New Opportunities for Minority Graduate Students at the University of Southern California

uscThe University of Southern California in Los Angeles has created the Graduate Initiative for Diversity, Inclusion and Access. The new effort aims to increase the diversity of the student body in the graduate school at the university, to broaden academic support for underrepresented minority students, and to expand outreach to minority communities in Los Angeles.

The new initiative will begin this summer with the JumpStart Program. Minority students from Loyola Marymount University, Cal Poly-Pomona, and California State University, Los Angeles, will be eligible for a research-intensive summer program at USC. Students who complete the program will receive a stipend and have their application fee waived if they apply to a Ph.D. program at USC.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, the new initiative will offer $32,000 stipends to graduate students from underrepresented minority groups.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Uwimana Waller-Dieng says:

    Thank you for this informative article. I will certainly pass on the details to those of whom I believe will be of benefit.

    However, for near and far future reference, would you consider finding another expression for the ethnic demographic groups you are attempting to describe in this article. The term ‘minority’ is offensive and degrading to the people it represents, regardless of race. The very definition of the term is “the smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half the whole number.” It connotes inferiority and oppression. What’s wrong with the term People of Color”??

    • Dr. Jamille Harrell-Sims says:

      Thank you so much for saying that. I just corrected a student regarding that same thing. The etymology of the word “minority ” has negative connotations and is in itself a slap in the face to those who live in the margins. Bravo for your stance!

    • Jared says:

      What?! Minority is a mathematical term representing proportion relative to the whole. Your comment is absurd. Please stop looking for offense where it does not exist; there is plenty already out there. This is why communications on race can’t happen effectively because people are overly sensitive and handcuff those on the “other side” of the table. I’m a minority. I’m black. I take no offense to the term minority. Please stop. Your efforts are problematic.

    • Jeff says:

      I have to agree with some who have already commented. As an AA man, I don’t find the use of the term “minority” offensive. At least not in the context it’s being used. I think as a people we have bigger things to worry or argue about than this.

    • Joshua says:

      Not all minorities are “people of color” unless all women regardless of race are no longer considered minorities.

      An Easter egg hunt for victimhood status is pointless.

    • Ms. Lopez says:

      @Uwimana Thank you so much for your comment! The problem with the word minority is that in some areas, people of color are NOT the minority, but are nonetheless underrepresented (this is the phrase that I’ve been taught in the college where I’ve been taking early education classes). As a person of color, I really dislike the term “minority,” for reasons specified by Dr. Harell-Sims, and because in some cases, it’s not factual.

  2. Yolanda Terry says:

    The term minority should not be taken as an offense. Any population that is of the lower number is a minority…not necessarily color-it can be gender as well. Please put your critical thinking cap on…which is required if you are to think about becoming a scholar. We must learn to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. A negative mind breeds-negative thoughts.

  3. Verona says:

    @ Uwimana, i do not think this scholarship is geared only to ‘people of color’. There are a lot of other minorities out there that need good representation, especially Native Americans. Quit thinking so narrow-minded. As an African American, I find your post bothersome and filled with vitriol undertones!

  4. Lawrence says:

    @Jared the conversation on race is more complex than terms that one has the right to be offended by, and does not offer to the right to call one’s opinion absurd because you disagree with it. And your tone is an example of what could adversely impact effective communication. The OP stated the term minority was offensive. I am of the opinion I do not care what you call me-I define who I am. But we each have the right to respond without someone judging that perspective. @Verona to call someone else narrow-minded is well, narrow-minded. The OP isn’t bitter for offering an alternative viewpoint. But feeling the need to indicate your ethnicity offers a similar condescending tone to what you imply as bitter on the part of the OP.

  5. Busayo Odunlami says:

    I believe that we should always allow the expression of a different point of view. Even if we do not agree it is always refreshing o look at issues from another perspective. The issue here is not the word minority but rather that we live in a society where mentioning an opinion that is different even absurd in some cases is frowned upon. Debate does not mean we should leave friends but rather we use information to back our point of view.

  6. Cameron says:

    What ethnicities, genders, etc. are included in the underrepresented minority groups this initiative is focused on?

  7. CA says:

    I believe that we all can agree that there are multiple ethnic groups that define “minority.” However, I would say the key term mentioned in the article is “underrepresented,” which narrows the criteria down. I am a minority, as well as African American, but I would not consider myself apart of the classification that is defined as “underrepresented.” I do not take offense to the wording, and feel that it was stated in such a way to most likely eliminate a bunch of applications that do not meet the criteria. I have seen many similar opportunities surface that used the term “underrepresented.” The individuals who meet this criteria are not offended either, because they have been pushing for such programs in the communities that they reside in. Overall, I believe this is an awesome opportunity, well needed, and I am sure appreciated as well. Please let us not lose sight of the purpose of this article. I think it’s awesome for whomever can benefit.

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