“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ~Audre Lorde, nonfiction writer/poet
Snapshots from some of our newest students this fall.
I am proud to share with you that U.S. News & World Report's latest "Best Colleges" edition ranks Texas Woman’s University No. 1 in Texas and No. 5 nationally for ethnic diversity.
We also appeared in the magazine’s "Social Mobility" list, which measures graduation rates of undergraduate students whose annual family incomes fall below $50,000 and who are awarded federal Pell Grants. This is the third year that the magazine evaluated social mobility, and the first year TWU has made the list.
Since our founding in 1901, TWU’s focus on educating and preparing women for successful and meaningful lives has expanded to include students of all ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds and other dimensions of personal differences and uniqueness.
We have created numerous programs to prepare all of our students to succeed, from personal financial management and health and wellness, to career counseling and academic support—so this recognition means a great deal to my colleagues and me!
According to our fall 2020 enrollment figures, 57% of our population are students of color. We are a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, with Hispanics accounting for more than 27% of all students, African-Americans accounting for 18%, and Asians for more than 10%.
We are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Michelle Tribble, a national culinary superstar, is now back at TWU, carving a new path in the food world. (Photo by Michael Modecki)
With our university continuing to mirror the demographics of Texas, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our diverse student body.
Hispanic Heritage Month began on the 15th, heralding the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans as well as the anniversaries of independence in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
I invite you to check out our website, where in the coming month we will feature students, faculty and staff, as well as our growing number of successful Hispanic alumni—U.S. Representative Sylvia Garcia, Federal Judge Alia Moses and Michelle Tribble, who in 2017 won the national Hell’s Kitchen competition and became executive chef at that Caesar’s Palace restaurant in Las Vegas.
I am thrilled to report that Michelle, who came to us through Dallas College's El Centro campus, has rejoined Texas Woman's to begin her journey toward a master's degree in nutrition.
“I plan to use my culinary and food science background, along with nutrition, to really make a difference in the food world,” she told us recently.
TWU’s PIONERAS named '2020 Program to Watch' by Excelencia in Education
Pre-COVID-19 file photo: PIONERAS teachers participated in an intensive Spanish language course in Costa Rica where they completed observations and volunteer work in a local elementary school.
More than a half century ago, our university launched a pioneering bilingual education program. Today it is one of the country’s leading programs, and it helped set us on a path to becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
This program’s legacy continues today with initiatives such as Project PIONERAS, which this month was recognized by Excelencia in Education as a “Program to Watch” because, the organization wrote, “We are impressed with the impact your program has had thus far on Latino students and recognize the potential of your program to grow in practice and evidence of effectiveness.”
Project PIONERAS is designed to help meet the growing demand for educators in Texas who possess high levels of academic literacy in both English and Spanish, and understand the importance of biliteracy development in children.
Student wins Dallas scholarship competition
Taylor Davis, one of our students with a double-major in fashion design and fashion merchandising, was awarded first place and a $2,500 scholarship in the digital merchandising store planning category of this year’s Fashion Group International of Dallas Scholarship Competition.
Her winning design concept, Metrix, imagines an adaptive clothing boutique designed for children with special needs. “At Metrix, we measure the needs of our customers to find them clothing that is non-restrictive, accessible and stylish,” she wrote in the store’s concept description.
Taylor explained to us recently, “I have a family member who is disabled and has a difficult time finding adaptable clothing for their condition. I felt inspired to create a plan for a store that is inclusive and fashionable for children with disabilities…an underrepresented market and an area of fashion that has not progressed over the years.”
Unique Parkinson’s disease research to begin
We are launching a first-of-its-kind study in December to investigate how equine-assisted therapy could benefit adults with Parkinson’s disease, thanks to a research grant awarded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute.
This research could lead to a potential treatment for the disease, which affects about 1 million individuals in the U.S., with 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to Parkinson’s News Today.
Associate Professor Rhett Rigby, PhD, co-director of the Institute for Women’s Health and principal investigator of the study, will lead a multi-disciplinary effort between the School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology and the School of Occupational Therapy to examine how eight weeks of equine-assisted therapy affects older adults diagnosed with the disease.
Those interested in participating in the study can contact Dr. Rigby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TWU students majoring in biomechanics, motor behavior and exercise physiology will help conduct the five-month study.
TWU hosts virtual seminar on health policy
I hope many of you were able to virtually attend the Sept. 18 day-long public seminar on Texas women leading the way in health policy, hosted by our Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, a part of TWU’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, and the Public Leadership-Education Network.
The day’s events included an introduction to federal, state and local health policy decision making and in-depth sessions on food security and maternal and child health.
State Sen. Jane Nelson (R-District 12), who before becoming chair of Finance was the longest-serving chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, introduced a special panel discussion of Texas legislators and provided a videotaped overview of the state’s progress in addressing women’s health policy issues.
This session, moderated by Shefali Luthra, health reporter for The 19th, a nonpartisan media outlet that reports on gender, politics and policy, featured Representatives Senfronia Thompson (D-District 141), Donna Howard (D-District 48) and Stephanie Klick (R-District 91).
Topics included access to mental health care, how the pandemic has affected maternal health and mortality, rural vs. urban COVID-19 impacts, and improving the safety of women in frontline pandemic roles as teachers, nurses and the like.
ALUMNI IN THE NEWS...
