Summary of the 2014 UT Male Student Leadership Summit at the University of Texas at Austin

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1 Summary of the 2014 UT Male Student Leadership Summit at the University of Texas at Austin The 2014 UT Male Student Leadership Summit was held on June th, 2014 at the Student Activity Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The Summit was hosted by the Texas Consortium for Male Students of Color. The Summit provided an opportunity for K-16 educators, students, and administrators to gather and discuss the issues that young men of colors encounter on their educational pathways. The Summit attracted close to 300 individuals from across the state. This two-day Summit was an invite-only event but the interest of the community was such that we allocated limited amount of spots for community members and non-member institutions. The Summit was designed to build fellowship among Consortium member institutions as well as to bring together emerging student leaders from across the state of Texas. This year s focus was on building leadership and networking skills among young men of color. In the end, the Summit brought together a talented collection of experts and an eager group of local and regional stakeholders in order to accomplish its goals. Surveys were administered to participants in hopes of obtaining valuable feedback that will help us improve for next years Summit. Volunteers administered surveys at the end of each workshop session in addition an overall Summit survey was given to all present participants at the end of the second day. This report contains Summit highlights, agenda, summit goals, evaluation results, and next steps. Summit Highlights The UT Male Student Leadership Summit consisted of a series of presentations from experts in higher education, representatives of a research organization, national scholarship funds, and local business and community leaders. In addition, a number of panel discussions were held on Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education, mentorship, and leadership. The opening keynote by Mr. Marco A. Davis set the tone for the day and reminded all participants of the urgency and importance of the issue. Mr. Davis discussed best practices for educating and empowering students of color. His message reminded the participants that this issue is of national importance and of its direct alignment with President Obama s My Brothers Keeper Initiative. The evening keynote Dr. Luis Ponjuán, associate professor at Texas A&M, delivered a charismatic keynote addressing this issue from a research perspective. Finally, our Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Patrick Valdez, kept the energy high and participants engaged throughout the two-day event. 1

2 Symposium Presenters / Participants included: 2

3 3

4 Summit Goals The main goals of the 2014 UT-Male Student Leadership Summit were as follows: Engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue with key stakeholders; Participants learned about this critical and sensitive issue that affecting Latino and African American males of color in higher education. Community members, staff, faculty, and administrators play an integral role in supporting these students. Their cooperation and collaboration is needed to addressing the issue of the disappearing males of color in higher education. We sought to accomplish this goal through offering workshop sessions that disseminated research and data about this issue. Additionally, the intimate setting created the perfect environment for in-depth discussions as well as institutional strategies and programming ideas. Promote the exchange of ideas between different Consortium members Attendees were encouraged to attend sessions from multiple presenters from all around the state to gain multiple perspectives from different institutional types. This exchange of ideas enabled participants to understand the challenges that exist in different contexts and provide an opportunity for participants to respond with possible solutions. Best practices were shared and idea sharing facilitated progress towards Objectives 3 and 4 of the Consortium. Provide students with leadership and career development workshop sessions. We provided Latino and African American students with the opportunity to come together in fellowship. The student track offered two-days of workshop sessions that focused on career and leadership development. Students were able to share experiences, network, and gain valuable information on how to leverage their unique assets and skills for academic and personal success. Align Consortium work with My Brother s Keeper initiative. The opening keynote speaker, Mr. Marco A. Davis, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, shared the latest information about President Obama s My Brother s Keeper initiative. The goals of the Consortium directly align with the Initiative. Mr. Davis discussed best practices for educating and empowering students of color. His keynote reaffirmed that the Consortiums work is valuable, on track, and meaningful. Initiative progress towards the Consortiums long-term vision. The Consortiums long-term vision consists of six components: institutionalization of male-focused programs and partnerships at Consortium institutions, effective collaboration across educational sectors (K-12 & HE), sustainability of a long-term Consortium learning community, Leadership, policy development, and moving the needle- evidence of impact will yield measurable 4

5 results on male academic success at the state level. All of the aforementioned were addressed at the Summit and notable progress towards the vision has begun. Summit Evaluation Two different types of surveys were administered, first, participants were asked to evaluate each workshop session they attended and second, to evaluate the overall Summit. Workshop session evaluations were collected at the end of each session by Project MALES staff/volunteers. The overall Summit evaluation was administered on the second day of Summit after the closing remarks. The staff analyzed the feedback; the evaluations conveyed mostly positive feedback in the form of likert scale and written comments. The survey asked participants to rate each of the individual workshop session sections they attended on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest). Workshop session results were as follows: Question Mean Median Range Session met my expectations Level of instruction was appropriate Length of time Session being on time Equipment worked properly Learned something new and helpful Overall Some quotes from the survey results can be seen below: This was very influential and liked the interactiveness. Thanks for letting us share our opinions. Wonderful and very informative. Hands down no complaints. Great and interesting! Very insightful! I have never met anyone who speaks so well and can relate so much to my situation. Thank you for helping me find a reason why to still go to college. 5

6 Great way to help re-conceptualize the work that we do with young men. Why bring the elite students to this? Rather why not those who are truly at risk? Phenomenal Overall Summit evaluation results were as follows: Question Mean Median Range Opening keynote knowledge about subject Opening keynote quality of presentation Closing keynote knowledge about subject Closing keynote quality of presentation Opportunity to network Atmosphere at event Networking event Registration Summit schedule Conference rooms Food and drinks Session formats Summit overall Some quotes from the survey results can be seen below: Provide team building activities. This summit is truly necessary for these and all young men. Thank you for hosting and I m hoping you are able to conduct these in other areas of the state particularly South Texas. [Need] a session on masculinity with the students. For the professionals I would like to have activities, curriculum or actual ideas to implement at my agency. Panels are great to share and discuss ideas but I d like to walk away with tangible activities to work with to better enhance mentoring relationship. Larger spaces for professional workshops. 6

7 Longer break sessions and better scheduling so that the sessions wont be so short. In their evaluations, participants expressed great appreciation for the quality of presenters and session topics. Many of the written comments further indicated their appreciation and gratitude to the quality of presentation the presenters put together. Further, many expressed gratitude for the Summit and the importance of replicating in other spaces across the state. Attendees offered constructive criticism regarding length of sessions. They felt they needed to be longer. Some asked for more tangible take-always and strategies for implementing programs/ideas on their own campus as well as larger rooms for practitioners, and providing more opportunities for networking. However, overall attendees were highly satisfied with the Summit and look forward to next years. Next Steps for the 2015 UT-Austin Male Student Leadership Summit We have begun preliminary planning for the 2015 UT- Male Student Leadership Summit during the summer. Based on the feedback collected this year, we are considering making the sessions a bit longer, exploring other venue options, and allowing for more networking time. Finally, we intend to build upon our curricular focus of leadership and career development by brining in even more outside experts to serve as panelists, presenters, and speakers. 7

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