Kelly Alvarado-Young is being recognized with the Adult and Higher Education Emerging Leader Alumni Award from Oregon State University. She joined WSU as the director of New Student Programs in September 2020 and is being honored for her efforts in the areas of equity and inclusion in higher education.

Alvarado-Young will be honored during OSU’s Carpenter Lecture, held virtually on Feb. 18. She was nominated by Gloria Crisp, professor and chair of the Adult and Higher Education program at OSU, from which Alvarado-Young earned her Ph.D. in 2020.

“She was my program director and dissertation chair, and we’ve published multiple times together,” Alvarado-Young said of Crisp. “She’s a great mentor to me, and she’s one of the foremost researchers on mentoring in higher education.”

Alvarado-Young is now busy working with partners across WSU to prepare for virtual Alive orientation sessions over the summer, and for a hybrid Week of Welcome next fall.

True to her recognition, she is making concerted efforts to support underserved populations. Alvarado-Young is working alongside the planning committee, seeking out faculty and staff to assist in Spanish translation for colleagues during La Bienvenida — an orientation session for Spanish-speaking students and parents, and adding academic advising to La Bienvenida to align it with the other Alive session. She’s also working with partners in CAMP, Undocumented Student Initiatives, and Native American programs to coordinate welcome activities for students.

Alvarado-Young is working daily toward creating inclusive and equitable spaces for students in higher ed, goals that have defined her career in higher ed and led to the recognition from Oregon State.

“It is a humbling honor,” Alvarado-Young said of the award. “I am proud to work in higher ed and to help students, especially those of underrepresented identities like me, to develop a sense of belonging and belief that they can pursue their goals and succeed.”