From its inception, the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University has been committed to ensuring a diverse student body, faculty, and staff. Assistant dean for Career and Student Services, Dr. Matthew Upton, says that a newly formed student group of diversity advocates will play a significant role in ensuring that this commitment is fully met.
“These students will enhance our diversity programming and facilitate ongoing discussions within the School on diversity issues since we believe that is an essential part of a graduate education in public and international affairs,” said Upton.
Kristina Miller and Khrystyna Konopatska will co-chair the School’s Student Government Association Diversity Organization for the 2014-2015 academic year. Other students involved in the diversity effort include Caitlin Carlo, Juan Manuel Pintor Martinez, Alexander Buhler-Rose, Kwame Twumasi, Hugo Hernandez, and Herilala Fanomezantsoa.
“These students will facilitate discussion groups, host speakers and events, and serve as advocates for diversity,” Upton said. “I’m confident they will significantly enhance our diversity program and ensure that we have a broad range of student input into all such efforts,” he added.
“I am excited to become a diversity advocate at the Bush School as part of my Fulbright mission to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries such as Madagascar,” said Herilala Fanomezantsoa, a Master of Public Service and Administration student from Madagascar.
The Bush School advocates attended the National Student Leadership Diversity Conference (NSLDC) in New York City July 31-August 3, 2014, along with 150 students and advisors from forty-four schools and twenty-two states, including the director of Student Affairs at A&M Qatar. The largest such national gathering, the conference addressed the most critical topics of diversity and social justice challenging campuses today. Through experiential workshops, keynote sessions, and round table discussions, teams of students explored various elements of diversity and how they affect their campuses. Conference workshops covered a range of topics, including race and class, bridging the gender divide, conflict resolution, and creating effective diversity programs.