Message from Dr. Vincent
Happy New Year! I am happy to report the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is off to a great start in 2015. January has been an amazing month for us so far.
We began the month with the Black Student-Athlete Conference, which showcased the DDCE’s African American Male Research Initiative and launched our Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color. Faculty, staff and students from universities across the country came to the UT Austin campus for the three-day conference. Highlights included a Q&A with Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, keynotes by former NFL coach and director of the new UT Austin Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation Daron Roberts, and University of California Berkeley professor emeritus and legend Dr. Harry Edwards. Most important were the discussions about how to ensure the academic success of our Black athletes—both men and women. The conference was an overwhelming success! Dr. Leonard Moore, associate vice president for Academic Diversity Initiatives and Student Engagement and director of AAMRI, and his team have begun planning for next year’s event.
On Wednesday, Jan. 7, the day the conference opened, the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classifications for 2015 were announced. The University of Texas at Austin received that designation—one of only six top research universities so classified this year. We are honored because the classification is the gold standard for an institution of higher education’s commitment to public service and community engagement. The designations are awarded every five years and only 366 institutions of higher education (out of more than 3,000 in the U.S.) have received the designation since 2006. The classification, along with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award which we received last fall, confirm the university’s commitment to and success in diversity and community engagement.
Finally, on Jan. 23, the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) celebrated its tenth anniversary with a “Sparkle Party” attended by 400 from the campus community. Once again, UT was on the cutting edge by establishing one of 200 campus centers in the nation that support LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. We are extremely proud of our GSC’s programming and thank Ixchel Rosal, director of Student Diversity Initiatives, and her staff for their valuable work in the UT Austin community.
UT Austin One of Six Top Research Universities to Earn 2015 Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification
The University of Texas at Austin has received a 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The classification is based on a framework provided by the Carnegie Foundation to document an institution’s activities around community engagement and public service.
The university is only one of six research universities designated by Carnegie as having very high research activity to receive a first-time Community Engagement Classification this year. Overall, it is one of 83 institutions to receive the classification this year for the first time, joining 157 other universities that have been re-classified.
“The classification recognizes the university’s deep commitment to public service and engagement to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity, and enhance curriculum, teaching and learning. It also recognizes that UT Austin is dedicated to addressing critical societal issues and contributing to the public good,” said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Read more.
Looking Back at the Black Student-Athlete Conference
Early this month, athletes, coaches, researchers and university leaders from across the nation convened at the Black Student-Athlete Conference, hosted by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and two of its units: The African American Male Research Initiative and the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color.
Ricky Williams, former Longhorns running back and Heisman Trophy winner, and Roosevelt Leaks, UT Austin’s first Black All-American, were among the many big-name speakers who shared insight into the challenges and opportunities facing Black student-athletes in colleges and schools across the country.
The conference, held Jan. 7-9 at UT Austin , was featured in several local media outlets, with coverage in the Austin American-Statesman, KXAN, Time Warner Cable News, and The Alcalde. Browse images, quotes and observations from the conference on Storify. For more in-depth coverage of all the #blackstudentathlete panels and keynotes, check out the live Twitter conversation and read the recaps on the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color website. View the full photoset on Flickr.
The Gender and Sexuality Center Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary with Sparkle Party
The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) is celebrating its 10th year with a series of events throughout the school year. Last Friday evening they hosted a Sparkle Party in the ballroom at the Student Activity Center featuring a cupcake bar, live band and DJ, and lots of information for students about all the programs and clubs offered by the center. The party was thrown by Liz Elsen, GSC Program and Outreach Coordinator.
The party is part of the 10-yeaar celebration campaign to raise $100,000. They have already raised $20,000 toward the $25,000 goal to establish an endowment. Go to GSCat10.org to find out more about upcoming events and to give to this campaign.
Thousands Gather at UT to Celebrate Legacy of MLK
Thousands of people gathered at the East Mall this year on MLK day to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 19. In the time-honored tradition of the community march and rally, the crowd enjoyed a short program of speakers and music, then made its way to the Huston-Tilotson University campus, every step dedicated to living out Dr. King’s dream.
The event included performances by UT Austin’s Innervisions Gospel Choir, the Manor High School Drum Corps, and a speech by 10-year-old Artist Tyson, winner of this year’s MLK oratory contest.
A few guest speakers included UT Austin President Bill Powers; State Rep. Dawnna Dukes; Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement Dr. Gregory J. Vincent; Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies Dr. Kevin Foster; and former Texas Rep. Wilhelmina Delco.
Support Neighborhood Longhorns Students: Sponsor an NFL Bowling Challenge Team
Whether you’re prone to gutter balls or strikes, we would love to have you join us for the fifth annual NFL Alumni Bowling Challenge that benefits the Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP).
Former National Football League players from the NFL Alumni Austin Chapter play alongside sponsors and NLP students for a two-game challenge; during a third game NFL players compete against each other. This year’s challenge will be held Feb. 21, from 12-4 p.m. at Highland Lanes on Burnet Road. The past two challenges have earned a total of $97,300 for the 6,000+ Title 1 students served by the Neighborhood Longhorns. Learn how you can sponsor a team and help more than 6,000 students, grades 2-8, by downloading the Bowling Challenge brochure: NLP 2015 bowling event FINAL
Editors: Leslie Blair, Jessica Sinn. Web: Jason Molin