Sean C. Bird
Associate Dean of University Libraries
Washburn University: Mabee Library
“That dude changed my life. He is the reason I graduated.”
Over the past decade, Sean Bird has been a tireless advocate for Washburn University’s students, many of whom are low-income, first-generation, and people of color.
His efforts include the library’s Center for Student Success, a one-stop hub for tutoring, advising, and coaching for those in need; the Ichabod Success Institute, a bridge program that has substantially boosted graduation rates for underrepresented learners; and the Open Educational Resource initiative, which saves students thousands of dollars by promoting open access course materials.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean has continued to advocate for low-income students, creating a program to distribute laptops amid the emergency shift to online learning. Nominators report that every Washburn student in need of a laptop this spring was able to acquire one thanks to Sean’s initiative.
“Sean has been a compassionate advocate for underrepresented students for more than a decade,” his nominators wrote. “His tireless efforts to increase educational attainment among first-generation, low-income students at Washburn have impacted thousands of marginalized students who now enjoy the promises of a college degree.”