Scholarships Encourage Diversity, Salute Excellence
Dec. 2, 2010
This fall, UT Dallas welcomed the first group of students to enroll in the University under a scholarship program designed to encourage diversity.
Fourteen freshmen and six transfer students earned the scholarships, which were created by the Office of the President and the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement (ODCE).
The scholarship is for full-time students who have a record of academic excellence in high school or community college and are preparing to enter their first semester at UT Dallas. Each student receives $2,500 per year for a maximum of eight semesters of undergraduate study.
“This scholarship comes with the commitment of staff in the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement to help ensure the success of each scholarship recipient,” said Dr. Magaly Spector, vice president for diversity and community engagement. “Staff members from our office provide academic and personal guidance to each of our recipients to help ensure a smooth transition to UT Dallas and continued success while here.”
Not only do the students receive monetary assistance, they form a cohort of like-minded scholars and are mentored by UT Dallas staff. Freshmen take the required Critical Thinking and Communication (RHET 1101) course as a group, which helps them connect to the UT Dallas campus together. Each recipient meets with an ODCE staff member every three weeks for an academic check-up to discuss grades and progress toward their desired degree. The students also participate in ODCE events.
James Merritts, a freshman in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, set his sights on UT Dallas in October 2009 after attending a STEM Saturday program. He wants to complete graduate school and then perhaps teach physics.
“The scholarship program has allowed me to meet new people,” he said. “Spending time at Office of Diversity and Community Engagement events has given me the opportunity to tell others about my experience as a Comet.”
Jane Akowuah, a transfer student from the Dallas County Community College District who originally is from Ghana, says the scholarship “has given me peace.”
“Without it, I would have had to postpone my transfer to UT Dallas to another year,” she said.
The 2010-11 Diversity Scholarship recipients and their majors are:
- Jane Akowuah, accounting.
- Irma Bautista-Soto, biology.
- Eric Carlisle, public affairs.
- Sara Gamal, biology.
- Milagros Gargurevich, child learning and development.
- Karen Gonzales, mechanical engineering.
- Cintia Guerrero, emerging media and communication.
- Andrew Jones, computer science.
- Gustavo Martinez, business administration.
- James Merritts, mechanical engineering.
- LaToya Mitchell, neuroscience.
- Surasak Moolpim, computer engineering.
- Nehal Mubarak, arts and humanities.
- Frederick Owusu, chemistry.
- Jessica Ramirez, undeclared.
- Stephanie Richardson, accounting.
- Alexis Sanchez, political science.
- Sharmeke Shaw, business administration.
- Eboni Udenze, literary studies.
- Alejandro Valenciano, undeclared.