WPI Consolidates Minority Student Offices

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - WPI's Multicultural Affairs and Minority Student Affairs offices have been consolidated into the Minority Affairs Office. Blanche Pringle, former director of minority student affairs, has assumed responsibility for the MAO. She coordinates the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students of color, including the Thurgood Marshall/Cesar Chavez/Russell Means Scholarship Program, the Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Program (EMSEP), which she established in 1993, and the WPI Frontiers and Strive summer programs.

Pringle earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at Bowling Green State University, completed Sears Roebuck's Executive Management Training Program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended one year of law school at Valparaiso State University. She held several positions in higher education, including director of the Muriel S. Snowden Memorial Scholars Program: Project REACH and director of education at the Detroit Urban League, where she established the College Club, a precollege program for high school students, and Digital Corporation's COMPUTERWise Van project, a mobile computer learning center. She is an educational consultant who specializes in youth leadership, recruitment and retention programs for students of color.

Since her appointment as director of minority student affairs at WPI in 1993, Pringle has been instrumental in increasing the numbers of underrepresented students of color at WPI. In 1995, the National Association of Academic Advisors (NACADA) selected EMSEP as one of nine outstanding academic advising programs in the nation. The program recently received a $104,000 grant from the General Electric Fund to expand services to include supplemental video instruction and academic excellence workshops.

"Through the consolidation of these offices, WPI will be able to expand current services and to dramatically change the efficiency and the quality of our services and programs for students, says Bernard H. Brown, vice president for student affairs.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an independent technological university founded in 1865.