By Dr. Eric Dieter

Thanks to the dedication and expertise of Suzanne Wallen, Associate Director of Development for the DDCE, the Educational Pipeline is happy to announce receipt of a substantial grant from Sooch Foundation.

Sooch Foundation, a privately funded charity based in Austin, describes their mission as making “positive and permanent change in the lives of economically disadvantaged people in Austin through increased educational opportunities.” When looking for projects to fund, Sooch Foundation focuses on “nonprofit organizations that implement innovative solutions to long-lasting problems in education.”

We believe the work done in the Longhorn Center for School Partnership (LCSP) fits that bill, and evidently Sooch agrees. Their generous grant of $55,000 helps LCSP carry on the Educational Pipeline’s stated strategic goal of providing “a continuous pathway for students to achieve their highest postsecondary goals.”

The Sooch Foundation grant specifically allows LCSP to “deepen our college access and readiness work at Reagan High School,” according to Ms. Wallen, who specializes in corporate and foundation relations. Reagan High School, located in northeast Austin, is part of the Austin Independent School District (AISD). In recent years the school transformed itself into an “early college high school,” where students can earn sixty college credit hours while earning their high school diplomas. Reagan is an important and longstanding participant in LCSP programs. With the help from Sooch Foundation, we look forward to growing our collaborations with Reagan.

A smaller portion of the Sooch Foundation grant is earmarked for another exciting opportunity, the piloting of a student data management system. Over the last couple of years, the Pipeline Council has explored the best way to integrate information about students from across Educational Pipeline units into a coordinated, longitudinal, and user-friendly data system.

The most comprehensive and appropriate student data system for Pipeline purposes appears to be CoPilot. CoPilot is the creation of another Austin-based nonprofit, College Forward, that offers intensive college “coaching” for students transitioning from high school to college using a “near peer” mentor model.

CoPilot is built on Salesforce, a customer relationship management platform common in the business world. But CoPilot was intentionally designed as a “cloud-based application for capturing a 360-degree view of student information.” It was designed to keep student data safe and clean.

LCSP Assistant Vice President Patrick Patterson is leading the CoPilot test. Simon Hughes, Director of Information Technology Services for the DDCE, has been integral to ensuring the secure and efficient implementation of the system. CoPilot allows LCSP staff, as stated in the Sooch Foundation proposal, “to track trends and measure progress” of students, at Reagan High, and at elementary, middle, and high schools served by LCSP units across Texas.

LCSP staff is currently starting the process of training with College Forward’s CoPilot team. The goal is to have the system operational for the next academic year. Depending on the results of the pilot period, perhaps CoPilot will eventually be commonplace across DDCE units.

Learn more:

Sooch Foundation

http://soochfoundation.org/

 

College Forward

http://collegeforward.org/

 

CoPilot Student Information Application

http://www.collegeforwardcopilot.org/

 

Early College High Schools

http://tea.texas.gov/Curriculum_and_Instructional_Programs/College_and_Career_Readiness/Early_College_High_School/

 

DDCE Pipeline Council

http://ddce.utexas.edu/2016/the-plan/#Pipeline

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By Jennifer Arriaga 

The Community Leadership Awards, held November 17, 2014 at the Mexican American Culture Center, was a part of series of events hosted by DDCE in honor of organizations and individuals for their service to the greater Austin area.

Community Partnership Awards were presented to the Community Advancement Network (CAN) for their extensive work towards enriching the social, health, educational, economic wellbeing of the Austin and Travis County, and the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts for their work to empower Austin’s historically underserved youth, particularly its Hispanic population, to participate in the performing arts today and for generations to come.

The Community Leadership Circle Award was presented Rosie Mendoza for her illustrious board service to a number of importance causes in the Austin community. The Joe R. Long and Teresa Lozano Long Legacy Award was presented to Jesus Garza for his longstanding record of service, and the leadership he has provided to the Austin community. Special recognition was also given to Vincent Torres for his distinctive career with the Austin Independent School District and UT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Resources.

The Community Leadership Awards is a great opportunity to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of these remarkable community leaders. Through their leadership and dedication, these leaders and organizations have transformed and continue to transform Austin.

com lead awards 2014 Left: Vanessa Sarría, executive director of the Community Advancement Network (CAN), accepts the Community Partnership Award. Right: Rosie Mendoza, Community Leadership Circle Award honoree; Vincent Torres, Special Recognition honoree; Jesús Garza, Joe R. and Teresa Long Legacy Award honoree, and Monica Peraza, Community Partnership Award for Hispanic Alliance

The second installment of the Community Leadership Awards was held on December 11, 2014 at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center in East Austin. At the event, Community Partnership Awards were presented to the Austin Chapter of The Links, Incorporated President and Judge Brenda Kennedy and to the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Natalie Madeira Cofield.

The Austin Chapter of The Links has been primarily working to enrich, sustain and ensure the identities, culture and economic survival of African-Americans and persons of African descent. They have done so by working in five programming areas: National Trends and Services, the Arts, Services to Youth, International Trends, and Health and Human Services. The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce has placed their focus on promoting the development of African-American businesses and the expansion of the Greater Austin business community. Also honored that night were William “Teddy” McDaniel, president and CEO of the Austin Area Urban League. He was the recipient of the Dr. James L. Hill Leadership Circle Award. He was recognized for being such an influential leader and community service advocate. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Austin Revitalization Authority, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and UT’s DDCE Austin Community Advisory Council.

The final award of the night was the Dr. June Brewer Legacy Award and it was presented to Dr. Larry L. Earvin, president of Hustson-Tillotson University. Dr. Earvin implemented accelerated programs in criminal justice and business administration for working students currently enrolled in the university. During his tenure, science laboratories were upgraded and residence halls were renovated.