Alumna painting commissioned by Southlake mayor to honor COVID-19 victim
Photo: Gayle Bunch/Dallas Morning News
Kudos to Gayle Bunch (BS ‘92), who worked as an art teacher for 23 years (Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Old Union Elementary in Carroll ISD).
She was commissioned by Laura Hill, the mayor of Southlake, TX, to paint a special flag in honor of Darlene Rubio, a 43-year-old Southlake employee in the public works department who succumbed to COVID-19 this spring.
“I loved when my instructors would have art that recorded history because they didn’t have photographs,” Bunch told the Dallas Morning News. “So I got to thinking about how artists record, and I thought, well, this is a good time to do that. We’re becoming so together as a nation from coast to coast. [The pandemic] made us more together than anything we’ve had in a long time.”
PT alumnus and Army veteran helps minority-owned small businesses
Photo: Fort Bend County/Houston Chronicle
The Houston Business Journal recently named TWU alumnus Dr. Sterling Carter (MS ‘07), above left, to its "Most Admired CEOs List" for 2020. And it’s easy to understand why!
I was forwarded an article about Dr. Carter and his twin brother Stephen who run a Houston-based business consulting firm that is working to make sure minority and disadvantaged businesses become "bigger and better" than they were before COVID-19.
Dr. Carter, an Army veteran with more than 25 years of service and more than two decades as a physical therapist after earning a master's degree from Texas Woman’s, today serves as president and CEO of Sterling Physical Therapy and Wellness and is a founding partner and CEO at Sterling Staffing Solutions.
He told the Houston Chronicle, “So far we’ve recruited 200 businesses from across the board. We are looking at small businesses like nail salons, beauticians, barber shops and small restaurants. We want to touch all those industries that typically are not getting the services they need and want to mirror the fund they’re receiving with the education they need to recover from this pandemic.”
The brothers’ program is free, and business owners are encouraged to submit an online application at fortbendentrepreneur.com.
YOU ARE INVITED...
Announcing fall TWU Paup Lecture
Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, will headline this fall’s Nancy P. & Thaddeus E. Paup Lecture Series hosted by the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership.
The free online event, which is open to the public, will be held at 5 p.m. CDT, Oct. 1, 2020. Preregistration is required.
Forbes will share his economic perspectives and address concepts highlighted in his public television documentary “In Money We Trust?”, which answers the question: What is money? He will be joined by Elizabeth Ames, co-author with Forbes of the book “MONEY.” After their discussion, you will be able to ask questions of both presenters.
Visit our growing butterfly gardens!
Dr. Bettye Myers and Professor Jeff Robb joined me at the opening of the butterfly garden named in Bettye’s honor in 2016. (Photo by Michael Modecki)
With the current migration of monarch butterflies from southern Canada and the U.S. to Mexico via Texas, we invite you to visit our Denton campus’ monarch waystation to witness their flight.
The Dr. Bettye Myers Butterfly Garden is a special pollinator garden with plants that attract butterflies and provide them with a place to lay their eggs.
We recently posthumously named the second phase of this garden the Professor Jeff Robb Outdoor Classroom in memory of our acclaimed professor and lepidopterist, whose butterfly collection spanned the globe and whose legacy of pollinator education continues to this day.
Our butterfly garden is supported financially by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, university funding and private donations.
As we teach our students about sustainability and environmental responsibility, we are developing educational tools for the public to learn more about how to apply water conservation practices, and preserve or restore wildlife habitats.
Join us for our theatre season opener
Mark your calendars! Our theatre program launches its 2020-21 season on Oct. 14-18 with an experimental format for CarPark Sonnets: A Live Drive-In Performance of Shakespearean Sonnets and Monologues, a new and playful take on The Bard’s classic sonnets and soliloquies.
Tailgating and Shakespeare will never be the same after you kick back and enjoy Shakespeare’s verse from the comfort of your own car at our Denton campus’ faculty/staff parking lot on Oakland and 3rd Streets, behind Hubbard Hall.
Participate in the expanding ‘Voices of Coronavirus Pandemic’ collection
The voices of TWU’s nationally recognized Concert Choir still resonate strongly during the midst of the pandemic—with proper social distancing. (Photo by Michael Modecki)
A growing number of people already have contributed dozens of audio, video, poetry, photographs, cards and other creative works to our special COVID-19 pandemic voices collection, which is accessible online. Coming soon is a chapbook of COVID-related poems by Texas Poet Laureate (2010) Karla Morton.
Whether you can donate a homemade mask, share children’s drawings or send us your pictures, we invite you to participate in this collection that historians and others will value because every one of us brings our own unique and personal experience to the understanding of this pandemic affecting our community and the world.
In closing, we remember the lives lost and the sorrow felt by their loved ones after the 9/11 terrorist attacks 19 years ago this month. I took a moment to place flags as part of our Student Veterans Association’s annual memorial.
In addition, I join my colleagues across the university and so many others in mourning the loss, and heralding the leadership, of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We join our fellow members in the Women’s College Coalition in this special tribute to "how she changed our lives—and the lives of our alumnae, our students and our colleagues...(and for reminding) us of the incredible value of women’s education."
Thanks for your interest in Texas Woman’s. As always, email me with your comments or questions. I am delighted that you have spent a few minutes with me today.
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Page last updated 12:50 PM, April 11, 2022