Expanding knowledge and inspiring discovery are at the heart of The University of Texas at Austin, which leads the nation in producing intrepid researchers and innovative scholars whose impact resonates through Texas and beyond. DDCE advances the university’s excellence in research by collecting and disseminating vast knowledge about the value of academic and campus diversity and community engagement.
DDCE also supports engaged scholarship with community roots, encourages research in campus and community learning and working environments, and implements best practices toward achieving academic and campus diversity. A number of DDCE initiatives engage students in undergraduate research and encourage their advancement to graduate school and further research activities.
By sharing its knowledge—whether by publishing in journals and books, engaging in policy discussions, or presenting findings to local groups or audiences far and wide—DDCE provides solutions to critical issues in higher education and exerts a positive impact on students, faculty, staff, policymakers and communities everywhere.
Campus Diversity and Strategic Initiatives is leading the research goal and its corresponding initiatives. A portfolio within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, CDSI supports and enhances an equitable campus culture at The University of Texas at Austin by engaging in divisional strategic planning, campus diversity planning, campus climate incident response, diversity education, research and special projects.
The DDCE Research Committee supports division-wide research efforts in the creation of knowledge and best practices for diversity and community engagement through innovative scholarship, teaching, policy development, programs and services.
Unsettled by Eric Tang
After surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide, followed by years of confinement to international refugee camps, as many as 10,000 Southeast Asian refugees arrived in the Bronx during the 1980s and ‘90s.Unsettled chronicles the unfinished odyssey of Bronx Cambodians, closely following one woman and her family for several years as they survive yet resist their literal insertion into concentrated Bronx poverty.
Eric Tang tells the harrowing and inspiring stories of these refugees to make sense of how and why the displaced migrants have been resettled in the “hyperghetto.” He argues that refuge is never found, that rescue discourses mask a more profound urban reality characterized by racialized geographic enclosure, economic displacement and unrelenting poverty, and the criminalization of daily life.
Unsettled views the hyperghetto as a site of extreme isolation, punishment, and confinement. The refugees remain captives in late-capitalist urban America. Tang ultimately asks: What does it mean for these Cambodians to resettle into this distinct time and space of slavery’s afterlife? Read more at Amazon.
Ensuring the Success of Latino Males in Higher Education, edited by Victor Saenz, Luis Ponjuan and Julie Lopez Figueroa
Latino males are effectively vanishing from the American higher education pipeline. Even as the number of Latinas/os attending college has actually increased steadily over the last few decades, the proportional representation of Latino males continues to slide relative to their Latina female counterparts.
The question of why Latino males are losing ground in accessing higher education―relative to their peers―is an important and complex one, and it lies at the heart of this book. There are several broad themes highlighted, catalogued along with the four dimensions of policy, theory, research, and practice. The contributors to this book present new research on factors that inhibit or promote Latino success in both four-year institutions and community colleges in order to inform both policy and practice. They explore the social-cultural factors, peer dynamics, and labor force demands that may be perpetuating the growing gender gap, and consider what lessons can be learned from research on the success of Latinas. This book also closely examines key practices that enable first generation Latino male undergraduates to succeed which may seem counterintuitive to institutional expectations and preconceived notions of student behavior. Read more at Amazon.
The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color: Cross-Sector Collaboration as a Model for Improving Educational Outcomes by Victor Saenz, Luis Ponjuan
The educational challenges for male students of color are materially different in the K–12 sector as compared to postsecondary education, but there is no denying the good sense in considering cross-sector perspectives in diagnosing the structural challenges that affect males of color across the educational pipeline. The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color—headquartered in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin–has worked diligently to bridge these institutional differences through identifying common success metrics, sharing support strategies, and identifying myriad points of alignment with K-12, community college, and four-year institution partners across the state of Texas.
This Viewpoints Brief, released today by the American Council on Education, shares key insights that this state-wide Consortium has employed in launching and sustaining a strategic, cross-sector effort that focuses on improving the educational outcomes for male students of color. The Brief examines the state and national context for males of color, highlighting key data trends that illuminate the pervasive gender gap in educational attainment. In addition, the brief reviews the importance of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which is building momentum and elevating this issue to a national conversation. The brief also provides details about the Consortium goals and activities, and it discusses emergent lessons learned through almost three years of collaboration with Consortium institutional partners. The report concludes by providing tangible next steps, a “blueprint for action” that institutional leaders across educational sectors should consider in embracing this issue as an educational imperative.
Dr. Victor Saenz, Executive Director of the Consortium notes that “in sharing our story, our goals, and our emerging lessons learned, we believe that the Consortium can serve as a model for other states or regions that aspire to take the lead on improving educational outcomes for male students of color. In our view, this issue is perhaps the most compelling educational challenge of our time, one that has garnered the attention of national leaders and gained greater urgency in light of the broader economic and societal implications that it portends.” Read the brief online.
Coloring Up Study Abroad: Exploring Black Students’ Decision to Study in China by Charles Lu
Dr. Charles Lu, executive director of the Gateway Scholars Program and Dr. Richard Reddick, DDCE assistant vice president of research and policy and associate professor in the College of Education, along with graduate students Dallawrence Dean and Veronica Pecero examined what influences Black students to participate in international experiences such as study abroad and how Black students process their reflections of their study abroad experiences.
This qualitative case study used interviews and focus groups with 24 Black students from a predominantly White university who studied abroad in China to examine how capital and community wealth influenced their decision to participate and their study abroad experiences. Participants discussed the role of the faculty member who led the program, their family members, their peers, and the Black community. Read the article published at TANDFonline.
Finding Los Científicos Within: Latino Male Science Identity Development in the First College Semester by Charles Lu
Latino males are the lowest male ethnic subgroup to attain a four-year STEM college degree. This phenomenological qualitative research study by Dr. Charles Lu, executive director of the Gateway Scholars Program, used two rounds of interviews with twelve Latino male students in Central Texas to examine their first-semester science experiences using a science identity framework. Findings indicate that developing a dynamic and robust creative identity and finding a science-based learning community can play important roles in a successful first semester in STEM courses. Read the report online.
The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement seeks to transform learning, teaching, research and service in an effort to support an inclusive and diverse environment at The University of Texas at Austin. Key to our work is the Thematic Faculty Initiative that incorporates a three-tiered approach to prepare, recruit and retain faculty.
First, to support diverse students as they advance through graduate school and prepare for future academic careers, DDCE hires graduate research assistants who are mentored within the division’s many units and exposed to the value of working in an academic environment committed to diversity and inclusion. Second, in collaboration with colleges and schools across campus, DDCE recruits intellectually and culturally diverse faculty members, providing a line of funding for these hires. And third, DDCE provides fellowships to faculty members across the university whose research, teaching or special projects focus on diversity and community engagement issues.
The success of the division’s Thematic Faculty Initiative is clear. The DDCE has helped cultivate the professional careers of nearly 50 outstanding graduate students and the thematic faculty hires have been garnering professional awards and receiving tenure and promotion at an impressive rate. The excellence of faculty recruited through the initiative also contributed to the establishment of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, which is the only PhD-granting department of its kind in the Southwest. The faculty fellow program actively extends the boundaries of the university to diverse communities across the state, helping the university revolutionize its mission of service. Read more at the Thematic Hires site.