Recognizing a clear distinction between an acceptance of diversity and a commitment to diversity, I have pushed each year for a move toward a true commitment to diversity and inclusion at the Bush School. To that end, I submitted a proposal in 2011, designed to increase diversity among the Bush School student body according to race, state of origin, career interest, and work experience. The proposal involved a new strategy for recruiting a more diverse pool of applicants, ensuring the success of these applicants as students and graduates, and fostering a feedback loop among alumnae. I included detailed itineraries and budgets, and offered to take part in recruiting trips.
Subsequently, I invited the Manager of Inclusion and Diversity for the National Clandestine Services of the CIA, who spoke to students about life as an under-represented minority in the federal workforce. A domestic human resources officer within a branch of the CIA typically reserved for international agents, he offered a unique perspective on the Agency. He offered recruiting services for those hoping to work in the Agency, and had several private conversations with students eager to learn more about inclusion and diversity in the nation’s capital.
I am also completely committed to an international consciousness among students; I believe all students should study or live abroad if possible. I work extensively with many of our international students, and make three big pushes with these students – first, to integrate themselves into the Bush School community when they arrive; second, to practice and improve their spoken and comprehensive English as much as possible; and finally, to take advantage of the opportunity to stay in the US and work. I have developed a list of “5 Rules…” to perfect a spoken language, which bolsters confidence and has helped international students get into graduate programs, secure jobs, and avoid deportation.
Beyond my efforts at fostering a diverse and inclusive environment here at school, I have also tried to raise the profile of the College and the University, particularly among schools of Public Service and International Political Economy. In 2009, I hosted the Annual International Political Economy Society (IPES) Conference at the Presidential Conference Center. Attended by 130 scholars from around the world, this conference had previously been hosted by Princeton, Stanford, and Penn. As the first public, non-coastal host, several members of the steering committee were concerned that attendance would drop due to dis-interest in the location. Hosting during the economic and financial crisis uniquely positioned the Bush School to impress a group of scholars expecting to find a remote and inaccessible cow-town. Attendance remained high, some of our students received jobs through connections they made, and we opened the door for other public institutions to host subsequently. We elevated the global image of TAMU and the Bush School among International Political Economy, Political Science, and Economics programs, and received several letters from the IPES Steering Committee to that effect.
Since 2007, Dr. Yannitell Reinhardt has sat on the Board of Directors of the Brazos Valley Chapter of the Fulbright Association. The Chapter endeavors to provide a welcome and introduction into the diversity of the Brazos Valley to visiting Fulbright Scholars and their families. Throughout the year, the chapter sponsors excursions to learn about Czech, Mexican, African-American, Tejano, and Wendish cultures, among others. If you are or know of a visiting Fulbright Scholar in need of a means to participate in the community, please let Dr. Reinhardt know.[/expand]
Dr. Yannitell Reinhardt has served as a referee for many journals and organizations, including:
- American Political Science Review
- The International Food Policy Research Institute
- The National Science Foundation
- The American Journal of Political Science
- The Journal of Politics
- Politics and Gender
- Review of Policy Research
- Economics and Politics
- The Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
- Journal of Conflict Resolution
- Review of Development Economics
- The Policy Studies Journal [/expand]
Dr. Yannitell Reinhardt regularly attends conferences of several professional organizations, where she presents original scholarly work, serves as a discussant, and chairs panels. Some of these organizations are:
The Brazos Valley offers several ways to become involved with the performing arts. There are three main theaters in the area:
All of these theaters have auditions and listservs that are open to the public, and all welcome volunteers to help with selling tickets, backstage work, and other roles, if you’re interested in getting involved. There is also a local symphony and a local chorale. Dr. Reinhardt is active and happy to help.[/expand]
In 2003, the creators of Penny Arcade decided it was time to reverse the negative image video games and gamers had received in the media. They created Child’s Play, an organization devoted to improving the experience of sick and hospitalized children in the US and around the world. To date, Child’s Play has raised over $5 million in games, toys, and books for children’s hospitals worldwide. Evidence has shown that children who view their treatment (chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.) as a more positive experience are more likely to undergo their treatment and less likely to need anesthetic or pain medication. The closest children’s hospitals to Texas A&M are Texas Children’s and Shriner’s in Houston, and Dell Children’s in Austin. If you are interested in participating in Child’s Play in Texas, feel free to ask Doc about it today.
In Nicaragua, 50% of children drop out of school by the end of 5th grade. The Nicaragua Resource Network (NRN) enables the sponsorship of students, including special needs students, and their teachers, to help sustain education through adolescence. One hundred percent of sponsors’ funds go to pay for student/teacher needs, such as food, materials, clothing, and health care.[/expand]
Veronique Matthews founded Hearts and Hooves after cancer treatment left her with chronic pain. After nearly a decade, she continues to run her organization out of Central Texas, bringing mini horses to help those with special needs. With more than two dozen horses and dogs, the Hearts and Hooves crew visits nursing homes, Alzheimers units, the autistic, visual, and hearing impaired, and abuse victims, offering therapy through interaction. There are many ways to donate, volunteer, and help Veronique and her organization. Please contact Hearts and Hooves or Doc if you want to become involved.
The American Diabetes Association each year sponsors a Tour de Cure, a cycling challenge, to raise money to continue research to understand, diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent diabetes. Diabetes is an insidious disease that claims more lives in America than many would like to believe. Doc and her family often ride in the Tour de Cure in various parts of the country, either completing the century (100 miles) or half-century (50 miles). If you would like to sponsor one of them as a rider, please let her know. [/expand]
Agriculture Extension Offices offer practical, how-to education based on university research. In the State of Texas, this research is generated by Texas A&M University, and can be found at the Extension Office in any county. Information ranges from disaster preparedness and water education to horticulture and 4-H, from diabetes care/prevention to health and leadership. Doc is familiar with the Ag Extension Offices in nearby Burleson and Bastrop Counties, as well as right here in Brazos. Let her know your interests.
The Brazos Valley Food Bank is a distribution hub that collects and distributes food to locations around the county. Dozens of nonprofits, church pantries, and soup kitchens feed their clients with provisions from the BVFB. This year the Food Bank expects to give out more than five million pounds of donated food. You can donate your time or resources to the Bank at large, or to specific programs. Click here to find out more. [/expand]