Dr. Nicquet Blake, associate dean for admissions and student affairs at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, was recently selected as an Individual DiversityFIRST™ Leadership Award winner.
The award recognizes individuals for their support of diversity and inclusion in the workplace as well as outstanding accomplishments in the promotion and advancement of diversity through strong leadership.
According to the Texas Diversity Council’s website, “Earning this award is evidence of the individual’s level of commitment to effectively valuing and managing diversity to achieve excellence, and make a positive difference in their organizations and communities.”
In her ten years at UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Blake has proven to be a student advocate and an authority that students have found find easy to interact with. She oversees the admissions process for all programs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and as principal investigator on a recently renewed $1.9 million NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student development (IMSD) training grant. The IMSD grant is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students matriculating and completing the Ph.D. degree in the biomedical sciences.
Since 2011, Dr. Blake and her team engineered transformational changes within the graduate school at UT Health San Antonio. Students from underrepresented backgrounds now represent 30 percent of the GSBS population (up from 12 percent in 2011). First year success rates which hovered at 60 percent in 2011, are now consistently around 90 percent and most critically, UR students are now graduating at the same rates as their non-UR counterparts where previously it was taking them about 20 percent longer.
Dr. Blake is a trained teacher and a visionary particularly with respect to issues related to admissions and student affairs. She has developed a high level of expertise in pioneering new processes and programs designed to help students successfully navigate graduate school.
“Dr. Blake has been on the leading edge in developing and implementing novel programs and initiatives to recruit and retain a diverse population of graduate students. The metrics are amazing, but what is not so evident in the numbers is the advice and compassion she has given to all of our students. I know that so many of our students will look back to her selfless support as key component of their future successes,” said Dr. David Weiss, dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
She will be recognized on Wednesday, November 1 at the Omni San Antonio Hotel.