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Division of Student Affairs

Annual Town Hall Meeting on Diversity informs, challenges, and encourages (slide show)

Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The annual Town Hall Meeting on Diversity was held January 20 at Maucker Union and involved about 160 students, faculty and staff.  It included, for the first time, a Diversity Fair in addition to project briefings on campus initiatives promoting and supporting diversity, progress reports on the university's diversity-related goals, a dialogue on preparing students for their future in a diverse world and the presentation of Diversity Matters Awards.  Vice President Terry Hogan, chair of the President’s Diversity Council, facilitated the meeting.

The Diversity Fair attracted 25 university departments, programs and student organizations which shared displays and information about their diversity-related initiatives.  Campus guests mingled with exhibit hosts and the event provided a valuable opportunity for the exchange of information and feedback.

Project briefings gave additional detail about on-going campus efforts that advance achievement of the University’s diversity-related goals.  Ashley Brickley, coordinator of Student Disability Services, Therese Callaghan, employee disability and leave coordinator; and Professor Nancy Hamilton, chair of the Coordinating Committee for Disability Accommodations, briefed participants on disability as a dimension of diversity.

Michael Blackwell, director of the Center for Multicultural Education, shared information about the training program, “Undoing Racism.” 

Steve Carignan, assistant vice president and executive director of GBPAC, reviewed the fall 2010 program “Standing on Higher Ground” and Associate Provost Ginny Arthur shared information on the Provost’s Diversity Initiative.

Polina Bogomolova, director of diversity and student life for NISG, brought a student leader’s perspective to the presentation and talked about student leadership in diversity initiatives. Safe Zone, a program to train people to be allies for GLBTQ  individuals, was presented by Drake Martin, assistant director of residence education and Melissa Payne, student outreach coordinator at the Office of Dean of Students.

Vice President Hogan presented data on progress in achieving the university’s diversity-related goals.

The Town Hall meeting also included organized table dialogue on advancing efforts to achieve strategic priority number one: “Educate all students to ensure that they are prepared to live and work successfully in a diverse world.”  Participants were asked to generate ideas as to how we might more effectively encourage students to interact with others who are different from themselves – in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, etc.

Provost Gloria Gibson presented the 2011 Diversity Matters Awards to Anthony Stevens, director of the Educational Talent Search program; Drake Martin, assistant director of residence education; Inez Murtha, director of the Academic Learning Center; Karen Mitchell, professor of communication studies; Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure, professor of English language and literature; and Steve Carignan, assistant vice president and executive director of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.  More detailed information about the award recipients is available here: