September 03, 2013

Michael Haywood, students earn INROADS’ honors

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Michael Haywood, director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Business Office of Minority Affairs, is the 2013 Educator of the Year for the INROADS Midwest Region.

In addition, two SIU students also received INROADS recognition last month.

INROADS is an organization that places top underserved youths in business, industry and community organization internships and positions, helping them prepare for corporate and community leadership. 

A four-time Educator of the Year award recipient, Haywood received the honor at INROADS’ annual reception at the St. Louis Art Museum.

The award goes to a counselor, teacher, administrator or someone who holds a similar position and who has strong commitment to education and furthering INROADS’ mission of helping students.

Haywood said he is very “humbled” to receive the award and “ecstatic that people recognize the commitment and quality of my work.”  Haywood said he is even more proud of the hundreds of students he has helped through the years.

Haywood earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at the University, arriving at SIU in 1973 on a wrestling scholarship.  He began his professional career on campus in 1987 as an academic adviser in the College of Business where he found many of the brightest minority students were beginning, but not finishing their degrees, and those who did earn their diplomas were not always finding jobs in the field.

The college’s minority program launched within a few years and evolved into the current College of Business Office of Minority Affairs.  Haywood, the only director in the office’s history, said he strives to help students succeed in the classroom, in the community, and in their chosen careers.

Each year, SIU students earn INROADS’ internships in major metropolitan areas throughout the country, including St. Louis and Chicago.  To qualify, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, attend an information and candidate training preparation session, submit a resume and participate in mock interviews.  Participating companies typically pay students $18 to $32 per hour. The goal is for students to complete college, and the internship training students receive prepares them for mid-level management positions, Haywood said.

Olivia Grant, a junior majoring in accounting, and Jamielah Yancey, a senior majoring in management, both from St. Louis, each earned “The Trend Setter Award” from INROADS.  Both students earned 4.0 GPAs during the spring 2013 semester.

Haywood estimates that each year since 1989 he has helped 10 to 15 students earn INROADS placement in addition to assisting numerous other students.

“I do this to inform students about an excellent opportunity to jumpstart their careers.  I appreciate the opportunity to give back and to help people succeed,” Haywood said.