Published on: Friday, April 23, 2010
In March, the University of St. Thomas held its annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards. Given annually, these awards are part of the University’s efforts to “engage employees to do great things.” The admissions team at the UST School of Law was honored by the University with the “Diversity Leadership Award” for demonstrating “an active role participating in diversity and inclusion efforts” and for helping “create a campus climate that values, respects and affirms members of diverse groups.” As part of the award ceremony, a video highlighting the work of the admissions department was made. (See video.)
The School of Law Admissions staff includes Director Cari Haaland, Assistant Director for Operations Anne Olstad, Assistant Director for Recruitment Kate Kostka, and Admissions Coordinator Grace L. Magill-Cuerden.
The admissions team was nominated for extraordinary efforts in recruiting UST Law students from a wide variety of backgrounds. During each application cycle, they attend several events, programs and conferences, and host an annual conference, “Diversity Matters,” to generate ideas for recruiting, enrolling and retaining students of color. Among other efforts they have worked within the law school community to create and implement a Minority Affairs Strategic Plan.
According to Scott Swanson, Director of Academic Achievement in the law school, the admissions team has been very successful. The number of minority applicants to the law school has risen from about 19 percent of total applications in 2001 to more than a quarter of all applications in 2009. Similarly, the law school’s student body reflects this success. In 2001, slightly over 8 percent of students were members of minority groups; in 2009, over 15 percent of newly matriculating students were members of those same groups.