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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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TAMU RISE: discussing diversity at inaugural conference

Inaugural+TAMU+RISE+Conference
Inaugural TAMU RISE Conference

To inform everyone on campus of the significance and necessity of diversity, the Department of Multicultural Services hosted its annual Race Identity and Social Equity (RISE) conference in the Memorial Student Center on Feb. 2.
The TAMU RISE initiative aims to kindle a grasp on diversity in students on campus. The full-day conference began with the opening remarks, University President Michael K. Young, Student Affairs Vice President Daniel J. Pugh, Sr. and College of Education and Human Development Dean Joyce Alexander all spoke on the multifacetedness of diversity.
The RISE initiative evolved from the department of multicultural services’ Student Diversity Summit. To become a part of this program, students apply for fellowship. Once selected, they conduct race, identity and social equity oriented research on an area of their interest. Post-research, the students attend the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) and the TAMU RISE conferences, during which they have the opportunity to present their discoveries.
“Starting in the fall semester, the chosen students work with us weekly, and learn research procedures and methods and identify topics and things that they are interested in,” co-coordinator Mark Dawson of the department of multicultural services said. “Culminating in the TAMU RISE conference, these students get to present the research that they worked on over the year to their peers and to their colleagues and raise awareness on campus for some of these issues on race, identity and social equity.”
Dawson said their goal was to provide a holistic experience for the students, and hopefully aid in a learning transformation. The initiative allows students to face, observe and research the world. Ultimately by sharing their knowledge to the Aggie community, the students will develop not only as scholars, but as people, too.
Dear Aunaetitrakul worked with Mark Dawson as co-coordinator of the initiative. While handling the logistics of the conference, Aunaetitrakul also helped with research development during the past year. Aunaetitrakul said she is excited for the students to be able to break away from their day-to-day roles and display their recent revelations.
“For me this conference is a place for the Texas A&M community to come together,” Aunaetitrakul said. “People can have conversations about topics that they never really had a chance to talk about in classrooms. This conference is about showcasing the work of our community with the focus on race, identity and social equity.
While at the conference, Aunaetitrakul said she was impressed at the 260 peoplein attendance. According to Aunaetitrakul, the conference will allowed people to channel inner questions and concerns.
“These students have worked so hard in the past year,” Aunaetitrakul said. “Sometimes it’s a good place for us to have conversations and really talk about this issues. Sometimes we don’t feel comfortable talking about it. Sometimes we feel uneasy. This is the space where people get to learn new content but also get to ask and challenge each other. Students should take advantage of this opportunity.”
Sarah Porter, history senior, said she attended the TAMU RISE conference to expand her knowledge of diversity and its cruciality.
“I hope to get some new ideas about current issues and about historical issues, since I’m a history major,” Porter said. “I think conferences like this one are important because they offer a new opportunity for everybody, not just undergraduate students. Just by attending, students can engage with scholarship in their own field.”

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    Photo by Photo By Dalia Muayad
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