“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”– Alexander Graham Bell.
Student success is the consummate goal of IUPUI. Enhanced recruitment and retention is key – particularly among underrepresented populations. Degree attainment is the ultimate metric for student success and the primary prerequisite is the preparation of students before they reach campus.
Myriad educational, civic and community programs, organizations and initiatives contribute significantly to the process of readying college-bound Indianapolis students. One of the most effective and longest-running examples is the Center for Leadership Development (CLD). The CLD cultivates pursuits of Indianapolis area minority students by engaging them in programs that stress career awareness, community service, leadership training, educational excellence and character development.
These five principles transformed a shy, struggling elementary student into the 2017 recipient of the prestigious IUPUI Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholarship. Incoming fall freshman Khrisma McMurray says the CLD experience was transformational.
Khrisma recalls, “I participated in eight different CLD programs that prepared me for college by instilling confidence and giving me the motivation to excel academically and socially. Though each principle had an impact, the character development section had the largest influence in shaping my path.”
The Warren Central High School graduate says CLD played a major part in the tenacity she garnered to achieve a 3.9 GPA and graduate in the top 5 percent of her class. Khrisma will attend IUPUI with full tuition covered, along with room and board, according to Danielle L. Tate, assistant director of Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholars.
Tate said the program recruits, retains, and prepares serious, academically gifted students who have demonstrated a commitment to social justice.
She added, “When I first met Khrisma she mentioned how she prayed that she would get the Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholarship because she had a strong desire to attend IUPUI. In her excitement, because of her answered prayers, she said she was ready to be fully engaged in the program. I am looking forward to watching Khrisma develop as scholar and campus leader with the assistance of the Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholars program.”
Participants are encouraged to strive for academic success, engage in leadership and civic activities, and prepare for a meaningful post-baccalaureate experience.
Norman Brown, former IUPUI Associate Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admission, created the diversity and leadership scholars program in 1988. To honor the creator of the initiative, the name of the program changed in 2005 when Brown retired.
“As part of the program, Khrisma will have access to professional development opportunities; peer, faculty and staff mentors; academic support; and a cohort of other Norman Brown scholars to help her meet her academic, professional and personal goals,” summed Tate.
IUPUI is committed to sustaining a campus environment in which all students can succeed. To assist in this endeavor, the Norman Brown program focuses on issues that support academic achievement of all students, particularly those from populations historically underrepresented on campuses within the state of Indiana.
The goal is to provide opportunities for leadership and to promote a diverse campus that explores issues of power, privilege and oppression in an effort to create a more equitable campus, city, and world. As a result of seeds planted at the Center for Leadership Development, Tate believes Khrisma is ready for the challenge.
More importantly, Khrisma feels confident in succeeding at the next level of her educational pursuits because of opportunities that prepared her for IUPUI while at CLD.
Khrisma is poised to become part of the next chapter of CLD achievers – joining such distinguished alumni as Eastern Star Church Pastor Jeffrey Johnson, IMPD Public Information Officer Kendale Adams, Walt Disney Company Sourcing Specialist Eric Summer, Pediatric Dentist Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel and Attorney and CLD President Dennis Bland.
For more information on CLD, visit cldinc.org. For more information on the Norman Brown Diversity & Leadership Scholars Program, visit diversity.iupui.edu.