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SSW student in new university ad

A School of Social Work student is featured in a new university advertising campaign that officials hope will encourage more males, racial minorities and first generation college students to study the profession.

Treston Shaw, 24, of Fort Worth, appears on the new postcard advertisement. He is a junior majoring in Social Work. He transferred to UTA from Tarrant County College.

On the postcard, Shaw is dressed in a rugged denim jacket with a white tee shirt underneath. He wears a scruffy beard and a wide smile. The ad’s headline reads “DRIVEN TO HELP OTHERS.” The headline is printed in all capital letters.

On the card’s back side, a brief story tells the reader that Shaw chose to attend UTA “so that he could maximize his opportunities to help others succeed.”

“UTA is helping me get where I want to be by providing support and connecting me to people in my prospective field,” Shaw states on the postcard. The postcard offers an electronic link and suggests that readers apply for admission.

Shaw grew up on Fort Worth’s South side and graduated from Paschal High School there. He had few neighborhood mentors encouraging him to pursue higher education, he said. After earning his Bachelor’s, he plans to pursue a doctorate degree, then become a Social Work researcher.

Shaw agreed to participate in the postcard campaign, he said, to encourage the pursuit of higher education among students who might otherwise not consider doing so.

“I just feel like, with me being on the postcard, it gives men of color…it can show people that if I can do it, they can do it,” Shaw said.

Shaw said students who live in isolated economic areas of cities and who have limited relationships with career professionals often perceive applying to college and navigating a university campus as more mountainous than, in reality, it is.

He knows of what he speaks: He, himself, was that kid.

Until now. Shaw says he wants prospective students to see his picture and relate to his experiences. He, too, once was insecure about whether he could be successful on the UTA campus.

“I was sitting one day in my dorm room,” he recalled. “I was thinking, I don’t really have no one to talk to that looks like me. I didn’t see any representation of the black community.”

“I wasn’t exploring my options at that time.” He became active in campus organizations, earned the  prestigious McNair Scholarship and now is committed to paving a pathway to college for others. He wants prospective students considering UTA and majoring in social work major to know his experiences are shared by many first time in college students.

“I’m just a regular student,” Shaw said.

The ad in which Shaw is featured was produced in November by the UTA Office of Admissions. The Admissions Office expects to mail the Social Work postcard to thousands of undergraduate prospective students across the United States over the next several months.

“The campaign is a rolling ad campaign,” said Alexis Valdez, assistant marketing director in the UTA Office of Admissions. The postcards are continuously mailed out after prospective students express an interest online in attending UTA or they sign up at a college fair to receive more information from the university. “It will run all this year,” she said of the Social Work ad.

In all, the Admissions Office produced 10 different postcards to recruit students to specific colleges or schools within UTA, she said.

News Topics: Students, General