UHD Students Named Ambassadors for Next Generation of Civic Leaders
By Sheryl E. Taylor
UHD Gators Samantha Mosley and Alan Modrow were recently named members of the 2020-21 Texas Civic Ambassadors (TCA) Program hosted by The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life.
This program seeks to identify and cultivate the next generation of civic leaders. According to the TCA website, research shows that college-aged youth are less likely than adults to contact their elected officials, talk about politics and participate in elections. In turn, the program prepares these ambassadors to be civically active adults through nonpartisan, youth-focused events and civic learning opportunities. The program features an intense three-day civic leadership summit with a robust research-based curriculum, deliberative dialogue training, and year-long ambassadorships that foster reflective and strategic civic action.
Mosley and Modrow are highly active within the UHD Community and this new opportunity falls succinctly in line with their academic and professional future.
“As a member of this program I hope to bring to the attention of other UHD students as well as young Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our city the importance of civic knowledge and engagement,” said Mosley, criminal justice major. “It also will help me with my future plans by increasing my network, enabling me to participate in important bi-partisan conversations in an effort to bridge gaps in understanding, while my knowledge about the civic process and issues to improve my advocacy for equity among Americans.”
Mosley, who plans to graduate next spring, is a member of UHD’s Gator Peer Mentor, Black Student Association, president of the Pre-Law Association and UHD’s Student Disciplinary Committee.
With a passion for law, her plans after graduation is to attend law school in Houston to become a civil rights attorney or a family law attorney.
“I'm passionate about serving underrepresented populations,” she said.
Senior Political Science major Alan Modrow, president of the Student Government Association, was recently appointed student member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board-Undergraduate Advisory Committee and he is a member of more than 20 UHD and external organizations, combined. And, by the way, he is the Gator mascot.
Modrow’s views his recent ambassadorship as learning opportunity to engage his fellow student body.
“I hope to learn of different ways to engage our student body in the civic engagement process,” he emphasized. “I’m a firm believer that if someone understands how something like politics and policies affect them and their communities that they are more willing and eager to get involved. I’m also excited to meet other ambassadors from across the state and see what initiatives they are doing.”
His career plans include pursuing a master’s in higher education to help students navigate their academic journey as well as teach them to be advocates for themselves.
“I have a sincere and deep passion for helping people and I believe that being a part of the program will allow me to see and learn all the ways I can help people become civically engaged in their own way,” he said.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.