Stephanie Fryberg

Student success symposium

UD symposium links sense of belonging to student success


9:03 a.m., Feb. 12, 2015--The law of the land demands equal opportunity and equal access. But research shows it takes more than open doors to make someone feel welcome and more than a letter of acceptance to make them feel they belong.

Five scholars will discuss what it takes to help students of diverseĀ  backgrounds succeed during a daylong Symposium on Research-Based Interventions for Student Success to be held Thursday, Feb. 19, at the University of Delaware’s Perkins Student Center Gallery. For registration information, see this website.

Campus Stories

From graduates, faculty

As it neared time for the processional to open the University of Delaware Commencement ceremonies, graduating students and faculty members shared their feelings about what the event means to them.

Doctoral hooding

It was a day of triumph, cheers and collective relief as more than 160 students from 21 nations participated in the University of Delaware's Doctoral Hooding Convocation held Friday morning on The Green.

The symposium is more consultation than conference, said James Jones, professor of psychology and director of the University’s Center for the Study of Diversity, which is sponsoring the event.

"We wanted to bring a body of work to the University of Delaware that hopefully will inform efforts ongoing here to improve the success of students generally," he said. "This is particularly important for students who are atypical of the students we've had here for many years."

In years past, students had to figure things out for themselves, said Jones, as he did when he went to college.

"No one was going to do anything for you," he said. "If anything, they might try to block you."

Today "there's the idea that you are treated fairly and equally because we are in a different society," Jones said. "But we're not. We're not treated fairly and equally and we don't know to what degree that is."

There is lingering suspicion, discomfort and uncertainty, he said.

Some students just do their thing, trying to work things out the best they can, while others are looking to see who might be trying to hold them back, Jones said.

Without intervention, many of these students are less likely to graduate in six years, he said.

Speakers include:

  • Stephanie Fryberg, associate professor of psychology and American Indian studies at the University of Washington, who works to find connections that reflect the culture of diverse groups, especially Washington's Native American community.
  • Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University and director of the Laboratory on Intergroup Relations and the Social Mind, who studies differences between social groups and their influence on behavior.
  • Rudy Mendoza-Denton, University of California, Berkeley, who studies rejection sensitivity, especially among racial groups.
  • Greg Walton, assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University, who studies psychological processes that contribute to social problems and how even minor interventions can have long-lasting effects.
  • Rebecca Covarrubias, post-doctoral researcher in UD’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, who studies interventions and educational programs for underrepresented students.

Article by Beth Miller


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