty can bring their intersecting identities to UWL's campus and surrounding community. 

History of SEEDs

SEEDs were created and developed by Authrene Ashton, an alumna of UWL. She discovered a similar program at UW-Eau Claire and wanted to create a program for UWL. Authrene, along with Jude Legiste, Ashleigh Williams, Megan Denison, Matt Evensen, Amanda Goodenough, and AJ Clauss began implementing this peer education program in Spring 2016, for residence halls and across campus, in order to create a more inclusive environment and reduce hate/bias incidents. 

SEEDs 2019-2020

Mirm Hurula - Reuter Hall expanding section

Person smiling

Mirm Hurula 
PGPs: she/her/hers or they/them 
Senior: Early to Middle Childhood Education, TESOL, Chinese 

Why did you get involved with SEEDs? 
Social justice is something that I have always wanted to be involved with after I left high school. There wasn’t much that I could have done at that time from the school district that I come from. Then, I was introduced to ATP. ATP has opened many new doors, one of which is SEEDs. I have been an RA since last year and I was eager to incorporate social justice into my job. Last year, it was very difficult to have some of my other staff members be on board with some of the social justice events that I wanted to put on. So, by having this job, I feel that I can do more, have support from other SEEDs and advisors, and educate not only my residents and staff team but, also some on this campus. 

I cannot wait to continue my journey this upcoming year and I can’t wait to see what this year will bring!  

Social Justice Areas of Interest: 

  • Race/Ethnicity 
  • Gender/Sexuality
  • Religious Privilege

Social Justice Areas of Growth: 

  • Healthcare Disparity 
  • Age
  • Ability 

Favorite Quote: 
People fear what they don't understand and hate what they can't conquer.” 
Andrew Smith 

Sam Stroozas - Campus Climate expanding section

Sam sitting in front of a building

Sam Stroozas
PGPs: She/Her/Hers
Junior: Communication Studies, English 

 Why did you get involved with SEEDs?
I first chose to get involved with SEEDs my sophomore year at UWL because of an event I attended put on by a former SEED. The program discussed a social justice issue I had zero understanding of - Islamophobia. I left the program with not only more knowledge on the misconceptions of the Islamic religion but overall an encouragement that there is a world of learning out there that can make a difference, and I want to be a part of it. Last year I was placed in Wentz Hall and given the opportunity to put on events that discussed Rape Culture, Institutional Racism in the US prison system, Environmentalism and more. Over my first year of work, I not only grew immensely as a learner and educator but also was able to guide the residents of Wentz Hall to learn with me. For my second year, I have been placed in Angell Hall and will continue my work of expanding my personal knowledge and creating inclusive and diverse atmospheres conducive to learning for residents. Being involved with SEEDs challenged my privilege and personal identities and proved to me that I can make a difference locally and globally as long as I continue to work for the overarching goal of education and equity. 

Social Justice Areas of Interest:  

  • Rape Culture
  • White Privilege
  • Gender/Sexuality 
  • Race/Ethnicity 

Social Justice Areas of Growth:

  • Ability 
  • Environmentalism 
  • Religion 

Favorite Quote:
"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept." - Angela Davis 

Dani Kallis - Campus Climate expanding section

Dani Kallis
PGPs: she/her/hers
Senior: Psychology with minors in Criminal Justice and Art

Why did you get involved with SEEDs?
I have been involved in the Pride Center since I became a student at UWL as their Senator and while the experiences I have had in that space are meaningful it didn't feel like my peers were challenging themselves or each other. It was when I joined the ATP Troupe in the spring of 2018 that I found a challenging and welcoming peer space that taught me so much about myself. As a staff member, previously in Reuter before becoming a staff member in Hutch Hall, I have found a lot of value in peer to peer learning because hard conversations can be even more difficult when there is an overarching power dynamic and it is refreshing to discuss actual issues with folks my own age. I became a SEED because the interactions I have had with the SEEDs I know has shaped me for the better and I hope to bring these kinds of discussions and want for change into Hutch Hall!


Social Justice Areas of Interest:

  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • White Privilege
  • Sexism

Social Justice Areas of Growth:

  • Ability 
  • Religion 
  • Race/Ethnicity 

Favorite Quote:
"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together." Lilla Watson

Sophia Jaume - Lead SEED expanding section

Sophia sitting on bench

Sophia Jaume
PGP's: She/Her(s)
Junior: Political Science with WGS and Spanish minors

Why did you get involved with SEEDs? 
I got involved with SEED's after attending an event on Islamophobia. It struck me that I hadn't ever had a conversation surrounding this topic or even had a space to address my confusion or curiosities. To me, talking about social justice issues in relation to our own identities is crucial to self-development and how we interact with others. Fostering empathy and caring for the greater picture can all be achieved through the important conversations we strive to have within SEEDs. 

Social Justice Areas of Interest:

  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Systematic Corruption/ Oppression 

Social Justice Areas of Growth:

  • Xenophobia
  • Environmentalism
  • Religion
  • Ability
  • Rape Culture
  • Everything

Favorite Quote:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou 

Students standing in two rows laughing

For more information about the UWL SEEDs program, please contact AJ Clauss at aclauss@uwlax.edu or Matt Evensen at mevensen@uwlax.edu