The Austin College community proudly encompasses a diverse student body, faculty, and staff who vary with respect to race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability status, religion, and more. We want every member of our community to feel valued in a way that nurtures, rather than erases, differences. And we strive for social and educational practices that reflect that commitment to an inclusive and supportive campus for all.
We are continually striving to cultivate our community’s inclusion and diversity, a charge at the core of our educational mission. As a part of those efforts, the President’s Committee on Inclusion and Diversity works to develop recommendations for meaningful change. Under the leadership of Co-Chairs Dr. Lisa M. Brown, Dean of Social Sciences, and Dr. John Williams, College Chaplain, the committee includes students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Trustees.
Austin College Demographic Statistics
A key facet of our Compass Curriculum is that students deeply explore ideas from multiple perspectives. Through a powerful, time-tested liberal arts curriculum, students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century. Students will complete at least two curricular requirements in diversity; these courses explore the range of human experience, engage new perspectives, and prepare students to participate in a diverse and global society.
Global Diversity courses focus on people and groups outside of the European or post-colonial North American cultural context. Systems of Power, Privilege, and Inequality courses focus on historically marginalized people/groups in order to provide context for critiquing institutional systems and challenge assumptions about how human society functions. There are many courses across disciplines that count toward these requirements.
Human rights and social justice scholars and activists respond to systemic, often institutionalized violence and inequality within and among nation-states. This course situates these frames within critical analyses of law, society, and culture. Students will trace the roots of human rights and social justice before observing the contexts and debates that continue to shape the… [Read More]
Political, social, and economic issues both reflect and shape American schools. In this course, students will explore the often conflicting purposes and values that are revealed in issues such as bullying, social media, gender identity, and school athletics. Course activities may include guest speakers, personal research, collaborative projects, and technology-based presentations. EDUC*115
Literature, Gender, and Sexualities will examine how human gender and sexuality were and are constructed by studying literature from a variety of genres and time periods. Analysis of texts will help students develop an appreciation of gender and sexual diversity, raise awareness of stark inequalities, and center the intersectional nature of gender and sexual identities.… [Read More]
What makes a person “hysterical”? The word hysteria derives from the Greek hustera (“uterus”). The ancient Greeks believed that the uterus was an animal within an animal, to be blamed for any disease or disturbance in a woman’s body or psyche. In modern times, especially after Sigmund Freud, hysteria came to signify emotional excess or… [Read More]
A critical exploration of the relationships between sexual practices, having a good life, and creating a good society. Possible topics include hooking up, marriage (and alternative relationship forms), porn, sexual safety, and similar matters. Drawing examples from diverse sexual cultures in the U.S. we consider both Christian and “secular” perspectives (which, we will see also… [Read More]
A detailed study of the history of immigration to the United States, with a focus on the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Topics include the place of immigration in American ideology and self-image, histories of social and political resistance to immigration, and the impact and legacy of immigrants in America. Particular attention to the cultural,… [Read More]
A detailed study of the history of the Civil Rights Movement for African-Americans and other ethnic minorities in America with focus on school desegregation, student and community protest, white backlash, court decisions, government action and inaction, divisions between moderates and radicals, and the causes of disintegration of the various movements, with some attention to busing… [Read More]
Whether examining the indigenous rights movements in Latin America, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, or the 15-M Movement in Spain, one will find that social movements around the world are deeply connected to the political realities in which they originate. But what are the political, social, and economic circumstances and contexts and… [Read More]
This course will introduce the major theoretical approaches to development. This will include reasons why some countries are developed while others lag behind, strategies for economic development and positive or negative effects of politics on such strategies. It will also discuss the international side of development, including institutions like International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and… [Read More]
An exploration of the ways in which different cultures lead people to vary in basic psychological processes. The course will particularly focus on collectivism and individualism. Topics include language development, moral reasoning, mental health, self-concept, and parenting styles. PSY*340
What is the relationship between religion and politics? This course examines the meanings of, and interactions between religion and politics in the case of Tibet and its long term relationship with China. As a theocracy (religious government) and under Chinese Communist rule, the politicization of religion was (and still is) a common occurrence in Tibetan… [Read More]
What is “religion?” How did various religions shape the cultures around the world, and how do they continue to influence us today? This course explores these questions and more. We will discuss the concept of religion, and analyze texts and traditions from Buddhism and Judaism to Vodoo and Sports. No prior knowledge about any religious… [Read More]
Student Organizations and Activities
Students can participate in a variety of student-led clubs and organizations that celebrate what makes us each unique, including a wide array of cultural, religious, and interest-based groups which all students, regardless of identity, are welcome to join.
Cultural Organizations include AC KangaRAAS, Asian Student Association, Black Expressions, Catholic Student Association, Indian Cultural Association, Jewish Student Association, La Familia, Los Amigos, Muslim Student Association, and the Student International Organization.
Social Action groups include ACCares (AIDS/HIV awareness), Amnesty International, Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students, and Gender-Sexuality Alliance.
Nationally chartered organizations include Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, Habitat for Humanity, and Rotaract.
Visit the student organization page to learn more!
Inspiring the Leaders of Tomorrow
We believe that we are preparing students to be leaders in an increasingly global and diverse future. Throughout the academic year, a wide range of signature events, departmental lectures, and guest speakers provide our community with a wealth of different perspectives and experiences.
The Austin College Posey Leadership Award brings to campus an individual who has changed the world by taking a courageous stand on key issues, from access to education, to health equity, to the fight against poverty. Recent award recipients include Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino (2019). These inspiring leaders join our campus and community to provide our students with a chance to interact with people who are making changes to the very fabric of our society.
We are also committed to the uplift of voices within our community. The student-led TEDxAustinCollege conference amplifies the ideas, experiences, and messages of our own students, faculty, and alumni. This annual event creates a welcoming and supportive space for us to dialogue with our community and share ideas on a global platform.
It is also part of our work to be inclusive to connect students with the local community and to be good neighbors. Below are just a few of the ways in which we seek to connect with our community.
In January, Austin College hosts two events for our community to come together and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; a community-wide march and a celebration breakfast. These events are organized by a collective group that includes a ministerial alliance of African American neighborhood churches, the Sherman Neighborhood Recreation Committee, the City of Sherman, local Rotary clubs, along with Grayson County College and Sherman High School.
The SEPA program is a collaboration with local nonprofit agencies; students receive special grant training, and then intern with local agencies to write grant applications. Students learn about community development and get hands-on grant writing experience. The agencies benefit as well; since the program’s inception in 2013, area nonprofits have gained over $1 million in new funding from students’ grant writing success.
The Service Station is a student-run office that promotes the involvement of all Austin College students in volunteer and community service efforts. First We Serve, Great Day of Service, and JanServe are campus-wide service events, and individual volunteer community service opportunities are available throughout the year. Austin College students volunteer 16,000 service hours annually—a value of $398,310 each year.
Connect with us
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach out to the Inclusion & Diversity Committee.