Intellectual Entrepreneurship and Diversity
72% of IE participants are first generation, underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students. Over 70% are women. In 2017, 28% of IE students were African American—approximately seven times more than their percentage of the total UT undergraduate population. This is not a coincidence. The philosophy of Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) shows promise as an approach to increasing the number of persons of color who attend graduate school. The value of IE as a mechanism for increasing diversity inheres in its capacity to allow students to become entrepreneurs--to discover otherwise unobserved connections between academe and personal and professional commitments. The spirit of intellectual entrepreneurship seems to resonate with and meet a felt need of minority and first-generation students, facilitating exploration and innovation. IE implores students to create for themselves a world of vast intellectual and practical possibilities, acquiring the resources needed to bring their visions to fruition. IE changes the metaphor and model of education from one of "apprenticeship-certification-entitlement" to "discovery-ownership-accountability."
"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program is key to helping the University of Texas at Austin connect with communities and leverage intellectual resources to solve problems. It enables our students to work on real-world problems while conducting research and benefitting from the mentoring process. With half of the participants in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate Internship attending graduate school, we think the internship has large-scale implications for increasing the number first-generation and underrepresented students in the graduate school pipeline."
Greg Vincent, Vice President for Diversity & Community Engagement, UT-Austin
"One of the best ways to improve diversity in higher education is to improve education for all students while focusing on each student’s unique strengths, instead of his or her weaknesses. Part of UT’s Division for Diversity and Engagement, the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) does exactly that. Its crown jewel, the Pre Graduate School Mentorship Program, for example, does this by demystifying higher education and helping students identify and pursue their passions. More than 5,000 UT students have benefitted from IE, and the consortium’s innovative, results-driven approach has been recognized repeatedly, including with the Examples of Excelencia Award and the National Diversity Council’s Diversity FIRST Award. IE’s multidisciplinary approach offers students access to outstanding faculty and resources from throughout the UT community, enhances research and teaching, and improves the relationship between higher education and the rest of society. Whenever I speak to young people, I tell them that I don’t want them to be like me or to match my accomplishments; I want them to be significantly better and to surpass my accomplishments. IE provides students with an excellent foundation to achieve that goal.”
Senator Judith Zaffirini
"When you're from a minority community, or you're the first member of your family to attend college, you're likely to see such a withdrawal from the rough and tumble of everyday problems as dereliction. You may be very bright and capable of learning at the highest levels, but you also feel a sense of responsibility. We're saying you don't have to choose between them."
--From nationally syndicated columnist William Raspberry's essay, "Filling the Racial Gap in Academia," Washington Post, May 31, 2005 in which he discusses how UT's IE Pre-Graduate School Internship may increase the number of Hispanics and African Americans who pursue graduate degrees.
"IE is an educational program I wish other institutions would emulate. The most important part of this program to the well-being of this nation is its attempt to address the issue of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities, first-generation, or economically disadvantaged students by assisting them in determining what they wish to do following graduation, especially whether they wish to pursue graduate education. For example, of the spring 2013 IE cohort one third were classified as Hispanic, compared to a university-wide percentage of 18. Similarly, although only 4.5 per cent of University of Texas students who were classified as African American, 16 per cent of IE students were from an African American background. Imagine if these figures were replicated across America. My hat is off to the IE program. Continue your good work as a role model for what institutions can do if they have a will to do so. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi - 'the difference between a success and fail is not a lack KNOWLEDGE, but rather a LACK of WILL.'"
Lovell A. Jones, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Co-Founder of the Intercultural Cancer Council
"Much of today's higher education reform discussion emphasizes student deficits and remedial education, but IE builds on students' strengths and focuses on demystifying the pursuit of higher education, stimulating student curiosity, and increasing engaged learning. Look at the large number of Latino students drawn to doctoral education through the IE Pre Graduate Internship (winner of Excelencia in Education Award) and you see the power and promise IE offers higher education. It's a model that works and it is time for other colleges and universities to adapt it."
