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OMSA Office of Minority Student Affairs

OMSA Office of Minority Student Affairs OMSA is the official academic home of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) Scholars, Early Connection Opportunity (ECO) Scholars, and historically underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/LatinX, Native American, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). OMSA is dedicated to the betterment of the minority student experience through advocacy, holistic advising, education, and collaboration with campus departments. OMSA is the overarching department that connects our students to various resources, on and off campus. We provide our students with the social capital needed to ensure academic, professional, and personal success. OMSA’s mission is to enhance the environment in which historically underrepresented minority students live and learn by assisting the University with outreach, recruitment, and retention. We do this through the development, implementation, and coordination of programs, events, and support services designed to aid in students’ persistence to graduation.

A Student-Centered Approach Students often describe our office as their “home away from home,” citing our unconditional support and holistic advising approach as key to their success. We strive to give our students a space to be themselves and see themselves in a positive light. Our students benefit from office staff with knowledge and expertise gained through many years of advising along with innovative and creative energy to better serve those students.

Committee Work and Involvement

We pride ourselves in going the extra mile for our students, whether it’s taking students to off-campus appointments or inviting them into our homes as part of our families when traveling home isn’t an option, or simply making arrangements to assist them during difficult times. We make sure that OMSA is a part of their support system. We advocate not only for the students who come in through our signature programs, like HEOP and ECO, but also for those who come via student, staff, or departmental referrals.

• CARE Student Support Network

We understand—and do not shy away from— race and culture as they relate to diversity. Our office is committed to supporting diversity as a core institutional value at the University of Rochester. Our dedication to diversity as a value is demonstrated through our growing portfolio of committee work and involvement. At right is a non-exhaustive list of such work.

• One Community Program Selection Committee

• “We’re Better Than That”— the University’s anti-racism campaign • First-Generation Committee • Sophomore Committee • College Diversity Roundtable • Diversity and Inclusion • Student Life Awards • Susan B. Anthony Awards • International Education Week • One Community Programming Fund Committee • LGBTQI Advisory Group • College Advisory Committee for Educational Effectiveness (CACEE) • Academic Living Center Transition Committee

• Critical Incident Report Executive Team • David T. Kearns Center Advisory Committee

We pride ourselves in going the extra mile for our students

Signature Programs


The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is specifically designed to serve students who may not have considered attending the University of Rochester because of their economic and academic backgrounds. The program attracts students from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds throughout the New York State area. HEOP and its activities are supported, in whole or in part, by the New York State Education Department. Since 1969, the University of Rochester’s HEOP office has provided eligible students with a strong support network that includes holistic advising—academic support, personal counseling, and substantial financial assistance. If you are a New York State resident and a United States citizen or have Permanent Resident status and meet specific academic and economic criteria, you may be eligible to participate in HEOP.


The Early Connection Opportunity (ECO) program could be described as “an early start.” The ECO program is designed to help students acquire the skills, attitudes, and social connections necessary to become successful University of Rochester students. It is a residential summer program that provides supplemental academic support to selected rising first-year students. Courses include mathematics; writing; academic strategies and tactics (study skills course); and a lecture in the humanities, the social sciences, or natural sciences.

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) has a mission to facilitate the development of leadership skills and to promote excellence, individuality, and group cohesiveness among current and emerging leaders affiliated with OMSA at the University of Rochester. ELP is unique as it uses a cultural lens to explore leadership theory and topics. Through a series of interactive, innovative, and culturally based structured workshops and team-building exercises, participants will have the opportunity to discuss important social, personal, multicultural, and other current issues as it relates to leadership. The skills gained will enable students to take on a more active leadership role in their respective organizations, navigate the University’s departments and resources effectively, and engage both their immediate and neighboring communities in a constructive and lasting way.

University of Rochester student leaders and HEOP Scholars (left to right): Delvin Moody '18, Charlisa Goodlet '17, and Caryl English '18 featured in NewsCenter for their presidency and leadership with the Minority Student Advisory Board, the Douglass Leadership House, and the Black Students’ Union.

