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CSU student scholars at NCORE

September 13, 2012

Two CSU graduate students were awarded the prestigious College Board/NCORE Student Scholarship providing a fully paid registration for the 2012 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education May 29-June 2, in New York City.

Danielle Dickens, a Ph.D. student in applied social psychology and instructor in Ethnic Studies, and Kimberly Allison, a Ph.D. student in educational leadership and Ethnic Studies, were among the 20 students selected nationwide for the College Board Scholarship and were honored at the conference with Student Scholar certificates.


Since its inception in 1988, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) has served as a vital resource for higher education institutions providing a comprehensive national forum on issues of race and ethnicity. NCORE focuses on the complex task of creating and sustaining comprehensive institutional change designed to improve racial and ethnic relations on campus and seeks to expand opportunities for educational access and success by culturally diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations.

“Sometimes when you attend a conference, it’s like ‘I could have had a V8!” laughed Allison. “You don’t really take anything away from it. At NCORE, I was shoulder to shoulder with people who are in the forefront in terms of scholarly research. I met scholars whose research I’ve read and have been using. And I didn’t just get to meet them, I formed a collegial relationship with them that continues even now, well after the conference.”

Dickens agreed, “I really had the opportunity to network with other students, faculty, administrators, and other colleagues who were also committed to the advancement of racial and ethnic minority groups in higher education.”

Applying NCORE experience

Both Allison and Dickens already have made concrete use of what they took away from NCORE by applying it to enhance the CSU experience for others.

I’m going to be showing a film at CSU’s 2012 Diversity Symposium (10:15-11:15 a.m. Sept. 18),Cracking The Codes: Race & Relationships in the 21st Century’ that I saw at NCORE,” said Allison. “What I liked about this film is that it shows many different people and perspectives and shares their personal ‘aha’ moments of how unintentional racism is ingrained in us. It deepens the conversation about race,” Allison continued, “and I’m excited to further that dialogue at Colorado State."

For Dickens, “I’m teaching a course in Afro American studies at CSU this fall, and at NCORE I met so many faculty from all over the country who teach this and who sent me their curriculum to assist me in preparing for my course.” Additionally, Dickens attended a workshop on racial microaggressions led by Dr. Derald W. Sue, professor of psychology and education at Columbia University. “That workshop really increased my interest in that area and motivated me to author my own study on racial microaggressions.”

In addition, for both Allison and Dickens, NCORE reinforced their sense of purpose. “NCORE increased my passion for advocacy in helping and supporting students of color in making their, and our, voices known,” said Dickens.

“It increased my level of commitment to persist,” agreed Allison. “To be a part of the change needed to make CSU an inclusive and positive experience for all students and to take that beyond into my future research and career.”

Graduate Students of Color Advisory Group

Both Dickens and Allison attribute their selection as scholarship recipients, at least in part, to the Graduate Students of Color Advisory Group (GSC) that they were instrumental in creating at CSU last year. From the first meeting of four graduate students in December 2011 to a forum of approximately 60 participants in February 2012, the GSC has grown and now serves as an advisory committee under the auspices of the Dean of the Graduate School Jodie Hanzlik.

The GSC is hosting a 2012 Fall Welcome Reception on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 4-7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Cherokee Ballroom. “We invite everyone to attend,” said Allison, “not only students of color, faculty and staff, but those who support us – our allies. We need your support and presence.”

“There is a momentum,” said Dickens. “We want Colorado State to know more about our organization. We want to do more collaboration with other organizations and departments. We want to instill social change.”

“Ultimately, we want the CSU experience to be a positive one for everyone,” said Dickens. “One that fosters personal and professional development and that uplifts and supports students of color.”

Contact: Rod Higgins
Phone: (970) 491-2297