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Senator Judith Zaffirini Endorses Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium

By Jessica Sinn

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Veteran State Sen. and Distinguished Alumna Judith Zaffirini, BS ’67, MA ’70, PhD ’78, (D-Laredo) released the following statement about the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Consortium last week.

One of the best ways to improve diversity in higher education is to improve education for all students while focusing on each student’s unique strengths, instead of his or her weaknesses. Part of UT’s Division for Diversity and Engagement, the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) does exactly that. Its crown jewel, the Pre Graduate School Mentorship Program, for example, does this by demystifying higher education and helping students identify and pursue their passions.

More than 5,000 UT students have benefited from IE, and the consortium’s innovative, results-driven approach has been recognized repeatedly, including with the Examples of Excelencia Award and the National Diversity Council’s Diversity FIRST Award.

IE’s multidisciplinary approach offers students access to outstanding faculty and resources from throughout the UT community, enhances research and teaching, and improves the relationship between higher education and the rest of society. Whenever I speak to young people, I tell them that I don’t want them to be like me or to match my accomplishments; I want them to be significantly better and to surpass my accomplishments. IE provides students with an excellent foundation to achieve that goal.

Statement and photo provided by Richard Cherwitz, director of the IE Program