Diversity Colloquium Inspires Future Grad Students
Apr. 14, 2010
The University of Texas at Dallas recently hosted the Lone Star Graduate Diversity Colloquium, an annual event that helps minority and underrepresented students transition from a bachelor’s degree to graduate study.
More than 100 students gathered for the colloquium March 26 and 27 at the School of Management and Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
“We wanted to highlight the vast array of graduate degrees and areas of study students can pursue in our state,” said Raul Hinojosa, director of community engagement with the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. “Institutions throughout the nation want to recruit students like those who participated in the colloquium, who have demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate studies.
“Our hope is to convince these students that by pursuing their studies in Texas they can obtain a world-class graduate education and have a great impact on our economy and community.”
The program included:
- Information sessions on applying for graduate school, preparing for entrance exams and financing graduate studies.
- A study fair showcasing 36 Texas graduate programs represented at the event.
- Tours of cutting-edge UT Dallas facilities, including the School of Arts and Humanities Arts and Technology Motion Capture Lab and the Natural Science, Engineering and Research Laboratory Building.
Recruitment professionals from 21 Texas universities participated in parallel sessions to discuss addressing graduate school costs, marketing graduate programs on limited budgets, and communicating with potential students using the latest technology and social media.
The Lone Star Graduate Diversity Colloquium was established in 2006 to further the statewide Closing the Gaps initiative. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, adopted the initiative in 2000 as a collective effort by Texas colleges and universities to encourage underrepresented minorities, women and first-generation college students to stay in Texas to complete their graduate educations.
“The organizers did a fantastic job in arranging such a meaningful and informative program,” said Dr. Austin Cunningham, dean of graduate studies. “UT Dallas thanks all the participating universities for sending representatives and ensuring the success of this statewide initiative.”
Dr. Magaly Spector, vice president for diversity and community engagement, was pleased that her office could facilitate an event that aligned so closely with its mission.
“One of the goals of the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement is to champion and facilitate the increasing number of students in the graduate academic programs and the graduation rate of minorities and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields,” said Spector. “Events like the colloquium show those students what is possible.”
Ryan Malabanan, a graduate student in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences who represented the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at the event, enjoyed the participants’ enthusiasm and ambition.
“My favorite part of the event was having interactions with the students attending the colloquium, listening to their aspirations and being able to share my experiences,” said Malabanan, who is pursuing a master’s in public affairs. “It was easy to connect because not too long ago I was in their shoes, trying to decide my future and how I wanted to continue in my education.”
UT Dallas is the fifth institution to host the colloquium. Previous hosts have included Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
The University of Texas at Arlington will host the 2011 Lone Star Graduate Diversity Colloquium March 25 and 26. Colloquia are sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Association of Texas Graduate Schools.