LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Engineering has named its first group of undergraduates to the Multicultural Scholars Program.
Twelve students were named to the program, which includes a $1,000 scholarship and expanded opportunities to network with other diverse students on the KU campus. KU has supported its Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) for more than 25 years: the School of Engineering joined this year as an initiative from IHAWKe, the school’s diversity outreach program.
"What's nice about this program is that the students will get a lot of the benefits of what we do in IHAWKe but they'll build relationships with multicultural students across campus,” said Andrew Williams, associate dean for diversity, equity & inclusion in the engineering school.
Williams and Angela Sublett Knight, program coordinator for MSP, IHAWKe and Diversity & Women's programs will serve as co-directors of the Multicultural Scholars Program.
The inaugural group of Multicultural Engineering Scholars are transfer student Luis Belmontes; freshmen Kayla Castillo, Gita Regmi, Ty'Quarius Robinson and Nia Jackson; sophomore Darene Essa; juniors Matheson Heras, Erin Sturd and Ngan Tran; and seniors Erika Ibarra, Leslie Laguna and Gyasi Talib.
MSP supports the recruitment, retention, academic success and career preparation of underrepresented, Pell-eligible and first-generation undergraduates. The program exists under the direction of KU's Office of Diversity & Equity. The program connects students to a small community of others within their respective academic units and to a broader group of students and former students across disciplines that, collectively, provide an active and coherent social and professional network.
The program is open to students undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and who are part of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, are first-generation college students, or who have high financial need as defined by Pell Grant eligibility.
“We’re excited,” Williams said. "it's another great example of the School of Engineering, the dean and the provost’s office doing something new to help these engineering students that are in these minoritized populations."