As part of a new tradition begun in 2017, the conference also includes a presentation of the Inclusive Excellence Award, presented to a UNT department or unit that demonstrates a commitment to excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and/or engagement in local and global communities. Their efforts should exemplify the institutionalization of diversity, equity, and/or inclusion efforts through its policies, programs, practices, and people. In partnership with the Inclusive Excellence Sponsor, the Division awards a monetary gift to the unit to help continue their work.
The recipient of the 2019 Inclusive Excellence Award is the UNT Office of Outreach.
The Office of Outreach leads college planning, targeted recruitment, and retention initiatives that impact underrepresented students at each phase of the P-16 education pipeline. Led by Landon Ellison as a component of the Office of Admissions, Outreach works to ensure students from low-socioeconomic status and diverse backgrounds have the tools to succeed in higher education. Programs within Outreach such as the G-Force Mentorship Program, Ventanilla de Orientación Educativa, and the Multicultural Scholastic Awards Program assist UNT and the state of Texas in providing students within undeserved populations with the tools and resources to enroll and complete a college degree.
Supervised by Outreach Assistant Director Gwendolyn Moore, G-Force Mentors travel weekly to high schools to assist with local GO Centers providing college enrollment guidance, academic tutoring, and peer mentoring to provide resources that promoting awareness of higher education create a college-going culture. UNT G-Force Mentors develop and supervise GO Centers in 24 high schools in partnership with K-12 sponsors around the North Texas Region with sizable populations of students of color and first generation college students. Outreach also operates bridge programs in Denton community centers to create college readiness spaces. The program also assists school districts and organizations throughout DFW with financial aid and college application workshops and presentations in both English and Spanish.
G-Force mentors are also active in UNT’s campus-based access and community engagement efforts. Regularly assisting the Division of Enrollment with recruitment efforts such as Senior Days and Preview Day, they also assist with financial aid based events; mentors are available three times a week in the Multicultural Center to help students with their financial aid questions, through the On Campus GO Center. They also increase awareness of teaching, learning, and student development opportunities by actively recruiting for the MARTIAL Eagles and the new Latinx Living Learning Communities. G-Force mentors also played a pivotal role serving as volunteers for various Campus Inclusion Climate Survey student engagement efforts.
The Ventanilla de Orientación Educativa (Office of Educational Guidance) of the Dallas Mexican Consulate houses a full time UNT Admissions Officer, Brenda Barajas to assist families with the entire P-16 pipeline in both the United States and Mexico. The Ventanilla is a valuable resource for Spanish-speaking families to become a part of the UNT family to ensure they can access all resources for students once enrolled. Strengthening UNT’s community engagements in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, The Ventanilla has also developed a partnership with the Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office so that students from underrepresented groups have access to higher education opportunities, including those at UNT. Office of Admissions Assistant Director of Outreach Rebeca Perfecto has been instrumental in the university’s DACA Task Force, creating DACA FAQs and other resources for prospective and existing students. She also provided support for the Spanish-language Campus Inclusion Climate, Survey, assisting Spanish-speaking staff to participate.
The Multicultural Scholastic Award (MSA) Program is a scholarship and student retention initiative targeting academically talented students from diverse backgrounds. The MSA Program provides financial assistance, academic support, and student development support needed for success at UNT. MSA Scholars are encouraged to participate in multicultural campus initiatives such as the Men of Color Cohort, A Few Good Men, the “Fortify the Leader in You” (F.L.Y) Peer Ambassador Program, TRIO, and MARTIAL Eagles. They also participate in service-oriented events benefiting the UNT Community.
Office of Outreach full time staff, student employees, and scholars annually receive training from the Multicultural Center on diversity and inclusivity, and have developed partnerships with organizations such as Denton County Friends of the Family to provide student employees sexual harassment training.They also sponsor the Annual National Hispanic Institute’s Texas Collegiate World Series, where 150 students of Hispanic descent spend five days at UNT learning tools and resources for transition to adulthood. For the past two years, the C5 Youth Foundation of Texas has included UNT as its only overnight campus stay for a group of majority African American and Latinx students as a part of their college road trip.
Landon Ellison’s service on the Men of Color Task Force and Latinx Advisory Council led to a presentation at the Texas Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (TACRAO), Full Circle Conference for Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Groups. Delivered with Rebeca Perfecto of Admissions, and Lauren Whiteman of the Multicultural Center, the presentation gave other universities and colleges insight on working collaboratively to more effectively assist students of color.
The Division of Institutional Equity is proud to present the 2019 Inclusive Excellence Award to the Office of Outreach with a $5000 gift from Denton Family Dental Clinic to continue their engagement in the Dallas-Fort Worth and UNT community. Accepting the award are Director Landon Ellison and Assistant Director Gwendolyn Moore.
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Learn more about past Inclusive Excellence Award recipients:
Inaugural Award Recipient: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
2018 Award Recipient: Housing and Residence Life