September 2020 Volume 1, Issue 7
This month we feature outstanding scholarship and achievements. Learn more about "Somos Texas A&M," a digital narrative project featuring oral histories from Texas A&M first-generation students and faculty. The process of creating the narratives has been student-run, making participation a retention tool for the very students whose experiences are being portrayed.

We are highlighting exciting achievements. Texas A&M University received the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. Additionally, the university has been named a 2020 Diversity Champion. Receiving a 2020 HEED Award holds Texas A&M to a still higher standard of accountability to our campus communities and provides the institution with an opportunity to further reflect on challenges, identify new goals and celebrate the institution’s ongoing progress toward diversity and inclusion.

New to this monthly newsletter is a calendar of events to facilitate engagement and highlight opportunities for professional and personal development. Also new to the newsletter is our staff spotlight, where we recognize their contributions and showcase what makes the Office for Diversity Learning Community special. We invite you to explore the newsletter and to participate in the opportunities listed below and on our website. Happy reading!
HEED Award Graphic
Texas A&M has received the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the 2nd year in a row from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The award recognizes Texas A&M for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Gabriela C. Zapata, Dr. María Irene Moyna, and their undergraduate students will be presenting the “Somos Texas A&M” project and unveiling the website as part of Hispanic Heritage Month on Friday, October 9th. "Somos Texas A&M" is a digital narrative project featuring oral histories from Texas A&M first-generation students and faculty. The stories address the challenges, rewards, and unique experiences of Hispanic/Latinx students in higher education by focusing specifically on our university. These first-hand narratives in Spanish and English will be available to the public for outreach and dissemination purposes. Moreover, the process of creating the narratives has been student-run, making participation a retention tool for the very students whose experiences are being portrayed.
This interdisciplinary initiative has three objectives: 1) To highlight the vital role played by first-generation Hispanic/Latinx students on campus and in Texas; 2) to actively involve first-generation students in the collection and development of multimodal, digital materials; and 3) to provide scholars, educators, and the general public with valuable information that could be used in classrooms and for research, and could possibly result in the rejection of the stereotypes that have haunted Texas Hispanics for decades (Ortego, 1973). The data has been transformed into multimodal digital representations (photos, video, text) and thematic podcasts that will be posted in the project's interactive website. This platform will weave in a single canvas the lives and contributions of Hispanic/Latinx Aggies and Texans more generally.”
October seminar
The Enhancing Diversity Seminars are designed to engage the campus community in dialogue around topics and issues related to diversity, campus climate, equity, and inclusion. The fall seminars will be held virtually in October and November. Register for October 15, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. The October seminar will he presented by Drs. Beverly Irby, Valerie Hill-Jackson, and Billy Pugliese. They will be presenting their 2020 NCORE Session “Mentoring Up: A University-Community Based Mentoring Program for Future First-Generation High School Students and Post-Secondary Preparation.” Students, faculty, staff, and community members are all welcome and encouraged to participate.
Deyanira Ely

Deyanira Ely joined the Office for Diversity in 2016. She brings to the Office for Diversity over 16 years of experience at Texas A&M University that began in the College of Education and Human Development in 2004. She has worked alongside university leaders, donors, former students, faculty, staff, and students to fulfill the university’s mission and uphold Texas A&M’s Core Values.

As the Executive Assistant III in the Office for Diversity, Deyanira’s responsibilities include:
  • Providing direct support to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity
  • Supporting the Office for Diversity staff and students through budget and space administration, coordinating hiring and on-boarding, and work schedule management
  • Coordinating and implementing initiatives, special projects, events, that advance the mission of the Office
  • Supervising the student employees in the Office for Diversity Learning Community.

Deyanira brings her commitment to equity and belonging to the Bryan/College Station community. She is an avid advocate for service in the community and volunteers with the Bryan Independent School District, Texas A&M Dining and Epicure Catering Services, the Special Olympics, the B/CS Marathon Race Series, and with the Brazos County Aggie Moms’ Club.
Deyanira is a 2019 Texas A&M University President’s Meritorious Service Award recipient and an ADVANCE Diversity Champion.
ACES ad graphic
Texas A&M University’s Accountability, Climate, Equity, and Scholarship (ACES) Fellows Program is a faculty pipeline initiative that connects those advancing outstanding scholarship with relevant disciplinary units on campus. The ACES Fellows Program is a two-year (24 month) fellowship for early career Ph.D.s. Applicants should have earned their Ph.D. between January 1, 2017 and July 1, 2021. Fellows will begin their appointment fall 2021. Applications are due on October 1, 2020 by 9:00 a.m.
Seed Grant Program logo
The Office for Diversity announces a call for proposals for Diversity Matters Seed Grants for 2020-2022. The Diversity Matters Seed Grant program supports research projects designed to make a positive impact on Texas A&M University’s Diversity Plan goals of accountability, campus climate, and equity. Seed grant proposals are open to Texas A&M University students, faculty, staff, as well as previous recipients. Proposal are due on October 1, 2020 by 12:00 p.m.
Women's Conference logo
Wright Gallery
Oct. 7 & 8 and Oct. 21 & 22 - 12th Can Food Pantry Openings - TAMU
Oct. 9 - Somos Texas A&M: Project and Website Presentation - TAMU College of Liberal Arts
Through Oct. 15 - Hispanic Heritage Month Events - Hispanic Presidents' Council
Oct. 15 - Enhancing Diversity Seminar Series - TAMU Office for Diversity
Oct. 16 - Women's Leadership Initiative Conference - TAMU Mays Business School

Send November events to Crystal Carter by Oct. 2nd for consideration in October newsletter.
STEM award logo
HACU Fellows
Texas A&M has issued COVID-19 guidance to enhance the safety of those returning to campus. Free testing is available for all students, faculty, and staff who have symptoms or have been in close contact with known or suspected cases. The tests provided through this program are mouth swab tests that do not require assistance. More information can be found at the Student Health Services website.
Texas A&M University
Office for Diversity
Jack K. Williams Administration Building
1360 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-1360
Phone: (979) 458-2905