Announcing the UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color Honorees

The fifteenth cohort of Outstanding Women of Color Award recipients will be honored at a reception on Thursday, March 2, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Varsity Hall at Union South, 1308 W Dayton Street. The event to celebrate this year’s honorees is open to the campus and community. You are invited to register here.

Each year, we recognize honorees whose advocacy, activism, and/or scholarship has positively transformed their organizations and/or community, and whose efforts advance equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging for people of color.

“These outstanding women are simply a representation of the countless women who have made excellence the standard within the academy and the community, while also humbly pouring into so many,” said Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer LaVar J. Charleston. “Collectively, we want to make certain they know how valued they are by their villages, how respected and appreciated they are by their colleagues, and how loved they are by their family and friends.”

Please plan to join us in honoring our honorees at a campus-wide reception hosted by the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement on Thursday, March 2, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Varsity Hall at Union South, 1308 W Dayton Street. Register to join us today.


The ceremony also will be livestreamed at

Outstanding Women of Color Honorees are nominated and selected for their:

  • Involvement in social justice, activism and advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged, marginalized populations;
  • Community service;
  • Scholarly research, writing, speaking and/or teaching on race, ethnicity, and indigeneity in U.S. society, and;
  • Community building on- or off-campus, to create an inclusive and respectful environment for all.

This year’s Outstanding Women of Color honorees are:

Ruthanne Chun, BS, DACVIM (Oncology), DVM

Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of UW Veterinary Care and a Clinical Professor of Oncology in the School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Ruthanne Chun is a 1991 graduate of the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a one-year internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Cornell University and a three-year residency in Comparative Oncology at Purdue University. Chun is currently section head of Clinical Oncology, a Clinical Professor of Oncology at the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Chief of Services of Large Animal Services within the Morrie Waud Large Animal Hospital. She served as the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Director of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for 11 years, from 2010 until 2021.

Chun was instrumental in the creation of the Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services (WisCARES) program in 2013 and she continues to lead the team that runs and manages that program. WisCARES is an interprofessional program administered by the school of veterinary medicine in partnership with the schools of pharmacy and social work. It is also a veterinary medical clinic that serves families experiencing homelessness as well as those living at or below the poverty level in Dane County. This educational program provides veterinary medical care along with free animal foster and boarding so people can access their own in-patient medical care, safe shelter, or other services when they cannot have their animal family members with them. In addition to those services, the social worker at WisCARES also provides housing advocacy and other direct and social services to WisCARES clients.

In 2021, Chun received the LaMarr Billups Community-University Engagement Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to campus community partnerships. Also in 2021, she was admitted as a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Veterinary Medicine. She is a practicing veterinary medical oncologist, an educator with a passion for teaching communication skills and cultural humility, and she currently serves as the President of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.

Patty Cisneros Prevo, BA, MA

Program Manager for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health

As a life-long learner and advocate, Patty Cisneros Prevo has always centered her work around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Cisneros Prevo received her BS from Valparaiso University in Education, and as a graduate student-athlete, received an MEd from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana.

Cisneros Prevo was the Assistant Director of Inclusion & Engagement with Wisconsin Athletics, where she assisted in the development and execution of their DEI Strategic Plan. In her role as the Student Life Manager of Diversity & Inclusion for the Wisconsin School of Business, Cisneros Prevo spearheaded all DEI initiatives in the Undergraduate Program. Now in her new role as UW Health’s Program Manager of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion she will lead DEI efforts with the Department of Medicine and the Carbone Cancer Center.

Cisneros Prevo is currently contracted with Lee & Low Books and will have her first picture book published in Spring 2023. Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes focuses on 15 individuals with physical disabilities and their major life and athletic accomplishments. And in January 2021, Cisneros Prevo was appointed to the Congressional Commission on the State of the U.S. Olympics & Paralympics.

Additionally, Cisneros Prevo has won four National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships, and became the first female head coach of a collegiate wheelchair basketball team with the University of Illinois, winning the national championship that same year. Three-time Paralympian Cisneros Prevo was a member of the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team for 10 years. As captain of the 2008 Paralympic team, she led Team USA to its second consecutive gold medal after first winning gold in 2004.

Maichou Lor, RN, PhD

Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Maichou Lor is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing. She received her Bachelors, Masters, and PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She was the first Hmong registered nurse to receive a PhD in the United States.

Lor did a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. Her research is focused on providing both linguistic and cultural access to care for populations with limited English proficiency, with a focus on the Hmong population. She has led multiple interdisciplinary research teams in the areas of patient-provider communication (e.g., pain communication), hearing screening, mental health, and medical interpreting.

Among the many milestones Lor and her teams have accomplished, one most notable milestone is the development of the first Hmong word recognition test for the Hmong community. This test is one of the basic components of hearing evaluations. With a Hmong word recognition test, it will allow for Hmong-speaking patients to get an accurate diagnosis of the type of hearing loss they may have and receive appropriate hearing care and treatments.