Services Offered Please check with an OMSA advisor for more information on your eligibility. • Holistic advising: checking in on all facets that affect students’ ability to graduate (finances, social acclimation, Genesis Ciprian ’15, Quy Chauhigh Duong school, ’15, and firsttransition from Genesis Ciprian Quy their ChauOMSA DuongSenior ’15, and Noel Ramlall ’15’15, attend Dinner generation issues, academics, racial Noel Ramlall ’15 attend their OMSA Senior Dinner Commencement Celebration. Commencement Celebration.

biases in and outside the classroom, career development, and cocurricular enrichment activities) • Tutoring: individual and group— although all students in the College are able to take advantage of the free tutoring services offered, our HEOP and ECO Scholars are able to take advantage of extra support through our office. Please inquire with your OMSA advisor in the office for more information about tutoring.

• Book lending: our office works in conjunction with the Office of the Dean of Students and the generous donations of previous students to build our lending library. Please inquire with your OMSA advisor about our book lending program. • Printing: our office provides printing for OMSA students in our newly renovated OMSA Study Lounge. University of Rochester ID is required to access the OMSA Study Lounge.

Signature Events Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address Presented annually, this public keynote was instituted in 2001 to promote issues of diversity, freedom, civil rights, and social justice in order to commemorate King’s legacy. OMSA and the Office of the President host the commemorative address, a kickoff event of Black History Month. OMSA also hosts an annual meeting with student leaders and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address speaker at the Douglass Leadership House (DLH).

Academic Achievement Reception OMSA is committed to providing a comprehensive range of support services to ensure students achieve their personal academic goals. In line with our mission, we have continually celebrated those who continue to excel at the University of Rochester. Our Academic Achievement Reception is designed to recognize and celebrate students affiliated with OMSA who earned Dean’s List status with a GPA of 3.4 or better each semester.

OMSA Senior Dinner Meliora Weekend’s OMSA Networking Reception

Meliora Weekend’s OMSA Networking Reception This annual networking event and reception for students, alumni, and parents serves as a reminder of OMSA’s dedication to the University’s commitment to support and encourage an increasingly diverse campus community. We aim to build our community through career connections and support the careers of our alumni and students. This event is sponsored by OMSA along with other campus departments and student organizations.

OMSA Senior Dinner This event occurs annually during Commencement Weekend and is a celebration of the accomplishments of the graduating OMSA senior class. Our office brings together their families, friends, and many of the faculty and staff who have supported them on campus.

Nationally renowned author, educator, and activist Joy DeGruy delivers the University of Rochester’s 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address.

“Exercise integrity in the moment of choice.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address Academic Achievement Reception

Support to travel to specific regions to help prospective students understand the unique opportunities and resources offered at the University. If you have questions regarding the application process at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us, Admissions, or Financial Aid.

For Current Students

For Parents and Families College can be a stressful endeavor for everyone involved, especially parents and families! Whether you are the parent or family member of a prospective or current student, we are here to help you find answers and/or resources. Please contact us regarding questions on any of our signature programs or events. If you need help connecting your student with our support, we encourage you to contact the office of Parent and Family Relations.

For Prospective Students Our office works alongside the Office of Admissions and the Financial Aid Office to select our HEOP and ECO Scholars. Admissions representatives are assigned Some of the student groups and organizations currently supported by OMSA include

We value the quality of the undergraduate experience for any and all who are affiliated with our office. OMSA students are assigned to an OMSA advisor if they • have been selected as an HEOP Scholar; • have been selected to participate in our ECO program as an ECO Scholar; • have self-identified as a historically underrepresented minority student (Black/African American, Hispanic/ LatinX, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) during the admissions process via the Common Application or at any point during their academic journey; or • request to be assigned to an OMSA advisor.

For Student Organizations OMSA understands the importance of diversity within our student body, and we are aware of the need for cultural groups to not only exist on campus but to flourish in order to embody the University’s mission on diversity and inclusion. Our office works with various student groups and organizations

MSAB Minority Student Advisory Board BSU Black Students’ Union SALSA Spanish and Latino Students’ Association PASA Pan African Student’s Association

that are multicultural in scope to help support the needs of our students and enhance their campus involvement. Our staff is involved with helping students find their voice and leadership style. Through financial, social, and emotional support; advising; and our signature leadership program, Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), OMSA is dedicated to the success of our students, of student leaders, and of these groups.

