UC Institute at Haas for Students from Historically Black Colleges Attracts Praise

A new UC program for students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) that debuted at Haas last month received resounding praise recently from UC President Mark Yudof and California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino of Pasadena.

Twenty-five undergrads from around the country came to Haas for the first UC Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML), which featured sessions on everything from open innovation to negotiations to choosing a graduate school.

In a May 24 letter to Yudof, Portantino thanked him and the University of California for creating SIEML. "This collaboration will contribute to the much-needed diversification of UC business schools and will introduce the wealth of HBCU talent to the state of California," wrote Portantino, who helped  launch the landmark collaboration between UC and the historically black colleges and universities.

In his June 12 response to Portantino, Yudof said the collaboration is "critical to our future and will provide significant opportunities for all parties involved." He added, "UC is committed to ensuring a diverse student body at all levels of instruction and the institute is a great value to our business schools in this regard."

Indeed, the program drew praise from many students. "Our group project really allowed me to go beyond myself. I was forced to push myself and put my differences aside to work with individuals I barely know to create a business model," Angel Mills, a Howard University junior, said of an open innovation project. "The tools that I took from the class will be beneficial for me in the future."

Students receive all-expenses-paid fellowships to attend the career-building program for two consecutive years. Wells Fargo and Anthem Blue Cross provided all funding for the program. One of the six UC business and management schools will host the institute each year.

Haas Lecturer Krystal Thomas (top) helps students at the UC Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders during a workshop on storytelling for brands.