Sarita Brown, President, Excelencia in Education
“The Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program is, without a doubt, grooming the next generation of remarkable leaders. This program provides a platform for students to strengthen their skills and build the confidence necessary to succeed in any work environment. The many students in the IE program that go on to further their education or obtain fulfilling roles in the workforce are proof that success is attainable for all people regardless of race, culture, and socioeconomic status. When extraordinary programs like IE provide positive mentorship and the necessary resources, anything is possible.”
Dennis Kennedy, Chair of the National Diversity Council
"UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) initiative takes the bold step of positioning education beyond traditional academic and research boundaries. It communicates the belief that the life of the mind can be a commodity of entrepreneurial value to degree holders. This program has been of particular value to men and women of color. The IE initiative has been one of the most innovative developments in education...it is truly revolutionary."
“I would like to commend the educational impact of UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE). This program has created unprecedented opportunity and success led by the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Rick Cherwitz (recipient of the National Diversity Council DiversityFirst Award). It is imperative to emphasize the unique focus this program has had with first generation and underrepresented students by engaging their passions and desire to contribute to the community and our nation. In order to improve the diversity pipeline in the workplace we need to improve the number of diverse students successfully completing higher education. The IE Consortium is the vehicle that will allow students to find their purpose and focus on their individual strengths to succeed. It is in this foundation that they all have an opportunity to reach their goals.”
Angeles Valenciano, Chief Executive Officer of the National Diversity Council
"The IE experience resulted in a true ripple effect. It resulted in one student getting into graduate school who now is doing very well. In turn, this person helped another student who believed she could never attend a four year school; this student is now at UT and is looking forward to medical school. What's more, the second student impacted a third individual who believed she could never go to college; not only did this person perform well at a community college, she is now enrolled in a four year institution. These three individuals continue to spread the word that young Hispanic women can indeed succeed. And all of this happened because I participated in IE."
UT Doctoral Candidate and IE Mentor
Inside Higher Ed National Audio Forum Spotlights IE's Impact on Diversity
UT WEB Feature Story Spotlights IE Oral History and Diversity Project.
Article and Essays
IE Kuhn Scholar Aims to Inspire Next Generation of STEM Researchers, January 25, 2017
Joseph Gallardo, “I’m a Living Argument for Affirmative Action,” Access & Excellence, December 12, 2016. [Joseph, a former IE Pre-Grad Intern, is a student at Harvard Law School (class of 2019)]
“New Program Prepares African American Students for Graduate School,” October 28, 2016. [IE Consortium partners with the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA).]
IE Program Announces Fall 2016 Kuhn Scholars, October 5, 2016.
IE Program Highlighted in Texas Diversity Magazine, DDCE News, July 11, 2016
“Leadership through IE Starts Early at East Austin College Prep.” June 17, 2016
[IE Pre Grad Mentorship director and Heisman winner lead East Austin College Prep Academy initiative.]
Raasha Suleman, “The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium,” Texas Diversity Magazine, June 9, 2016
[This article spotlight’s IE unique and significant role in promoting diversity in higher education.]
Joseph Gallardo, “I'm a Living Argument for Affirmative Action,” USA Today, June 3, 2016 [Joseph is an IE Pre Grad intern who will begin Harvard Law in the fall, 2016.]
“Intellectual Entrepreneurship Internship: Mentor’s Perspective,” The Orbit, Spring 2016. [On page 6, the St. Edward’s University McNair Scholars program recognizes the important role played by the IE Pre Grad Internship program and its graduate student mentors.]
IE Program Announces Spring 2016 Kuhn Scholars, February 12, 2016
Kuhn Foundation Awards $35K to IE, January 13, 2016
Tara Trower Doolittle, “A Defense of UT’s Diversity,” Austin American-Statesman, December 18, 2015
IE Documents the Academic Success of African American Students, Austin American-Statesman, December 17, 2015
Chris Parr, “Affirmative Action: If It Goes, How Can US Universities Ensure Diversity?” Times Higher Education, December 15, 2015. [UT’s IE initiative cited as one alternative for increasing diversity if affirmative action is terminated.]
