Message from Dr. Vincent
The DDCE has so much good news to share this month. We are honored to announce that The University of Texas at Austin has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHTS into Diversity magazine for the third year in a row. This award is impressive because it looks beyond just numbers of diverse students and faculty but also at university leadership, policies and structures and encompasses all forms of diversity and abilities.
We are also excited to announce that Dr. Miyong Kim, associate vice president for community health engagement, has received NIH funding to establish a new Center in Self Management of Chronic Illness. Kudos to Dr. Kim who is extremely dedicated to engaging underserved communities in health issues and advancing health care in those communities.
Please join us in spreading the word about all of the DDCE good news in this issue of DDCE@UT. Once again, What Starts Here, Changes the World.
The University of Texas at Austin Receives 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award
For the third consecutive year, The University of Texas at Austin has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
The award recognizes exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives and an institution's ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. It honors institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as integral to their campus culture, said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity.
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, said, "The University of Texas at Austin is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus that promotes a robust exchange of ideas, cross-racial and cross-cultural understanding, and the opportunity for all to participate. Our third HEED award reflects the strength of our commitment and success in enriching the campus culture through innovative initiatives that serve to educate the campus community and strengthen ethnic, cultural and intellectual diversity." Read more.
Clarett, Young and Williams: "From Player To Platform: The Professionalization of the Student Athlete"
University of Texas football greats Vince Young and Ricky Williams, along with former Ohio State University running back Maurice Clarett, spoke during a panel discussion "From Player to Platform: The Professionalization of the Student Athlete" on Monday Sept. 22 at the AT&T Conference Center. The three former athletes discussed the transition from college football to the NFL and the transition from the NFL back to "civilian" life.
The event was sponsored by the African American Male Research Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin and the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Listen to the audio from the panel on DDCE Central.
Brandelyn Flunder Assumes Role as MEC Director
Brandelyn Franks Flunder has seen many changes in the Multicultural Engagement Center over the past 10 years, but this year she will be leading change as the new director. After a five-month long search and selection process, the 11-person search committee decided the person to best lead the center was someone who had "grown up" in the MEC and had been promoted through the ranks.
Until Flunder's selection as director, Ixchel Rosal, executive director of Student Diversity Initiatives, had served as interim director of the MEC since Dr. Choquette Hamilton stepped down in 2012.
Flunder came to the MEC as a student at age 20, taking on the Black Student Leadership Institute for three consecutive years, involving students from Huston-Tillotson and St. Edwards as well as from UT Austin. After graduating, Flunder applied for a student development specialist position with the MEC; then became a program coordinator in 2008, advising Afrikan American Affairs, Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective and Students for Equity and Diversity. In 2013, she was promoted to assistant director. Read more.
Dr. Miyong Kim to Lead New Center in Self Management of Chronic Illness
The School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for a new P30 Core Center in Self Management of Chronic Illness, which will be led by Dr. Miyong Kim, a faculty member in the School of Nursing and DDCE associate vice president for community health engagement.
According to Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen, dean, the UT School of Nursing is only one of two Schools of Nursing in the US selected for this award. She said, "This five-year award for over $2.3 million will allow us to provide important infrastructure dedicated to facilitating trans-disciplinary collaborative research among investigators in nursing and other disciplines in order to improve self-management science." She said that Dr. Kim "led this truly collaborative effort that represents more than 40 faculty in 14 different academic units across the University." Individuals from 14 agencies in the greater Austin community are key collaborators on the center. Read more.
Be the Change Week
Summit for Social Change
On Saturday, September 20, The University of Texas, St. Edward’s University, and Hutson-Tillotson University students came together for the first annual Student Summit for Social Change. The summit brought together student leaders from each university for a powerful day of collaboration to effect community transformation. Mark Strama, along with other Austin leaders, joined the summit to discuss the importance of making social change a strategic priority amongst students and the Austin community. By the end of the day participants had the opportunity to network across campuses, create action plans for their communities, and hear from a few of Austin’s most innovative, cross-sectoral leaders who are spearheading social change.
On Monday September 22, students from across The University of Texas helped the Longhorn Service Council (LSC) kick off its annual "Be the Change" week in spectacular fashion. Within a matter of hours, students stopped at the Care Kit assembly line and organized over 200 care kits full of necessary self- care supplies, including: soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and snacks- all to be donated to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless.
On Wednesday, September 24, hundreds of UT students and over 50 non-profit organizations came together on Speedway Plaza for the UT volunteer fair. This interface enabled students to engage with non-profits from all over Austin within many different areas of interest. Because of the volunteer fair, UT students are taking action when it comes to service and holding true to UT’s core value of, "What starts here changes the world." Students from all across campus are now dedicated to help the organizations they discovered at the fair achieve their missions by lending their own unique skills and talents through service.
Advisory Council Member Olga Campos Benz to be Inducted into Austin Women’s Hall of Fame
DDCE Advisory Council member Olga Campos Benz will be honored by the City of Austin Commission for Women on October 22 when she is inducted into the 2014 Austin Women's Hall of Fame. A University of Texas at Austin alumna, Campos Benz is one of the most honored anchor/reporters ever to grace the Texas airwaves. A University of Texas graduate, Olga spent more than 30 years covering the biggest news stories in Houston, Corpus Christi and Austin.
Following her retirement as a broadcast journalist, Olga enjoyed a smooth transition into an arena she knows well thanks to her active role as a volunteer and community supporter. She is now the Community Relations Director for US Money Reserve. Campos has leveraged her high-profile status to tackle social issues such as health, education and safety of economically disadvantaged children, women and minorities by overseeing the philanthropic efforts of company founder Milton Verret. Read more.
Changing the Story Supports AAYHF Efforts to Serve More than 8,000 Low-Income Youth Annually
The African American Youth Harvest Foundation (AAYHF) will celebrate eight years of community impact, growth, and leadership for youth and families at its Second Annual Changing the Story Luncheon on Oct. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the AT&T Conference Center.
The Honorable Sam Biscoe, Travis County Commissioners Court, will be honored with the Legacy Changer award for his distinguished service to youth, families and the community. AAYHF will also honorAda Anderson, civic leader and philanthropist; Michael McDonald, Deputy City Manager; and Bill Powers, president of The University of Texas at Austin with Story Changer awards.
Special guest at Changing the Story will be University of Texas alum Vince Young, who led the UT Austin football team to the 2006 BCS National Championship. For more information about Changing the Story, or to buy tickets please visit www.harvestfoundationevents.org or call 512-428-4486.
Editor: Leslie Blair. Web: Jason Molin