By Cynthia Sorto, Diversity Scholars Program Manager for Community Engagement
and Monica Williamson, Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center
During the spring semester, the Diversity Scholars Program honors students who will be graduating at our annual end-of-the-year banquet. This year, the celebration was particularly meaningful because the program celebrated the largest number of graduates in the program’s history.
In April, the Diversity Scholars Program (DSP) celebrated 24 graduating students at its class of 2018 banquet. The students and their families were recognized by program staff and the students had the opportunity to hear from senior accounting major Flor Morales, who was selected as the student speaker. Flor was the former president of the student organization Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and was an active member of the Diversity Scholars Program during her time at UT Dallas.
Several awards were presented to students including the Rising Star Award, Academic Achievement Award, Leadership Award, and the DSP Student Most Likely to Show Up on the UTD Billboard. The graduating students were also recognized at the inaugural Multicultural Achievement Celebration sponsored by the Multicultural Center. During the celebration, they received orange and silver graduation cords from DSP.
As with each cohort of Diversity Scholars, the class of 2018 reflects a number of majors, accomplishments and future endeavors. Many students will continue their journeys into to full-time positions, earned from the skills developed within the classroom. Suzie Ghidei, from Dallas, Texas, received her Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering to take a position with Texas Instruments . Fidel Coria, from Knightdale, North Carolina, received his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, and has joined American Airlines team.
Other noteworthy graduates will continue their education within the sciences, like Yared Wondemagegn from Fort Worth, Texas, who will be attending McGovern Medical School at UTH Health in Houston Texas this upcoming fall. Yared entered the program his freshman year as a Healthcare Studies major, and utilized the program’s resources to support him academically and professionally. In his sophomore and junior years, Wondemagegn was selected into the highly selective Joint Admissions Medical Program (JAMP) offered at UT Dallas.
Nearly 80 students are currently receiving DSP awards. However, the students receive more than a scholarship. They also receive academic and personal support from a scholarship adviser for their entire undergraduate career at UT Dallas.