A photograph of the main bridge and Alamito Hall on the Richland campus.

Richland College to Host Annual ‘Minority Serving Institution’ Convening to Support Minority Student Success

Richland College will host the fourth annual Minority Serving Institution Convening, a conference dedicated to providing higher education professionals with tools to impact the academic success of minority students at their institutions, Oct. 18-19.

The conference program, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” explores how quantitative data can be better collected and used to design, evaluate, modify and improve programs and initiatives that address the success of minority and underserved students.

“As a minority-serving institution, Richland College understands the importance of creating an educational environment that sets our minority students up for academic success,” said Jennifer Baggett, Richland College professor of biology and MSI Convening faculty program chair. “The MSI Convening is a high-quality, free conference with nationally recognized speakers that allows professionals from other colleges and universities the opportunity to network, collaborate and learn from each other. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees of previous MSI Convenings, and we have also been able to build relationships with other community colleges and four-year institutions that have only enhanced our collaborative efforts in improving the success of these students.”

The convening will kick off Oct. 18 with an opening keynote address by Lee D. Lambert, chancellor at Pima Community College in Tucson. Lambert has been a champion for community colleges as instruments in the fight for diversity, inclusion and equity. He is the CEO of the National Asian Pacific Islanders Council, and his contributions to education and the API community have been recognized nationally. In 2018, Lambert received the League of United Latin American Citizens National Convention Humanitarian Award.

The Oct. 19 sessions will begin with the plenary address by Melissa N. Gonzalez, president of Houston Community College-Southeast. Gonzalez grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and faced a cycle of poverty often encountered by Hispanic families. However, her parents invested in her education and broke that cycle, and she has pursued research in areas of cross-cultural management, management education, maquiladoras in Mexico and Hispanic career paths. Gonzalez has had articles accepted for presentation and/or publication at more than 30 regional, national and international conferences.

In addition to the main addresses, the conference will feature multiple breakout sessions, a student panel discussion, a graduate student poster session and additional opportunities for attendees to exchange ideas and participate in conversations about how to put ideas about achieving minority student success into practice.

The MSI Convening is free to attend, and the deadline to register is Oct. 4. Continental breakfast and lunch are included both days of the conference, and attendees are also invited to a networking reception Oct. 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas-Richardson. The registration link, along with additional information such as a schedule and lodging, is available at www.richlandcollege.edu/msi-convening.

The 2018 MSI Convening attendees represented 64 colleges and universities and 16 organizations and companies from 18 states and the District of Columbia, with the farthest attendee traveling from Hawaii.

The MSI Convening is made possible in part through a grant from the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution program and by State Farm®. Richland College holds two designations by the U.S. Department of Education as an AANAPISI and a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and it was one of only nine higher education institutions in the U.S. awarded the AANAPISI grant in fiscal year 2015.