Small Town Students See Big Potential at UT Austin, October 16, 2015 [IE interns and grad student mentors help first-generation and underrepresented minority high school students interested in STEM]
IE Program Announces Fall 2015 Kuhn Scholars, October 12, 2015
"23 IE Students Named Fall 2015 Kuhn Scholars," Daily Texan, October 16, 2015
UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Initiative Honored at Excelencia in Education's Celebracion, Washington DC, September 22, 2015. [IE honored for remaining "at the forefront of advancing educational achievement for Latino students in higher education."]
Ignacio Cruz, "Reimagining the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program Through the Lens of Intellectual Entrepreneurship," Planning for Higher Education (Volume 43, Number 2, January-March 2015).
Irnela Bajrovic, "Research Opportunities at UT Give Students Tools to Change the World," Austin American Statesman, January 20, 2015
Irnela Bajrovic, "Program Helps Students Gain Clarity about Majors--From Bosnia to biochemistry at UT Austin," San Antonio Express-News, January 16, 2015 [IE Kuhn Scholar describes her journey from Bosnia to Ebola research at UT].
Jessica Sinn, "USA Today Features Artist Activist, IE Senior Lakeem Wilson," October 24, 2014
IE Announces Fall 2014 Kuhn Scholars, October 5, 2014
Lovell A. Jones, "Why Isn't Education Being Used as a Weapon to Change the World?," Burnt Orange Report, May 4, 2014. [IE spotlighted as one of three programs nationally for its success in increasing diversity.]
Lovell A. Jones, "For Minorities' Educational Needs, Funding Lags Far Behind Effort," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, May 5, 2014.
Patrick Beach, Former IE Professor Continues African-American Oral History Project in Tennessee, Austin American-Statesman, April 6, 2014.
Lovell A. Jones, "Mandela Left Us with Lesson on Education," Austin American-Statesman, December 11, 2013.
Lovell A Jones, "Mandela, Knowledge & Will," Houston Style Magazine, December 8, 2013. [UT's IE program is featured as a model for increasing diversity.]
William McKenzie, "UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program is Trying to Expand Minority Graduate School Enrollment," Dallas Morning News, October 11, 2013.
Richard A. Cherwitz, "The Challenge of Diversifying Higher Education in the Post-Fisher Era," Planning for Higher Education, September 20, 2013. [Documentation of how IE offers one viable approach to increasing diversity in a race neutral era]
Chris Parr, "US Explores How to Increase Diversity without Prejudice," Times Higher Education, September 5, 2013.
Richard Cherwitz, "Increasing Diversity in the Post-Fisher Era," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, July 11, 2013.
Laura Pereyra, "Affirmative Action and the Future of Diversity Initiatives in Higher Education," NerdScholar, July 3, 2013. [Discussion of IE's Pre Grad Internship and "It Could Be U/IE Mentoring and College Readiness Camp".]
Ana Lucia Hurtado, "Intern Program Helps Build 'Citizen-Scholars'--UT Offers Students Chance at Discovery before Graduation," Houston Chronicle, June 29, 2013
IE Kuhn Scolars Honored, March 27, 2013
Damita Miller-Shanklin, "Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium," Ujima Magazine, March, 2013 (See page three.) [This is the first in a series of stories about UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) initiative.]
Chris Parr, "Texas Awaits Verdict That May Tear Up Rules on Race," Times Higher Education, January 31, 2013. [UT's IE initiative is referenced as a successful strategy for increasing diversity.]
Laura Pereyra, "UT Program Is Helping Collegians Find Careers," Austin American-Statesman, January 19, 2013. [Former UT student describes how IE stretches tuition dollars.]
"Making College Count: UT Austin's Intellectual Entrepreneurship Helps Students Maximize Their Tuition Dollars," NerdWallet, January 11, 2013.