Com Lead Awards 12.14 Teddie McDaniel III, CEO of the Austin Area Urban League, and Dr. Larry Earvin, president of Huston-Tillotson University, celebrate their awards with fellow members of the Gamma Gamma Boulé, including Dr. Gregory J. Vincent (far right) and Rev. Freddie Dixon (far left), who is a member of the DDCE team.

 

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Written by Jennifer Margulies and Ana Ixchel Rosal

The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) Education Program offers workshops and professional development training to ensure that students, staff, and faculty on campus have accurate information about LGBTQ people. In the 2013-2014 academic year, GSC staff and student presenters provided 20 departmental trainings and presentations, 51 classroom trainings and presentations, 14 trainings to student organizations, 11 trainings and presentations in residence halls, 4 trainings to Resident Assistants, and 5 trainings outside of UT campus, for a total of 112 presentations to 2,778 people. The GSC is recognized on campus as a valuable educational resource; all but seven of these 112 presentations were specifically requested from the GSC. The training sessions included 21 Ally Toolkit workshops, which teach people how to include and advocate for LGBTQ people at UT. In 2013 and 2014, GSC staff offered two “open ally” workshops for any interested participants across campus.

GSC also offered 24 workshops through Peers for Pride, a student-led theatre for social change program. Student educators in Peers for Pride complete a year-long class on LGBTQ issues, in which they write and perform monologues to illustrate the challenges facing LGBTQ people. With the support of GSC staff, students facilitate discussion about the issues raised in their monologues.

A testimonial from a faculty member received after a Peers for Pride presentation in a career counseling class: “[We] really appreciated your willingness to spend time with the class, even going above and beyond the anticipated time. What a gift! I appreciated all aspects of your presentation. The Peers for Prides scenarios and the students’ presentation of them were a great kickoff to illustrate the multiple levels of issues related to career. I also appreciated your narrative – the narrative touched on many issues that are relevant for career counselors, including identity. Thank you again for your time, energy and insight.”

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From the Office of Institutional Equity, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

The University of Texas at Austin is committed to providing an educational and working environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors that is free from discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, inappropriate consensual relationships, and retaliation.  As part of this commitment, the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) has partnered with the Office of the Provost, University Compliance Services, and colleges and departments across campus, to establish a plan for reporting such concerns.

The initiative is designed to help ensure that the university is aware of any concerns of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or inappropriate consensual relationships that are raised against a university employee, faculty member, or visitor/affiliated worker, and to ensure that these concerns are addressed promptly.

The mission of OIE is to provide leadership and support on matters relating to equity, diversity, respect and inclusiveness for all members of the university community.  OIE has been authorized to investigate allegations falling under the university¹s policies.  As part of the initiative, OIE plans to meet with representatives from across campus to provide training to ensure that all units are aware of their responsibilities under federal and state law in responding to issues of harassment and discrimination.  In the coming months, this group of representatives will work with OIE, in collaboration with University Compliance Services and other interested units on campus, to develop a plan to rapidly respond to situations where there are urgent and/or highly sensitive concerns of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate consensual relationships that need to be addressed as an institutional priority.

To learn more, please visit the OIE website:  http://www.utexas.edu/equity

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By Kelli Bradley

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Meet and Greet: On Wednesday, September 24th, SSD hosted its 2nd annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Meet and Greet. Approximately 40 people were in attendance, including faculty, staff, and students.  This was held during what is traditionally Deaf Awareness Month and was the kick-off event for Disability Awareness Month (DAM) in October. The Meet and Greet was an opportunity for Deaf/HH and other individuals to meet and network with one another.  Introductions and brief presentations were given on the ASL Program in the Dept. of Linguistics, Longhorn College Bowl Team, and Signhorns.  Many attendees left the event with newfound knowledge about Deaf/HH and its community and met some new colleagues.  We look forward to hosting our 3rd annual next year!

Students On the Spectrum Group: After a successful first meeting of the fall, SSD’s Students On the Spectrum group will continue to meet monthly throughout the semester. Upcoming meetings will be held on October 21, November 18, and December 16, at 5:30pm in the SSD office. Students On the Spectrum is a support group for UT students with Asperger’s syndrome and other autism-spectrum disorders. Meetings are an opportunity for these students to gather and share experiences, challenges, and ideas.

Brown Bag Discussion, Disability and Accommodations at UT: On October 1, SSD held its first open brown bag session in the SAC. We are planning on scheduling these events more often with each brown bag focusing on disability-related issues.

White Cane Day: SSD participated in White Cane Day on October 15. The march started at the Texas State Capital to City Hall. A speech by the mayor was followed by a celebration at Republic Square Park.

disABILITY Advocate training : Open DAP trainings are held once per semester and allow individuals to be trained as disABILITY Advocates. On October 8, an open-to-all training was held, and on October 15, an open instructor training was held.   The School of Social Work faculty members will be trained on October 17, and on October 22, the Student Employee Excellence Program is scheduled for training. disABILITY Advocate trainings are typically provided at the request of UT groups, organizations and departments. Participants engage in learning and discussion and leave with ideas and action steps they can implement within their role at UT to make campus a more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive environment for people with disabilities.

Breaking the Silence: On Tuesday, October 21st in the Texas Union Ballroom from 7-9 pm, SSD and Voices Against Violence will co-hosted Breaking the Silence. Survivors and allies were given the opportunity to speak out about experiences of relationship violence. This event featured keynote speaker Ammie Morgan, Ms. Wheelchair Alabama 2012 and a survivor of relationship violence. The event included performance, on- and off-campus resource fair, free refreshments, and an open mic speak-out.

For a complete listing of events, visit the SSD website: http://ddce.utexas.edu/disability

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