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In the Spirit of Service

A Q&A with Mason Porter, Sociology Senior
Mason Porter campus headshot

Programs and Activities: President, Heman Sweatt Center; Planning Committee Member, Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights; Vice President, Epsilon Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Advancing Black Pathways Fellow and Summer Analyst, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Every Monday, Mason Porter looks forward to meeting up with his friends and mentors at the weekly Power Hours—one of the many professional development events offered by the Sweatt Center that brings students together as a community. As the Sweatt Center President, Porter has dedicated his work to connecting his fellow students with the center’s resources to help them find a home base on campus and prepare for their futures ahead.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at UT?

I’m most proud of my growth in the Sweatt Center, where I started out as director of community engagement and moved my way up to president this year. The student board has really elevated our presence with student-focused events like our annual cookout and the Collegiate Black Male Retreat. We’ve also included some volunteer and service opportunities, expanding the center’s reach and impact on the community.

What does it mean to you to be honored at an event that celebrates Heman Sweatt?

It really means a lot to me to be awarded at an event where I could represent the Sweatt Center in his honor. This organization wouldn’t be here without his sacrifice and dedication. I’ve been working on the Sweatt Symposium committee over the past two years, so seeing it all come together is truly amazing. It’s really a great day for students, faculty and community members to all come together for one greater purpose.

What would you like students to know about the Sweatt Center?

The Sweatt Center has several initiatives that are really making an impact on students. As a student leader, I had the opportunity to help some of our members travel to different countries, including South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Ghana. This past summer, a group of students went to Senegal to participate in internships with different marketing companies. I also had the opportunity to travel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai for the DDCE’s Futurism and Sustainability study abroad program, where I got to see the economic development in other countries and learned about master’s and doctoral programs at NYU Abu Dhabi. Our goal is to set students up for success beyond their time on the Forty Acres.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I’ll be moving to New York City to work for JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a Chase Leadership Development Program Analyst.

Reporting by Abbie Bard