Kuhn Family Foundation Funds First-Generation Students in IE Program, December 12, 2012.
IE's Successes Documented in the "2011-2012 Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) Impact Report," November, 2012. [Read pages 54-55.]
"IE Promotes Self-Awareness," DDCE News, October 10, 2012. [Story features how a first generation student and her mentor benefit from the IE Pre Grad Internship]
"DDCE Pipeline Programs Share Successes with UT Partners," August 23, 2012
[The Division of Diversity and Community Engagements Pipeline Council features the success of IE at its first ever UT Partners Appreciation Reception.]
Rick Cherwitz, "Why Intellectual Entrepreneurship Can Increase Diversity," Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine, June 25, 2012.
Marcus Speir, "Finding the Voice of a Generation": Pruneda Wins First-Place in the VOCES Oral History Project, Credits IE Program, June 18, 2012.
IE Student Wins First Prize in the 2012 VOCES Oral History Contest and is Showcased on Lantinopia.com, May 21, 2012. [Rosa Pruneda's award winning video was her project for the spring 2012 IE Pre Grad Internship.]
Rick Cherwitz, "Increasing Diversity through Intellectual Entrepreneurship," Huffington Post, February 28, 2012.
Richard Reddick, Kimberly Griffin, Richard Cherwitz, Aida Cerda-Prazak and Nathan Bunch, "What You Get When You Give: How Graduate Students Benefit from Serving as Mentors." Journal of Faculty Development (26) 2012. [This research analyzes the impact of mentoring on IE Mentors.]
"Gaining the Edge on Graduate School," UT Know, January 4,2012. [This story features the success of the IE Pre Grad Internship program.]
"Empowering Minorities in Higher Education," KEYE TV (CBS) and Telemundo Austin, November 4, 2011. [UT's IE Pre Grad Internship program and students are featured in a special television news report by Karla Leal.]
Director of The University of Texas Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) Presents at Austin's E4 Youth Summit, August 13, 2011. [Dr. Richard Cherwitz talks about the paradigm change in education embraced by IE that is at the heart of E4 Youth Initiative.]
Fox News 7 Story/Interview about the Intellectual Entreprenseurship Consortium (IE)/Media Communications Council (MCC) E4 Youth Summit, August 10, 2011.[IE Mentor Justin Jefferson among those interviewed.]
"It Could Be U: Mentoring and College Readiness Have Never Been So Much Fun," Diversity and Community Engagement Newsletter, June 30, 2011. [Article features the work of IE student mentors' with Austin area middle school students.]
Richard Reddick, Kimberly Griffin, and Richard Cherwitz,"Answering President Obama's Call for Mentoring: It's Not Just for Mentees Anymore." Planning for Higher Education, 39:4 (July-September, 2011), 59-65. [Research documents IE's positive impact on mentors.]
"In Their Own Words: Spring 2011 Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad Interns Reflect on Their Experience" (Excerpts from final class meeting, May 5, 2011).
Media Communications Council Director Carl Settles, Jr. Discusses Partnership with IE to Help Youth Identify and Create Value, Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club, April 29, 2011.
Media Communications Council/Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) "It Could Be U Collaboration: Intensive Mentoring & College Readiness Program." [Update of the students, the philosophy, the project, and the upcoming E4 Youth Summit in July], April 24, 2011.
Listen to the entire audio interview (including a fuller discussion of the IE model of education begun at UT in 1996 and how it responds to current calls for educational reform)
Fox News Broadcast Features "IE's Potential to Reduce Time to Degree and Record of Diversifying Education," April 11, 2011.
Marilyn Gilroy, "Universities Make Progress in Diversifying Graduate Schools, but Obstacles Remain," Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine, April 4, 2011. [UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) spotlighted as an effective initiative for increasing the number of underrepresented students who attend graduate school.]
Excelencia in Education President Lauds the Educational Impact of UT's Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) on Campus and Nationally (October 1, 2010). [President Brown underscores IE's particular success with first generation and underrepresented students by engaging their passions and desire to contribute to the community.]
Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad Intern Oscar Ayala and Grad Mentor Daniel Spikes present at UT's "Gone to Texas," a celebration welcoming the incoming freshman class (August 24, 2010).
Patrick Beach, "Black Austinites Share Stories for UT Oral History Project: Students Get Different Perspective on City's History as They Talk to African American Residents," Austin American-Statesman, August 15, 2010. [This article features Dr. Martha Norkunas' Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) African American Oral History Project.]
John Young, "For Students, College is More Than Just a Numbers Game," Austin American-Statesman, March 20, 2010. [Young applauds IE's effort to help students make the most out of their college education, especially those who are underrepresented and first-generation.]
Vicki B. Matustik, "Test-Driving Graduate School: Pre-Graduate School Internship Gives Students a Glimpse Into Journey of Graduate Education" Longhorn Pharmacy Focus, March, 2010. [This article spotlights Pharmacy students who have participated in the IE Pre-Grad Internship.]
UT Unveils Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Development Video, February 1, 2010.
"Intellectual Entrepreneurship Shows Long-Term Positive Outcomes," University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement 2009 Impact Report. [See pages 60-65]
Sarita E. Brown, "Making the Next Generation Our Greatest Resource," The NEA Higher Education Journal, Fall 2009, 151-162. [UT's IE Pre-Graduate Internship Program lauded for its success in growing Latino talent and scholarship.]
Richard Cherwitz, "How Undergraduate Institutions Can Diversify the Graduate Student Body," National Audio Forum, Inside Higher Education, October 21 2009.
Listen to the Forum(mp3)
"Intellectual Entrepreneurship Undergrads Find Their Passion"--UT Austin Video Spotlights IE Pre Grad Internship Program
Jennifer Epstein, "Mentoring, Texas-Style," Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2009.
Dallas Morning News Story Discusses IE Plan to Include Freshmen, August 9, 2009.
Gregory Vincent and Sarita Brown, "Nurturing Latino Educational Opportunities," Austin American-Statesman, May 20, 2009.
"Keeper of Untold Stories Closes Book on Work at UT: History Project Spotlights Racism," The Daily Texan, May 11, 2009. [This story features the IE Oral History and Diversity Project and the work of Dr. Martha Norkunas.]
"Success Stories: Two seniors are the first Georgetown Upward Bound participants to graduate from Southwestern," Southwestern, May 5, 2009. [Southwestern University Upward Bound student discusses the importance of her experience in the IE Pre-Grad Internship.]
Veronica Luna and Linda Prieto, "Mentoring Affirmations and Interventions: A Bridge to Graduate School for Latina/o Students," Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, April 2009 (8:2), 213-224. [This article is a report of a study of the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship's unique approach to mentoring.]
Postscript: The Reflections of IE Interns Three Years Later
Capitol Hill Showcase Spotlights IE for Accelerating Latino Success in Higher Education, March 26, 2009 (Rayburn Office Building, Washington DC). [NOTE: This event was held in cooperation with U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa, Chairman, Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Competitiveness.]
Jeannie Kever, "Hispanics Travel Rough Road to Higher Education---Ethnic Group is the Fastest Growing, But the Least Likely to Enroll in College," Houston Chronicle, April 5, 2009 (this article spotlights the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship and its impact).
Justin Jefferson, "Housing Projects to Research Projects: How an Undergraduate Internship Helped a Student from the Projects Explore his Love of Science," ALCALDE, November/December 2008.
IE Oral History, Identity and Diversity Project Featured in the Daily Texan, October 24, 2008.
IE Receives "Examples of Excelencia" Award (as top program for graduate institutions in the United States), September 23, 2008.
Michelle D. Anderson, "University of Texas Program Demystifies Graduate School for Minority Students," DIVERSE: Issues in Higher Education, September 4, 2008. (The article includes an audio recording from a former IE mentor and current director of the Pre-Grad Internship program.)
