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Message from the Vice President

By Jessica Sinn

Leonard Moore

Innovate Your Future with the DDCE

Leonard MooreOver this past year, we have been sending a message loud and clear to all our students: “Innovate Your Future.” The stories in this issue of Access illustrate how we are helping students innovate their futures and take charge of their own learning through innovative programming. We begin with middle school students through our 100 Passports initiative. An offshoot of our award-winning study abroad programs, 100 Passports is helping Austin area students think about global travel and the ways it can influence their lives.
This summer, our first group of ninth-graders will travel to Beijing and Shanghai, where they will experience a series of “firsts”—from riding an airplane to climbing the Great Wall of China to speaking a new language in a foreign land. Upon their return, I will be excited to hear about their travels and how they believe it will change their future.

The Product Prodigy Institute is also showing students how to think beyond the classroom. Its offerings include a year-long undergraduate course and a three-day startup for high school students. Led by Director of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Rubén Cantú, the institute teaches students how to create, launch and bring a product to market. By dispelling many of the myths around entrepreneurship, startups and venture capital, Cantú is creating the next generation of CEOs.

Students can also innovate their future through our more traditional College-to-Career programming such as Explore Law and the University Co-op Internship,  which are all highlighted in this issue. Finally, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males. It is named for Heman Marion Sweatt, the Black postal carrier who filed a lawsuit against the university to gain admission into law school. His case, Sweatt v. Painter, was heard before the Supreme Court in 1950. As a result Sweatt became the first African American admitted to the UT School of Law. The determination and courage Sweatt displayed during the lawsuit and his first year on campus are legendary. Building upon the success of its predecessor, the African American Male Research Initiative, the Sweatt Center will embody the spirit of Heman Sweatt as we prepare Black males to be globally competitive in the 21st century.

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Leonard N. Moore
Vice President for Diversity and
Community Engagement,
George W. Littlefield Professor
of American History