Message from Dr. Vincent
On Tuesday, Dec. 9, I will join President Gregory L. Fenves in Washington, D.C., for the second Supreme Court hearing on Fisher v. University of Texas. It is, of course, an honor to see and hear the proceedings. The university maintains its position that the holistic admissions policy supports a diverse student body, crucial to providing an educational environment that best prepares our students for the future. It has received 68 amicus briefs from corporations, nonprofit organizations, universities, legislators and professional organizations, confirming the importance of our position and the need for diversity.
While we wait for the Court’s decision, which may take months, work and events in the DDCE continue at record pace. We recently published the first issue of our new magazine, Access and Excellence, which showcases how the DDCE supports the education pipeline from Pre-K to Ph.D. Please read more about the magazine in this newsletter and look for it on our home page www.utexas.edu/diversity/. We are also moving ahead as one of the primary partners in the Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to advance the academic and life progress for young men of color in our community and look forward to another SXSWedu event March 8—just one of the many events we’re hosting this spring.
Happy Holidays! We look forward to your joining us in the new year as we continue to pursue excellence and diversity across campus and in the community.
Community Leadership Awards at the MACC Honor AISD, HWNT, Colmenero and Loredo
The University of Texas at Austin honored two community organizations and two UT alumni with Community Leadership Awards at the Emma Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center November 3. More than 300 celebrated the honorees at the two-hour event, which was sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement.
Community Partnership Awards
Austin Independent School District – AISD serves 85,000 students across 129 school communities. This year the district achieved its highest graduation rate–86.3%, a 12 percentage point increase since 2008. U.S. News & World Report ranks five AISD high schools as the best in the nation and Newsweek ranked LASA, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, as the best high school in Texas. On hand to accept the AISD award were Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz and AISD Board President Gina Hinijosa.
AISD Board President Gina Hinijosa and Superintendent Paul Cruz accept the Community Partnership Award from UT President Greg Fenves and Vice President Gregory J. Vincent.
Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas – The HWNT has advanced the educational, cultural, and economic well-being of Hispanic women for nearly three decades. Since its launch, the network has sponsored the Women’s Rights to Vote Celebration, Hispanic Summit and Emerging Leaders Conference, and the annual HWNT State Conference. Accepting the award for HWNT were Executive Director Lupe Morin, State Board Chair Dora Trinidad-Campos, and Austin Chapter Board Chair, Elizabeth Medina.
HWNT State Chair Dora Trinidad-Campos, Executive Director Lupe Morin, and Austin Chapter Chair Elizabeth Medina were on hand to accept the Community Partnership Award for HWNT.
Community Leadership Circle Award – Rudy Colmenero
Rudy Colmenero, founding partner of Mitchell & Colmenero, LLP and a CPA, was honored for his work in the community for such organizations as Con Mi Madre, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, KLRU and St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. A “double” UT Austin graduate, Rudy is a member of the UT Austin Planned Giving Advisory Board, too.
Community Leadership Circle honoree Rudy Colmenero (far left) with former City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and current Mayor Steve Adler.
Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Legacy Award – Dr. Judith G. Loredo
Long-time educator Dr. Judith G. Loredo received the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Legacy Award for her work in education. Dr. Loredo overcame numerous childhood learning disabilities to earn a master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Our Lady of the Lake University and a doctorate in Educational Administration from UT Austin. She was superintendent at San Antonio’s Southside ISD, served as Dean of Academic Support at Huston-Tillotson University for more than 20 years and as chair of the Department of Teacher Education. Starting in 2008, she led the Division of P-16 Initiatives as Assistant Commissioner at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She retired briefly, but has since returned to higher education and is working at the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University.
CADE Award Presented to Dr. Vincent
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, was honored Sunday, Nov. 15, with the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence Distinguished Service Award at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ annual meeting.
Vincent was selected based on his many years of work in diversity, equity and social justice. He is the longest serving senior diversity officer in higher education and has created a comprehensive model for community engagement and diversity at The University of Texas at Austin.
We are happy to announce that the DDCE’s first magazine, Access & Excellence, is now available in print and online!
Published biannually by the DDCE’s communications team, this first issue focuses on our education pipeline initiatives, spotlighting several programs throughout the university including the Law School’s Youth Court and the Provost Office’s student success initiatives. The magazine also highlights alumni success stories and research by our thematic faculty hires.
Please feel free to stop by the FAC to pick up a copy. You can also read the stories online: http://ddce.utexas.edu/magazine/
We are always looking for good story ideas, so please feel free to send news tips our way! Contact Jessica Sinn at: email@example.com
Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Discuss Task Force Objectives
On Monday, November 30, The Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (GAA MBK) Executive Committee met to finalize task force committee chairs and to discuss task force objectives and priorities.
The task force committees are as follows:
The Executive Committee will meet again in late January to finalize objectives for the Initiative and membership for each task force.
The date for this year’s SXSWedu community dialogue forum has also been finalized. This year’s event will take place on March 8. More information will be made available in the months leading up to the event.
Adapted Sports Night
Paralympian gold medalist Jen Lee and other talented athletes including wheelchair rugby standout Jeff Butler, basketball player Mike Haynes, 2015 paralympics track competitor Kristen Messer and top paratriathelete Patricia Walsh, joined UT Austin students at Adapted Sports Night In celebration of Disability Awareness Month. The event was hosted by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), Recreational Sports and Student Government at Gregory Gymnasium in October 20.
Emily Shryock, assistant director of SSD, said Adapted Sports Nights not only highlights the many accomplished athletes who live in Austin but helps bring awareness to the variety of adapted sports available for people with disabilities. “It also exposes students with disabilities to the many options available for them to participate in sport and fitness activities,” she said.
NAMI, TSPP Honor Hogg Foundation’s Dr. Octavio Martinez
Congratulations to Dr. Octavio N. Martinez Jr., DDCE associate vice president and executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, who recently received two prestigious awards. In late October, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Texas named Martinez the 2015 Mental Health Professional of the Year.
The NAMI award was given in recognition of Martinez’s achievements as a physician, educator and philanthropic leader. On November 21, the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians (TSPP) honored him with the Psychiatric Excellence Award during the organization’s 59th Annual Meeting and Scientific Program. Martinez received the Excellence Award for his accomplishments and contributions to quality psychiatric care in Texas.
Martinez became executive director of the Hogg Foundation in 2008. His service on numerous boards and advisory bodies has established him as a thought leader on broader issues of public health, mental health and philanthropy. Under Martinez’s leadership, the foundation has established itself as being on the forefront of issues such as integrated health care, eliminating health disparities, public policy and strengthening recovery-oriented services. He was named associate vice president for the DDCE in 2011.
Editors: Leslie Blair, Jessica Sinn. Web: Jason Molin