IE Pre-Grad Intern (Justin Jefferson, Natural Sciences) and Grad Mentor (Deena Walker, Pharmacy/Neuroscience) are Featured Speakers at UT's "Gone To Texas," August 26, 2008.
Ruby Morúa Olmanson, "Nurture Texas' New Crop of Citizen-Scholars: Mentoring Those from Upwardly Mobile Backgrounds Makes All the Difference," Houston Chronicle, August 10, 2008.
Eleanor Clift, "The 'Process' President: Obama's Cool, Cerebral Style may be Just What We Need," Newsweek, August 8, 2008 [Clift discusses process, comparing Obama's campaign to Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE).]
Justin Jefferson, "Creating a Phalanx of Citizen-Scholars," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 11, 2008
Justin Jefferson, "Path to the Future is No Longer Lonely," Austin American-Statesman, June 19, 2008.
Justin Jefferson, "A Head Start: How an Undergraduate Internship Helped a Student from the Projects Explore His Love of Science," The Scientist, August, 2008, 25.
ITP "African Americans in Austin before 1865" Online Exhibit Spotlighted by the City of Austin (Parks & Recreation Department), April 2008
Exploring All the Options: With Help of Mentors, Students Find New Paths to Graduate School
IE Consortium Spotlighted in UT's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) 2008 Impact Report
"The Rise of the Citizen-Scholar: IE Pushes Students to the Next Level," Chronicle of Higher Education, February, 2008.
UT's IE Consortium Featured in a Five-Year Study on Doctoral Education undertaken by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, The Formation of Scholars: Rethinking Doctoral Education for the Twenty-First Century (2008: Jossey-Bass).
Ralph K. M Haurwitz, "UT mentoring project to aim for $50 million: Introduction to graduate study is popular among minorities" Austin American-Statesman, December 24, 2007.
In 2007, IE Pre-Grad Internship Named one of the "Examples of Excelencia: What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education."
Cherwitz, Richard and Hurtado, Ana Lucia. "Interns as Intellectual Entrepreneurs." Academe, 93:1 (January/February, 2007).
Hurtado, Ana Lucia. "Intellectual Entrepreneurship: Improving Education and Increasing Diversity." Change, January/February, 2007, pp 48-50.
Excerpted in On Campus, March 2007 (page 6).
Association of American Colleges and Universities Spotlights IE Consortium as a "Diversity Innovation"
IE Pre-Grad Internship's Impact on Diversity Featured by U.S. News and World Report, June 19, 2006.
Hurtado, Ana Lucia. "Don't limit education to the classroom." Dallas Morning News, August 13, 2005.
A version of this OpEd, "Learning Beyond Classrooms," was published in the August 25, 2005 issue of the Austin American-Statesman.
A version of this essay, "Beyond the Classroom," was published in the November/December, 2005 issue of Alcalde.
Raspberry, William, "Filling the Racial Gap in Academia," Washington Post, May 31, 2005.
Cherwitz, Richard. "Diversifying Graduate Education: The Promise of Intellectual Entrepreneurship." Journal of Hispanic Higher Education Vol 4, No.1 (January, 2005), 19-33.
Cherwitz, Richard. "Intellectual Entrepreneurship and Diversity." University Business, July 2005.
Cherwitz, Richard. "Intellectual Entrepreneurship Boosts Minority Scholars." Tallahassee Democrat, June 25, 2005.
Guerra, Carlos. "Here Is One Approach for Making More Minority Scholars," San Antonio Express News, September 28, 2004.
Hall, Larissa, "Internships Seek to Increase Diversity at Graduate Level," On Campus, May 5, 2004.
Cherwitz, Richard and Alvarado-Boyd, Susan. "Intellectual Entrepreneurship: A New Approach to Increasing Diversity in Graduate School." College & University Journal, 79:3 (2004) 37-39.
Cherwitz Richard and Alvarado-Boyd, Susan. Intellectual Entrepreneurship: Successfully Engaging Hearts, Minds in Graduate Education. Black Issues in Higher Education, October 9, 2003.