May Message from Dr. Vincent

May 23, 2012

On Tuesday, the DDCE wrapped up the semester with our spring all-division staff meeting. The spring meeting is the time we get to reflect on accomplishments over the last academic year. The division has an incredible team of staff members, dedicated to our mission and making a difference in the lives of students and communities that have been historically underserved.

Here are a few of our accomplishments this year:

  • Our Gateway Scholars students in the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence had a first-year average GPA of 3.2, considerably higher than the average for first-year students at UT Austin overall. Our six graduating McNair Scholars received multiple acceptances into prestigious graduate schools like Princeton, Emory, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt, University of North Carolina and UT Austin.
  • Services for Students with Disabilities have served 1700 students each semester this year. Through the new Disability Advocate program, SSD staff members Emily Shryock and Justin Rogers have trained 500 faculty and staff members on campus this year. They will present at the Association on Higher Education and Disability Conference this summer to help other campuses find ways to implement similar programming on their campuses.
  • This year’s Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights, led by planning committee co-chairs Dr. Leonard Moore and Dr. Victor Sáenz, was one of the most successful ever, with 850 participants attending Sweatt Symposium events that took place monthly from February-May.
  • Freddie Dixon, director of the Community Engagement Center, was honored with the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Octavio Martinez, associate vice president for diversity and community engagement and executive director of the Hogg Foundation, received the 9th Annual Shining Lights Award for Excellence in Hispanic Mental Health Advocacy and Leadership.
  • Under the guidance of the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, nearly 3,000 University of Texas at Austin students served 132 community organizations, contributing 23,560 volunteer hours.

Add to this partial list of accomplishments, 25 division-wide events, a stellar Hearts of Texas Charitable Giving Campaign that we coordinated on behalf of the university, and beginning the implementation of our strategic plan and you get an idea of how busy the DDCE staff has been this year.  I always say I’ve got one of the best staffs on campus and I look forward to working with them to make DDCE better than ever in the coming year.

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