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DECEMBER 2014


Dr. Gregory VincentMessage from Dr. Vincent

We have just completed a season of celebration here in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement that has focused on the greater Austin community.  Just before Thanksgiving we held the Community Leadership Awards at the Emma Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, followed by the Community Leadership Awards at the Carver Museum and Cultural Center Dec. 12. On Tuesday, we joined other units at the University of Texas at Austin sponsoring UT night at the 50th anniversary of the Trail of Lights, a beloved Austin tradition.

I’m delighted to report that we have not only been celebrating our community and community members but we have also celebrated a noteworthy accomplishment: The University of Texas has been named to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll, which recognizes the university’s excellence in overall community service and in education-focused outreach efforts. The DDCE plays a major role in meeting the university’s mission of service, so we are honored to receive this distinguished recognition.

We are looking forward to an exciting new year as we have many events and initiatives planned such as the Black Student-Athlete Conference Jan. 7-9, which is part of the 29th annual Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights.

Best wishes for the holidays and the new year from all of us in the DDCE.


Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community College Leadership
Professor of Law

      NEWS

UT Night at the Trail of Lights

UT Night at the Trail of Lights
Dr. Sharon Justice, DDCE Advisory Council member and former dean of students, and Dr. Sherri Sanders, associate vice president for strategic initiatives, start their holidays at the Trail of Lights.

UT Night at the Trail of Lights
Trail of Lights Foundation Director Mario Espinoza, Dean Clay Johnston, Diversity and Community Engagement Officer Vince Young, Provost Greg Fenves, Dean of Students Soncia Reagans-Lilly, Vice President Gage Paine, former baseball player Huston Street, and Vice President Gregory Vincent kick off UT Night at the Trail of Lights.

UT Night at the Trail of Lights
One hundred students from our Neighborhood Longhorns Program led the way on the Trail of Lights.


Community Leadership Awards at the Carver

Community Leadership Awards at the Carver
Left: Judge Brenda Kennedy, accepts the Community Partnership Award on behalf of the Austin Chapter of the Links, Inc. from Dr. Gregory J. Vincent and President Bill Powers. RIght: Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce president Natalie Madeira-Cofield and President Bill Powers

Community Leadership Awards at the Carver
Teddie McDaniel III, CEO of the Austin Area Urban League, and Dr. Larry Earvin, president of Huston-Tillotson University, celebrate their awards with fellow members of the Gamma Gamma Boulé, including Dr. Gregory J. Vincent (far right) and Rev. Freddie Dixon (far left), who is a member of the DDCE team.


Community Leadership Awards at the Mexican American Cultural Center

Community Leadership Awards at the Mexican American Cultural Center
Left: Monica Peraza (third from left) president and founder of the Hispanic Alliance, celebrates with friends at the MACC. Right: Dr. Gregory Vincent and Associate Vice President Erica Sáenz get the party started.

Community Leadership Awards at the Mexican American Cultural Center
Left: Vanessa Sarría, executive director of the Community Advancement Network (CAN), accepts the Community Partnership Award for CAN. Right: Rosie Mendoza, Community Leadership Circle Award honoree; Vincent Torres, Special Recognition honoree; Jesus Garza, Joe R. and Teresa Long Legacy Award honoree, and Monica Peraza, Community Partnership Award for Hispanic Alliance


UIL to Launch New Academic Pilot Contests in 2015-16

UIL logoLast October, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Legislative Council approved several new pilots in both academics and music for Texas schools. The following pilot contests will be launched in the 2015-16 school year.

  • A robotics event, involving mechanical and software engineering, computer programming and mathematics
  • A computer science contest
  • A 15-minute copy editing contest for boosting skills in grammar, spelling, punctuation and Associated Press style
  • A state Mariachi contest

The STEM-related pilot contests, proposed by UIL’s academic staff, were unanimously approved by the council.

“Robotics incorporates numerous STEM components, including mechanical and software engineering, computer programming and mathematics,” Academic Director Dr. David Stevens said. “Participation in robotics fosters creativity and innovation, while teaching students to work collaboratively, and to think critically and analytically.”

The pilot copy editing contest will also provide valuable skills for students—whether they choose to study reporting or not. It will be offered only at the district level next year. Read more.


UT Austin Named to 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

CNCS logoThe University of Texas at Austin has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The honor is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The honor recognizes the university’s excellence in general community service and education-focused outreach initiatives. The six campus-wide programs that helped UT Austin earn its spot on the honor roll are the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement’s The ProjectUT OutreachAcademic Service-LearningUT Elementary SchoolDDCE Faculty Fellows Program, and the School of Law’s Pro Bono Clinics.

The national award further affirms the university’s commitment to strengthening community-university partnerships and increasing college pathways for underserved students in Texas and beyond.


The Kleins Teach "Fundraising in Higher Education"

Michael and Jeanne Klein, UT Elementary School Visualize Graduation Society members and UT Elementary School Development Council, recently spoke to a class of graduate students in Dr. Robiaun Charles’ course “Fundraising in Higher Education” about their experience as philanthropists.

If you would like to make a year-end gift, you can give online, or find out more about giving options.

The Kleins with students


Black Student-Athlete Conference Jan. 7

Black Student Athlete Confernce

The African American Male Research Initiative (AAMRI) and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin are hosting The Black Student- Athlete Conference: Challenges and Opportunities, a three-day summit fromJanuary 7-9, 2015, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas. The conference is part of the 29th annual Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights.

Conference sponsors include The Texas Program on Sports and Media of UT’s Moody College of Communications, UT Austin’s Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color, the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male of Ohio State University, and Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB). The conference is a three-day gathering to openly examine and candidly discuss the numerous and complex issues surrounding the black student-athlete. Graduate students, former student-athletes, scholars, athletic directors, and other professionals in the field from around the country will share their knowledge, scholarship, and expertise on issues that advance this critical discussion and improve the experiences of the black student-athlete.

The opening session for the sponsor on Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. will be free and open to the public. It includes a keynote by Daron Roberts, director of the newly established Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation and a panel discussion, As We Saw It: The Integration of the Texas Longhorns. All-American running back Roosevelt Leaks, who played for the Longhorns 1971-74 and Jodie Conradt, former Texas women’s basketball coach, will participate in that panel. To register for the opening session please visit http://bit.ly/16tUNrQ.

To register for the full conference, please find more information at the Black Student-Athlete Conference web site.


Sweatt Symposium Banner


Editor: Leslie Blair. Web: Jason Molin

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