Every year, the DDCE honors students, faculty and staff with the Heman Sweatt Legacy Award to recognize their service to the community. We sat down with all five of this year’s award winners to learn more about the impact they have been making here on campus and beyond. Read more about the awards ceremony, which was held at the recent Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights.
Dr. Lydia Contreras
Dr. Lydia Contreras is an accomplished chemical engineering professor and researcher who focuses her work on recruitment, retention and support for faculty members across the University. Within the provost office, she has dedicated her work to strengthening and supporting communities in every college and school with the goal of creating environments where everybody can learn, grow and thrive.
Malik Crowder is the assistant director of the Multicultural Engagement Center (MEC) who enjoys working with students and helping them build and strengthen communities on campus. Among his many duties, Malik oversees events and celebrations, including the time-honored New Black Student Weekend and Black Graduation. He also co-teaches the MEC’s Leadership in Activism course and co-leads cultural immersion trips here in the state and overseas.
Mason Porter is a sociology senior with a bright future ahead at JPMorgan Chase & Co. During his time on campus, he became involved in the Sweatt Center, where he now serves as president. During his time as a student leader, he 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.
Sameeha Rizvi is a senior majoring in public health and social work who is passionate about making the campus a welcoming place where all Longhorns can flourish. While leading several student organizations and agencies, Sameeha honed her advocacy skills and plans to continue moving the needle of progress forward in her future career.
Ariana Seeloff is a senior majoring in psychology who has served as a leader for several student organizations that work to build communities on campus. We caught up with her to learn more about her good work in bringing students together through various large- and small-scale events—from the big annual New Black Student Weekend camp retreat to celebrations with friends at Black UT Friendsgiving.
Reporting by Abbie Bard