Black and Brown Summit teaches students about success

Ariana Beedie

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Students receive name tags and registration info for summit. By Nigel Meyer/The Shield

Students receive name tags and registration info for summit. By Nigel Meyer/The Shield

For Herman Thomas, speaking at the Black and Brown Summit of Excellence on Friday was just like coming home.

The summit is a chance for young professionals to express their opinions on subjects concerning race, professionalism and relationships. This annual event is geared towards African American and Latino students but is also open to others.

The former assistant director of the Multicultural Center said he was thrilled when he was asked to present on success at the summit.

“When I was called to be a speaker, it was really like coming home even though now it’s a whole different crop of students,” he said.

Thomas, an Evansville native, helped coordinate programs and mentored students from January 2005 to December 2009, when he moved to Boston with his wife. Now he is a Corporate Risk Manager for Tri Wire Engineering Solutions, but it’s nothing like working with college students he said.

“During those five years I had the chance to work with different students, not just African American or Hispanic but of all cultures,” Thomas said. “I found that to be extremely rewarding, in fact I do miss it today.”

Thomas spoke about stamina and success.

“The topic is success, which requires stamina,” he said. “I’m going to give tools for students to take into the real world.”

Life here at USI is just a dress rehearsal for the real world, he said.

The Black and Brown Summit also included discussion groups and a panel for students to ask others’ opinions. Many student leaders sat on the discussion panel to make sure they were properly represented.

Glorisel Cruz, president of Hispanic Student Union, sat on the panel to represent Latino women, and give her perspective on various topics.

Cruz said HSU has participated in the past, but was ready to do more.

“We know that to be able to have such an event here at USI hard,” Cruz said. “So we decided to take it step by step.”

HSU uses the information presented in the Indiana Latino Leadership Conference.

“Hopefully after this presentation, we can twist it a little to be able to go to the ILLC and present,” she said. “That way we can represent Latinos at USI.”

The summit also gathered new freshmen, who were eager to learn about success.

Arrisa Allen, a freshman accounting major, said she found out on Facebook about the Black and Brown Summit of Excellence, and she wanted to meet new people.

Freshman dental hygiene Brooke Robinson said she had to sign up.

“I was pretty excited,” she said. “So far, I love USI. It’s pretty cool.”

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