By Raylee Foster | Staff Writer
The Baylor admissions office continues to encourage the Baylor community to embrace the university’s growing diverse culture for this year’s admission cycle.
Senior director of international admissions, Anis Qourzal, said Baylor hit a new high for admitting international students before the pandemic. He said they are anticipating improvement as countries around the world are change their COVID-19 policies regarding international travel.
“Climbing out of the pandemic, it’s been so exciting to recruit all over the world, and my team and I are in about 17 different countries,” Qourzal said.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras, freshman Irma Peña said she observes diversity as she walks around campus, and the school is not only inclusive to her culture, but to many other cultures as well. She said she feels welcomed by the school and their efforts to help her adjust to the new environment.
“I feel like Baylor has a diverse campus. There’s people from many different countries and cultures,” Peña said.
Quorazal and Mary Herridge, assistant vice president of enrollment management, said creating a diverse culture is a part of what they strive for during the admissions process.
Both said they have adjusted their efforts to reach students with different cultures and backgrounds in recent years in a few ways. The admissions team is now fully recruiting people in person, and working toward not only international inclusivity, but also building a more diverse group within the U.S.
“We would love to enroll a really diverse student body that reflects what Texas looks like, that reflects the U.S. and the world,” Herridge said.
Reaching out to people across the U.S. and world is done with the intention to create a culture within the Baylor community that is welcoming to everyone.
“We seek to embody Christ’s teachings of love and inclusivity across boundaries of racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, religious and other expressions of human difference. Because, at Baylor, ‘Love thy neighbor’ are not just words…they are a way of life,” Baylor’s website states.
Maputo, Mozambique, freshman Chantelle Maculuve said she felt welcomed into the Baylor community. She said Baylor has worked hard to show her and other international students what resources are available to ensure their success.
“One thing I like is that they really make everything for us to be informed and help us with everything,” Maculuve said. “The international department is really helpful and I really appreciate that.”
Both Peña and Maculuve said they were aware of the university’s efforts to be culturally inclusive, but said there was more the school could do.
“I feel very welcomed, but as a Hispanic, I feel like there’s way less activities done for Hispanics. I believe that is not Baylor but the Hispanic organizations,” Peña said.
Maculuve also said there’s room for growth in the Cashion Academic Center where the Center for Global Engagement is located.
“I don’t feel like I’m at home yet because [Baylor] doesn’t have my flag,” Maculuve said.
Baylor offers a variety of scholarships designed for the inclusion of ethnic and racial groups. One of these, the Trailblazer scholarship, has been growing in recent years.
“I’ve really seen growth in the students applying for that scholarship and, just the caliber of students applying is really incredible,” Herridge said. “I think in the coming years there’s a lot of excitement about that cohort of students and what they’ll bring to campus.”
With the growing diversity in the applicant pool, Qourzal said he encourages students to get involved as diversity grows on campus as well.
“We eagerly go out into the world to bring amazing students that we think are a great fit for Baylor,” Qourzal said. “We know they will enrich our community, so our encouragement to current students and students that are coming in that same class is to take advantage of just this diversity and new wealth of culture that they may have never been exposed to.”