DC-UP Program Inducts 75 First-Time Scholars

DC-UP Program Inducts 75 First-Time Scholars

DC-UP Program Inducts 75 First-Time Scholars

First-year UDC students take part in the DC-UP induction ceremony.

First-year UDC students take part in the DC-UP induction ceremony.

The University of the District of Columbia’s Office of Special Programs held its annual DC-UP Scholars induction ceremony on Sept. 21 for first-year students.

This year, 75 scholars were inducted into the program, which is designed to give them “a holistic educational experience rooted in scholarship, leadership development, and personal/professional growth that prepares them to become competitive responsible global citizens.”

“As DC-UP Scholars, you all are a part of a unique learning community that is here to develop your talents. Being a first-year student, you may not yet understand what that means, but as you engage with the upperclassmen scholars, you will quickly learn the impact of this program. Welcome to DC-UP!” said Dr. Darryl Hylton, director of special programs at UDC, who planned the event.

President Maurice D. Edington, Ph.D., spoke to the students about the importance of owning it.

“You must own it. You might be saying what’s ‘it,’ right? The ‘it’ that I am telling you that you must own is your future,” Edington said.

He compared students to a baby growing up because at first the baby is supported every second because the baby can’t support itself.

“Then as the baby gets older, instead of doing everything for the baby, you start nudging the baby, because the baby starts getting skills and abilities. Then the baby gets to a key point in development where the baby is ready to start walking,” the president said.

Similarly, professors, deans and other school officials are there to nudge scholars, encourage them to keep going and to offer them support, Edington said.

He also encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunity to network with him.

“The next time we have an event and you see me there, take advantage of it. What does that mean? For example, when I was at college, they’d say, ‘Come to this lunch. The president’s going to be there,’” Edington said.

As a college student, Edington said he would wait until the president of the university stopped eating and then approach him and ask, ‘How did you make it?’” As a result, the president shared his knowledge with Edington.

Edington encouraged the scholars to do the same, pointing out the deans who were in attendance at the induction program.

Interim Chief Student Development and Success Officer Trelaunda Beckett-Jones, Ed.D., a DC native, told the students that she came from the same neighborhoods that they came from and lived in every part of the District except for southwest DC.

“You are making the same decision that I made to not let where you come from to stop you from where you’re going. So, if you need a testimony or if you need to see someone from the same streets as you came from, yes I walked the streets of DC. All you gotta do is say, if Dr. Beckett – and I say Dr. Beckett – can make it from 7th and L Streets NW, Florida Avenue NE, 1320 25th Street SE, I too can make it. You are a change agent just like I am,” she said.

She led the students in a chant saying, ‘I am successful. I am a change agent. I will be better than what statistics tell me I am. I am happy. I am proud to be at Firebird Nation.”

Also in attendance were Dr. Jeffrey Fleming, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Devdas Shetty, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Dr. Ricardo Brown, associate dean for academic programs and founding director of the School of Health and Clinical Sciences at the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Science; Dr. Mohamad Sepehri, dean of the School of Business and Public Administration; Dr. William Hacker, associate dean of academic affairs at the UDC Community College, Nailah Williams, assistant vice president of enrollment management services, and Dr. April Massey, interim chief academic officer.

The vision of the DC-Up program is to be the leading scholarship program among colleges and universities in the DC Metropolitan area.

Some features of the program are academically enriched classes, increased student-instructor interaction, easy online registration for existing scholars and pre-registration for incoming scholars, priority consideration for admission into the University Honors Program, engaging skill-building activities on and off campus, success workshop and career readiness sessions, and coaching sessions with an academic coach.

Scholars are expected to participate in the program the entire four years that they are enrolled.