DACOR and University of the District of Columbia Sign Historic Global Studies Mentoring Partnership
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Christine Skodon, Director of Communications and Programs
202.682.0500 ext. 17
Erin Looney, UDC Media Relations
University of the District of Columbia
DACOR and University of the District of Columbia Sign
Historic Global Studies Mentoring Partnership
WASHINGTON – The presidents of two District of Columbia institutions signed a historic partnership agreement that will benefit undergraduate students enrolled in global studies classes at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). The signing took place Friday, Sept. 10, at the historic DACOR Bacon House in Washington, D.C., and was attended by representatives from both institutions. Senior officials from the State Department’s Bureau of Talent Management were also in attendance, including Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer; Ambassador Kenneth Merten, Senior Bureau Official; Bernadette Cole-Byrd, Continuity Counselor and Dr. Yolanda Kerney, DC Metro Diplomat-in-Residence.
Ronald Mason, Jr., president of the University of the District of Columbia, and James Dandridge II, president of DACOR, Inc., an organization of foreign affairs professionals, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that launches a mentoring program pairing DACOR mentors with select students participating in the Global Studies concentration. Students committed to completing the five-course Global Studies curriculum will be among the first to be assigned mentors, and the mentorship program will begin this fall. The agreement outlines the goals and objectives of the pilot mentoring program.
The partnership brings together one of the nation’s 51 public, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and a 70-year-old membership organization whose mission is to advance public understanding of international affairs, build support for diplomacy and preserve the nearly 200-year-old DACOR Bacon House as a testament to America’s diplomatic heritage.
For the University of the District of Columbia, the agreement is the first formal mentoring program open to undergraduates at the 170-year-old institution. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a host of workplace development services and programs.
“As an institution, if we do our job, our students will be ready, willing and able to go out and make the world a better place,” Mason said. “Part of doing that job is providing students with opportunities to directly work with and learn from professionals in their aspirational fields. That’s why this partnership with DACOR is an important one. We’re honored to pair our global studies students with accomplished foreign affairs professionals and diplomats who can share their experience and the nuances of the profession with our students. With their guidance, our students can grow their own unique talents and diversify the foreign service profession.”
For DACOR, the 1,550-member international affairs organization founded in 1952, the agreement marks the organization’s first formal undergraduate mentoring partnership.
“The agreement signed today will benefit Global Studies students at the University, connecting them one-on-one to our experienced diplomats and other foreign affairs professionals,” said Dandridge at Friday’s signing ceremony. “It is our hope and expectation that this undergraduate mentoring partnership will expand the diversity of young people entering the talent pipeline leading to fulfilling and spectacular careers in the State Department and other U.S. government agencies operating internationally. We also envision this mentoring partnership attracting an increasing number of students, particularly women and minorities, to enroll in Global Studies courses at the University of the District of Columbia.”
About DACOR: DACOR and its sister organization, the DACOR Bacon House Foundation, are dedicated to advancing public understanding of international affairs and diplomacy through scholarships, lectures, education workshops, conferences and mentoring. Also known as the Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired, DACOR’s membership includes active duty and retired Foreign Service and Civil Service officers of the State Department, other U.S. government agencies, and foreign affairs professionals in the private sector and non-governmental organizations.
About the University of the District of Columbia: The only public university in the nation’s capital and the only urban land-grant university in the United States, The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University of DC offers workforce training, professional certification and 81 undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to create opportunities for student success. The University is comprised of a Community College, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, and the David A. Clarke School of Law. Learn more at udc.edu.