Multicultural scholars find success after KU
Since 1992, Renate Mai-Dalton has watched dozens of students from KU’s
Multicultural Scholars Program venture into the world armed with a KU
education and determination to make a difference.
years later she is following the careers of successful graduates across
the country, and she hears from alumni pursuing graduate degrees from
universities including Harvard.
“Sometimes it takes a few years to demonstrate the results of the
students’ experiences at KU,” said Mai-Dalton, associate professor
of business and director of the program.
The program was established by Mai-Dalton in 1992 for students of color
who were pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the School of Business.
In the past dozen years, Mai-Dalton has expanded the program to include
the schools of pharmacy, architecture, journalism and education, and into
the areas of languages and the humanities, human development and family
life, and African and African-American studies.
The work is paying off.
This summer, Mai-Dalton received Accepted! 50 Successful Business School
Admission Essays from KU alumnus Ruben Sigala, whose admissions essay
to Harvard was included in the book.
In his essay, Sigala said, “This program has had a profound impact
on the development of its students, and I have developed a deep admiration
for the program’s founder.
“She cultivated a sense of community obligation that has extended
to my professional ambitions.”
Sigala has since completed his master’s degree at Harvard and is
now a special projects manager for Princess Cruise Lines. He has joined
the ranks of multicultural scholars pursuing careers at companies including
Sprint, American Eagle Outfitters, Bank of America and the Target Corporation.
The program began with seven students and has grown as additional programs
were added. In 2003, 80 students participated in the eight programs. Mai-Dalton
said 115 students are projected for participation this fall.
Multicultural scholars, including undergraduate and graduate participants,
record an overall grade point average of 3.16 and average more than 13
hours per semester.
Mai-Dalton said businesses and private donors support the program, which
now also gets financial support from alumni. Faculty members administer
“We have capable and committed directors for each program,”
Mai-Dalton said. “It’s an outstanding feat that these programs
are headed by such a respected group of faculty.”