Explore UT Group Pic


On Saturday, March 7th 2015, Project MALES hosted the young men and staff of XY-Zone for Explore UT 2015. XY-Zone is a male leadership development and peer support program in Central Texas, that develops productive life skills in high school-aged, at risk youth.

This meeting introduced young male students of color to the University of Texas at Austin and the opportunities made possible through higher education. Project MALES mentoring staff and mentors welcomed a total of 20 students and 6 staff members to this event. Visiting campuses included Eastside Memorial, Elgin, Hays, Reagan, and Travis High School. Guest students began their day with a campus tour, visiting major landmarks on campus while exploring the various activities hosted by Explore UT. During lunch, Dr. Victor Saenz provided the young men with tips on how to become successful and shared information about the critical work Project MALES is doing around males of color. This event ended with Project MALES mentors facilitating student break out sessions focused on the educational pipeline.

Project MALES hopes to continue our partnership with XY-Zone through events like Explore UT. We look forward to continuing our commitment to partnering up with community organizations and working with youth.



This week we spotlight the work of Dr. Taryn Ozuna Allen, Project MALES’s first Faculty Affiliate. Dr. Ozuna Allen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, at the University of Texas in Arlington. Dr. Ozuna Allen became a Faculty Affiliate with Project MALES in June 2014. Her research focuses on the educational experiences of under-represented student populations as they transition to four-year institutions.

Recently Dr. Ozuna Allen had the opportunity to participate in the 34th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience, which took place in Dallas a few weeks ago. Dr. Ozuna Allen presented a paper on understanding the first-year experiences and perceptions of sense of belonging among Latino males enrolled in two, four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Texas. Dr. Ozuna Allen described her experience at this event:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. We had great discussion in our session, as well as other sessions I attended. The participants were engaging and dedicated to promoting student success in the first year and beyond. The conference was well attended and well organized. I recommend it to other administrators and researchers”.

Dr. Ozuna Allen also shared that in the future she is interested in expanding her research by developing “a longitudinal study that could follow a cohort of Latino males through their college experience at an HBCU to understand how their campus experiences influenced their long-term career or academic trajectory.”

We are honored to have Dr. Ozuna Allen as our inaugural Project MALES Faculty Affiliate, and we look forward to future research collaborations.



Dr. Sáenz and Dr. Ponjuán attend the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Community Challenge National Convening in Washington D.C.

February 17, 2015

On Thursday, February 12, 2015, Dr. Victor Sáenz and Dr. Luis Ponjuán visited the White House for the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge National Convening. This event took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. Dr. Sáenz and Dr. Ponjuán joined the convening as speakers in a discussion series sharing their experiences and insights […]

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Site of the Week: William B. Travis High School

February 9, 2015

  For the third year in a row, Project MALES is mentoring at William B. Travis High School (Travis). This year the mentoring site coordinator at Travis H.S. is Juan Lopez, a first year master’s student in the education department with a specialization in College and University Student Personnel Administration at the University of Texas […]

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Project MALES Holds Third Annual Spring Retreat on MLK Holiday

January 26, 2015

For the 3rd year in a row, Project MALES dedicated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a day of service to honor his legacy. On Monday, January 19th, our mentors and work-study students kicked off mentoring activities for the spring semester with a retreat. Mentors and work-study students participated in a variety of activities. They divided […]

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Project MALES Mentoring Program is Looking Forward to a Great 2015

January 14, 2015

Project MALES is starting 2015 right where we left off! This year the Project MALES mentoring program is extending its partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) by adding one more mentoring site. Starting in the spring semester, Project MALES will begin mentoring at Webb Middle School. In addition, our mentors and work-study students […]

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Project MALES Fall Recap and End-of-Year Celebration

December 16, 2014

Project MALES ended the fall 2014 semester on a positive note. On the mentoring side, we renewed our partnership with Austin Independent School District (AISD) by continuing its standing relationship with Lanier, Reagan, and Travis High Schools as well as initiating conversations with other local schools for possible future collaborations. In addition, this semester we […]

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Project MALES Kicks Off Mentoring For the 2014-2015 Academic School Year

November 15, 2014

Our new partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) kicked off this week at our three sites, Lanier, Reagan, and Travis High Schools. Our kick off week activities included a pizza party where about 25 of our UT graduate and undergraduate students, including mentoring staff and student mentors, introduced Project MALES to our high […]

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New Service Learning Course Already Having a Positive Impact on our Project MALES Undergraduate Mentors

October 20, 2014

  This academic year Project MALES launched Instructing Males through Peer Advising College Tracks (IMPACT), a new service-learning course offered through the College of Liberal Arts. The course meets once a week, co-instructed by Dr. Sáenz, Dr. Romo and the mentoring team. The course objectives are to enhance college student engagement and academic achievement by […]

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Dr. Sáenz to be Honored by the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce

October 16, 2014

Dr. Victor Sáenz, Project MALES and Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color Executive Director, has been named a 2014 honoree of the Inaugural Education Advocate of the Year from the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce on October 21, 2014. The award recognizes Saenz’s positive impact to the field of education at the local […]

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