Lor has published more than 40 articles and presented 60 scholarly research presentations at local, regional, national, and international conferences on issues related to poor access to care and health disparities due to culture and language differences from the mainstream as well as solutions to improving engagement of underrepresented communities in health research. She has been invited to speak locally and nationally on topics related to recruitment and retention of minority nursing students and Hmong health for student organizations, professional organizations, and the Hmong community.

Lor enjoys teaching about social justice and health equity. One of her favorite classes to teach is Nursing 105: Culturally Congruent Health Care Practice, a course that helps students to critically reflect on their socially constructed identities and the impact these identities have on patient care and health care systems.

Ashley J. Scott, MD/PhD student

Ph.D. student in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the UW–Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Ashley Scott is an MD/PhD candidate at UW–Madison who aspires to be a physician scientist in academic medicine who contributes to lessening the disease burden of cardiovascular diseases through scientific research. As an undergraduate researcher, Ashley worked at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. After graduating from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Scott completed a post-baccalaureate research education (PREP) program at Mayo Clinic. In her current dissertation work, Scott strives to understand the key mechanisms of aortic valve disease progression, including the sexual dimorphic nature of this disease, wherein males have more calcification and females have more fibrosis. Her dissertation work has resulted in two publications thus far.

In addition to these accomplishments in her science, Scott has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to social justice and equity. Implicit bias training is a key tenet of anti-bias education. Scott has developed two novel implicit bias curricula for her colleagues. Also, in her role as a physician scientist trainee, Scott strives to create inclusive spaces for students of color. To encourage synergy in diversity, equity, and inclusion programming, Ashley founded a national summit for Diversity and Equity in MSTP training.

Additionally, Scott has served in numerous leadership positions for groups working to promote diversity and inclusion at UW–Madison. In recognition of her DEI efforts Ashley has received several awards including: the Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program’s inaugural Diversity and Equity Impact Award (2022), UW– Madison’s Bucky Award for Graduate Student Commitment to Engagement and Activism (2022) , and UW–MSTP’s Diversity and Equity Champion Award (2022).

Spring Sherrod, BA, MSE

Department Manager in the English Department in the College of Letters & Science

Spring Sherrod has led the UW–Madison Department of English as Department Manager since 2004. Spring holds a Master of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin. In her position, she brings leadership to a large and academically diverse department with a staff of 40+ faculty, 40+ academic staff, 120+ graduate student employees, about 10 administrative staff, and annual expenditures of more than $10 million. Spring advises the chair and the department in matters of administrative management, budgeting and financial management, human resources, and information technology management. She also supervises a staff of seven.

In 2018, Sherrod was one of the university members who visibly and determinedly pushed for renaming two Union facilities that bore the name of men who belonged to a UW–Madison campus group operating under the name Ku Klux Klan. Sherrod has also pushed the department to make concrete investments to support undergraduate and graduate students of color. She ensured that students entering the English PhD via a bridge from the African American Studies MA would receive the same level of funding as their peers earning an MA in English.

Terri L. Young, MBA, FARVO, MD

Peter A. Duehr Professor of Ophthalmology and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the School of Medicine and Public Health, with secondary appointments in the departments of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

Dr. Young is the Peter A. Duehr Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW). She has secondary appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics at UW, and adjunct appointments at the Duke University Department of Ophthalmology and the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

Young is a pediatric and adult strabismus ophthalmologist, and clinician-scientist. Her clinical and research expertise is in ophthalmic genetics and genomics — especially in the areas of refractive error, ocular development, and childhood glaucoma. She has directed an active research laboratory in gene hunting of ophthalmic diseases for nearly 25 years.

Young currently serves on the Board of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Disabled. She is the first sighted person ever in their history to be invited to become a board member. Her work with the Council began when she established the Department’s Patient Centered Care Committee chaired by Melanie Schmitt, MD. This committee collaboratively works with the Council’s leadership to better serve the visually impaired community. It was through this work that Young established the department’s Low Vision and Rehabilitation Program. This program includes a comprehensive team of professionals dedicated to enhancing remaining vision after a medical or traumatic incident as well as accepting and adapting to one’s vision loss.

Young was recently inducted as a Sister into the Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. The Links is one of the oldest and largest predominantly African American not-for-profit service organizations dedicated to supporting education, scholarship, health, and economics of the African American Community. Young was recently elected to the 2022 Board of Trustees for ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) has served as the chair of the Women in Eye and Vision Research (WEAVR) committee and has been a mentor to many from across the world.

About the Outstanding Women of Color Award

In 2007, UW-Madison launched this annual recognition for women of color who have demonstrated outstanding service in higher education and beyond. More than 80 faculty, staff, students and community members have been honored since the establishment of this award.

For a full list of past honorees, please go to: Outstanding Women of Color Honorees.