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Message from Dr. Vincent

Dr. Gregory VincentThe University of Texas at Austin is known for its excellent faculty and staff, and DDCE is proof positive of that. As you will read in this issue of DDCE@UT, during this past month Associate Vice President Dr. Leonard Moore, Assistant Vice President Patrick Patterson, and DDCE Faculty Fellow Dr. Victor Saenz have been honored for their outstanding work.

And it is not just our faculty and staff who are outstanding. Students affiliated with the DDCE are among the best, brightest and most dedicated on campus. Students who are engaged in The Project, the university’s largest day of service are examples, as are our students who have been designated as City Hall Fellows. Both of those programs are part of our Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement, which not only helps the university meet its mission of service, but shapes the future leaders of Texas.

Join us in congratulating all of these outstanding members of the UT Austin community.

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


Senior Di Huynh: A Passion for The Project

Di Huynh A passion for volunteering led Di Huynh to sign up to be a Team Leader for The Project when she was a freshman. She didn’t realize what a big deal The Project was until the day of UT’s largest community service event. “It is a true Texas-size event,” she said.

This year as a senior and a fourth-year Project veteran, Di is the vice-chair for the Volunteer and Management Committee, helping to recruit team leaders and volunteers and conducting training workshops for the team leads. “It is exciting and scary at the same time,” Di explained. “Chaos always happens.”

And even though being on the planning team for the event means long days especially on the day of The Project, Di remains passionate about the event and volunteering as a way of life, especially for students.

“We’re the face of UT for the community,” she said. “Dedicating an entire day to working in the community sends a good message about our campus to the community.” And, according to Di, that day spent in the community is a nice break from school. “It helps put things into perspective. As students, we usually only see other students every day and don’t realize what people face out in the ‘real world.’” Read more.

AISD to Honor Patrick Patterson, NLP

Patrick Patterson Patrick Patterson, assistant vice president for DDCE’s Longhorn Center for School Partnerships, will receive the 2014 Hobart L. Gaines Award from the Austin Independent School District (AISD) on Feb. 23. The Gaines Award is presented to an individual who has exemplified strong character, excellent leadership and outstanding service while exhibiting respect for the merits of all people in the school district and greater Austin community.

Also on that day, AISD will award the Neighborhood Longhorns Program the 2014 Austin Independent School District Community Service Award. The service awards are presented to commuity organizations that give time, talent and resources to impact the learning environment of Austin’s youth. The Neighborhood Longhorns Program serves 6,000 Austin Title 1 students and  is part of Patterson’s portfolio along with the five UT Outreach Centers and the ChemBridge, Math Masters and SPURS programs. NLP staff members include Assistant Director Celina Ruiz-Snowden, Amir Emamian and Jeff Jones.

AISD will present both awards during the 31st Annual AISD African American Heritage Celebration at the Palmer Events Center.

Victor Sáenz at the White House Roundtable on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Dr. Victor Saenz at the White HouseDr. Victor Sáenz, DDCE faculty fellow, associate professor of educational administration and executive director of Project MALES, met with 20 other scholars and education professionals at the White House on Jan. 10 for a roundtable discussion on Hispanic males. Joining Sáenz was Project MALES co-founder, Dr. Luis Ponjuan, associate professor in higher education administration at Texas A&M University.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) convened this meeting to shed light on the increasingly important issues around Hispanic male educational attainment.  Marco Davis, WHIEEH deputy director and Alejandra Ceja, WHIEEH executive director,  discussed the importance of Hispanic males for the White House and the Obama Administration. They plan to continue this dialogue in the coming months with communities across the country as well as to convene a summit in March.

Sáenz explained, “The bottom line–while the White House Initiative has ‘convening’ power and great influence in setting the agenda on this issue, and they will continue to serve in this role in the months and years to come.”

Sáenz said, “My primary contribution to the dialogue was to focus attention on how we need to ‘problematize’ this issue in ways that are constructive and purposeful, and I drew from the many years of research I’ve been conducting on Hispanic males. I urged the group to consider that there is still a dearth of research on this topic, all at a time when the Hispanic community continues to drive demographic growth in this country. Luis Ponjuan and I also had an opportunity to discuss our work related to the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, which was well-received.” Sáenz and Ponjuan launched the Education Consortium in June. It includes 12 colleges and universities and two school districts.

Dr. Leonard Moore Named Genesis Scholar

Dr. Leonard Moore DDCE Associate Vice President and Professor of History Dr. Leonard Moore, has been named a 2014 Genesis Scholar by HBCU Digest. The journal honors scholars who are graduates of an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and who are doing innovative, cutting edge work at a majority white institution. Moore earned his bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University, his master’s degree from Cleveland State University and his doctorate from The Ohio State University.

Noting his work with student-athletes and the innovative Study Abroad programs he leads, HBCU Digestreporter Elizabeth Montgomery wrote, “Today Moore is the epitome of an academic innovator, role model, and leader to students and their communities around the world. Moore’s thoughts and comments have been used as commentary for an abundance of news outlets, including ESPN, CNN, NPR, 60 MinutesUSA Today, and the New York Times.”

Read the full article in HBCU Digest beginning on page 27. Moore’s profile is on page 34.

MLK Day Photos

MLK Day Photos

Forestar is Making a Difference through NLP

Forestar is a real estate company that is committed to responsibly integrating economic, social and environmental resources. It has also been committed to the Neighborhood Longhorns Program and the nearly 6,000 Title 1 students the program serves since 2008.Forestar has participated in the annual NFL Alumni Bowling Challenge that benefits NLP, and in December gave the program $15,000.

“Forestar is proud to be a long term company resident of the Austin community,” said Jim DeCosmo , President and Chief Executive Officer (presenting check in picture above). “We believe that being a part of the Neighborhood Longhorn Program is a way to make a meaningful difference in the education of our youth and the pathway to a brighter future.”

Robiaun Charles, DDCE associate vice president for development, explained the importance of funding for NLP. “Gifts like those from Forestar make it possible for us to award scholarships each year to deserving NLP students. Without such donations the program would not be able to reach nearly as many students as it does.“

Bevo Bags at HEB Cool Bevo Recyclable HEB Bags Support Neighborhood Longhorns

In support of the Neighborhood Longhorns Program, H-E-B is introducing a BEVO XIV reusable shopping bag statewide. H-E-B hosted a kick-off event to celebrate the launch of the bags on Saturday, December 14th at the H-E-B located at 1000 East 41st Street in Austin.  A portion of the sales proceeds, 17 percent, will directly benefit the Neighborhood Longhorns Program.

The Neighborhood Longhorns Program is a DDCE educational program that helps 6,000 Title 1 students in the Austin Independent School District improve their academic achievement. University of Texas fans statewide will be able to enjoy these durable bags, which feature BEVO XIV, while helping a worthy cause.  The bags are available at H-E-B locations statewide. Hook ‘em on education!

Editor: Leslie Blair. Web: Jason Molin

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