The 6th annual Students of Color Reception held on November 11, 2015 had its biggest turnout ever with over 100 community members, students, and educators in attendance. The reception, which is held every year and is moderated by Dr. Frank Tuitt, is designed to give MCE students of color a forum to discuss their experiences in the College and on campus.
The panel this year consisted of students across a range of programs, and included:
- Ana Ramirez, Higher Education
- Janiece Mackey, Curriculum and Instruction
- Richard Maez, Dual Degree in Teacher Education Program
- Kawanna Bright, Research Methods and Statistics
- Kayon Morgan, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
- Javiera Villegas, Denver Teacher Residency
The panelists described their experiences as first-generation and underrepresented students and stressed the value of the cohort model used at MCE. Richard Maize, who is in his last year of the Dual Degree Program in Teacher Education, explained that the cohorts create a feeling of belonging and community.
Panelists described how faculty members’ embrace all students into the academic community going as far as to provide customized research opportunities tailored to the student interests and background. Research Methods and Statistics Ph.D student, Kawana Bright, explained that the flexibility of her degree enabled her to focus on a very specific and unique topic of interest for her dissertation.
During the Q&A session, panelists discussed scholarship opportunities for students and the funding of graduate degrees, work life balance, and the need for commitment to your degree.
The evening’s discussion was made particularly poignant by the current events happening at the University of Missouri. The experiences of students of color on campuses across the nation is a topic of much conversation among MCE students and faculty who care deeply about providing an inclusive college environment and strive to support a diverse community where all students feel they belong.