About Us

Mission Statement

The Department of Institutional Diversity Initiatives (DIDI) is chartered with creating the strategies to enhance communication on diversity related topics within the UT Dallas Community. In collaboration with Human Resources, we aim to increase diversity awareness by offering ongoing diversity training. Our office supports the development of new programs through identification of external funding to specifically address the unique issues and challenges affecting the under-represented stakeholders.

Focus Areas:

  • Develop the framework to highlight major institutional diversity achievements and concerns at UT Dallas

  • To identify funding from external sources to support new diversity programs, initiatives and projects

  • To improve public perception of diversity at UT Dallas and its institutional diversity initiatives

  • To create effective communication with the community inside and outside UT Dallas

  • To provide diversity training for UT Dallas employees


Diversity Scorecard
The Diversity Scorecard is a tool to help academic institutions assess the gaps in effectiveness and the progress toward achieving their diversity goals and objectives. It will assist the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement (ODCE) to define strategic areas of focus, establish metrics and long-term goals of equity, and explore and monitor solutions to overcome barriers related to access, retention, institutional receptivity and education excellence.

Communications and Marketing
The goal of a strong communications program is to improve public awareness of UT Dallas through various activities in the ODCE throughout the year. The ODCE seeks to provide a forum for diversity and create a heightened awareness of UT Dallas' diversity achievement. OCDE strives to elevate and maintain its status as a professional organization through its marketing materials and website appearance.

Diversity Training Program for Employees
The diversity training program's efforts enhance and supplement good management practices. In one sense, the goal of our diversity efforts is to maximize the extent to which management's "best practices" are applied to all individuals. As a part of new employee orientation, each employee is given an overview of diversity awareness. This training takes place twice each month and weekly in the summer.


Annual Diversity Awards
Each year the ODCE annual diversity recognition program highlights the achievements of faculty, staff and students. Celebrating and appreciating cultural diversity is a way for employees and students to learn how people are different. It also promotes more tolerance in the work place.

The Diversity Awards ceremony is the culmination of ODCE's many programs and initiatives throughout the year. This year, the Diversity Awards will bring together 300 guests in the UT Dallas Alexander Clark Center. The ceremony will include:

  • A special performance by the winner of the UT Dallas Slam Poetry Competition.
  • A testimonial by a UT Dallas Diversity Retention Scholarship Recipient.
  • Recognition of the 2015 UT Dallas Champions of Diversity: awards will recognize faculty, staff, students, community and corporate awardees.

Diversity Lecture
The DIDI in collaboration with the Committee for Diversity and Equity, the Office of Human Resources Management, the Women's Center, and the Multicultural Center host a diversity lecture and seminar each year. Such events are made available at least once a year during October, National Diversity Month. The focus of the lecture is to provide diversity information opportunities for faculty, students and staff. In addition, the lecture will focus on at least one major public lecture that will present the work of a prominent official, educator, researcher, author or artist whose efforts have had a significant impact upon diversity and/or equity.

Advisory Committees

UT Dallas Committee for Diversity and Equity
DIDI serves as a liaison to support activities of the UT Dallas Committee for Diversity and Equity by identifying meeting spaces, providing refreshments, facilitating communication between members and implementing the diversity lecture series.

UT Dallas Student Diversity Advisory Council
DIDI serves as a liaison to support the activities of the Student Advisory Council such as identifying meeting spaces, providing refreshments, facilitating communication between members and implementing the programs recommended by the student leaders.


Abigail Zapote

Special Diversity Projects Coordinator
BA Political Science

Abigail recently joined the Institutional Diversity staff as the new special diversity projects coordinator. Although she is new to the position she isn't new to UT Dallas, having earned her degree in Political Science in the Fall of 2013. Abigail serves her role creating diverse programming for the department of Institutional Diversity which encompasses students, staff, faculty and the community.

David Ceballos

Graphic Designer
BA Arts and Technology

David is from Dallas TX and joined ODCE in 2013. He is the Graphic Designer responsible for creating the Mosaic Newsletter and other marketing materials for the department.

Cole Shepherd

Web Master

Cole is from San Antonio and is pursuing a BS in Computer Science at UT Dallas. Cole maintains the ODCE website and helps manage the department's social media accounts.