Calling the First Americans

By Davis, Crystal | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, September 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

Calling the First Americans


Davis, Crystal, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Several Virginia colleges, led by the University of Virginia, are hoping to lure more American Indians to higher education through a new video series. The project, created in conjunction with Virginia Indians Pre-College Outreach Program at Virginia Tech, gives high schoolers a glimpse of college life through interviews with current students and admission officials. The six-part series also walks students through American Indians' academic history. The second phase of the project, planned for the fall, is slated to include more admissions details and interviews with tribal leaders, parents and professors. In addition to being posted on YouTube, the videos have been presented at various other American Indian college initiatives around the state. Julie Roa, multicultural student services coordinator at UVA, told UVa Today that the idea for the series came up at an annual meeting between tribal leaders and Virginia college representatives.

Role modeling

Studies upon studies have looked into the challenges Black men face in today's society. Robert Morris University is planning to do the opposite. The Pennsylvania school is creating the RMU Research Center on Black Male Educational Student Success to study how Black men succeed. The center "will identify the characteristics of successful Black men and use that research to create models of achievements for others to follow," Dr. Gregory F. Dell'Omo, the school's president, wrote in a letter to the school community. A $900,000 grant from Heinz Endowments will go toward creating the center. Dr. Rex Crawley, the assistant dean of the School of Communications and Information Systems, will be the center's chairman.

A case for diversity

Having a racially diverse law school class can pay off for both students and the school. A new 10 -year study by the Educational Diversity Project found that law school diversity contributes to "richer interactions" and aids in students' perception that their school is "more open and respectful of diverse ideas." Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 law students from 50 schools approved by the American Bar Association. "Diversity's effects may be robust, given our finding that Black students and White students see significant aspects of the world differently or have different perspectives on common phenomena," the researchers argued in their study. …

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