For Departments Our office works with many campus departments to maintain a diverse and inclusive environment for the students we serve and for the betterment of our campus community. Our work with departments extends from committee work, event planning, program development, and outreach to targeted student groups and populations.

OMSA Staff Members

OMSA understands the

Our office is unique, as we work with department contacts to support underrepresented students through a racially conscious lens. We are driven by our mission and use this framework to enhance the minority student experience. If your department is interested in collaborating with our office for specialized programming or would like to refer a student needing resources to our office, please visit our website.

NSBE National Society of Black Engineers SHPE Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers MGC Multicultural Greek Council

importance of diversity within our student body, and we are aware of the need For Alumni We encourage our OMSA family and alumni to get involved with our office and current students through mentorship and programming. For many, this type of bond has already formed from interactions during their undergraduate years and experiences. We invite interested alumni to visit our website and fill out our quick and easy form if interested in presenting at a workshop, hosting events, connecting as a mentor, or even suggesting new ideas that will help our OMSA family grow and thrive!

for cultural groups to not only exist on campus but to flourish in order to embody the University’s mission on diversity and inclusion.

The Women of Color Circle (WOCC)

Special Projects

The Women of Color Circle grew out of an unfathomable circumstance and provided a safe environment for women of all backgrounds—but especially for the black women and Latinas who were deeply affected—to begin their own healing process. Women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are welcome to participate in the WOCC; however, the mission remains squarely focused on bringing the issues and interests of women of color from the margins to the center. Attending a circle is all that is required to join the WOCC and be added to our email distribution list. The WOCC is neither a student organization nor a staff organization but is coordinated by one of the original founding members of the group, current OMSA staff member Sasha Eloi-Evans.

Minority Male Leadership Association (MMLA) The Minority Male Leadership Association was founded during the winter of 2013 by several minority men who gathered on campus to share a vision to create an organization for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty/staff that would foster mentorship and success among minority men in the Rochester community. Current OMSA staff member, Thomas Crews, is one of MMLA’s co-advisors.

Women’s Leadership Alliance (WLA) The Women’s Leadership Alliance was founded by four undergraduate women at the University of Rochester who felt that mentoring women is an important aspect missing from the University of Rochester community. The hope of this organization is to build a sisterhood among graduate and undergraduate women of color on campus and those in the Rochester City School District. Current OMSA staff member, Sasha Eloi-Evans, is the primary advisor for WLA.

Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS)

Douglass Leadership House Named after Rochester icon Frederick Douglass, the mission of the Douglass Leadership House (DLH) is to establish an engaging intellectual community where students of all cultural backgrounds can come together and raise awareness of the many facets of the black experience, including culture, politics, history, and diasporic roots. Students live together in a supportive environment that celebrates African-American leadership and nurtures their own leadership skills. Current OMSA staff member, Sasha Eloi-Evans, is one of the cofounding organizers, and primary advisor to DLH.

The Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) is a premedical chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and a pipeline organization sponsored by the University of Rochester SNMA. It is an undergraduate organization that embodies the interest of underserved and underrepresented minority pre-health students. MAPS is an organization that aims to provide historically underrepresented students in medicine with the tools and resources necessary to become competitive applicants to their respective health professional fields. Some of the unique benefits of being a member of Rochester MAPS are that members are exposed to unique leadership opportunities and get to be a part of the yearly regional and national conferences. Current OMSA staff member, Walisa Griffin, is the primary advisor for MAPS. The Office of Minority Student Affairs has valued and supported DLH,WOCC, MMLA, WLA, and MAPS since their inception because the organizations’ missions are in line with our office’s mission. We believe in supporting underrepresented students through mentorship, community building, leadership, and providing academic and professional enrichment opportunities.

A Home Away from Home

Office of Minority Student Affairs University of Rochester 2-161 Dewey Hall Box 270445 Rochester, NY 14627-0445 (585) 275-0651