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In each issue of The Reporter we explore a topic of relevance in higher education by asking Albright faculty, staff, alumni and students to share their thoughts and opinions on the subject. Do you have a topic you’d like to see discussed? Email jstoudt@albright.edu.

According to a May 2015 study from Deloitte University, how one defines diversity seems to be dependent on age. Millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—view diversity as the inclusion of different cognitive viewpoints that result from having grown up in a different part of the country while differences in race or gender can play a role, they may not be singled out as important diversifying characteristics.

What does campus diversity mean to Albright faculty, staff, students and alumni?

“Campus diversity allows me, as a Latina, to look at my educatedpeers and be proud of the fact that we  ll are accomplishing our goals. No matter what our racial background, our financial struggles, our personal  journey, we are all able to come together and succeed as a group, as well as individuals. I represent my  Dominican roots through every word I speak and every action I complete. The diversity on campus allows students to feel proud of where they have come from, and it gives students the capability to accept their  peers’ personal identities. Through diversity on campus students can create lifelong friendships, immerse themselves in other cultures, and recognize that differences are beautiful.” – Francheska Taveras ’18

“Regarding cultural and linguistic diversity, we need signage and information pamphlets in several languages, and we need spaces where English is not spoken, such as dorms designated for modern languages. “From the ethnic point of view, a diverse campus employs non-white people in prominent positions so that minority students can see role models and feel inclusion. Nearly 70 years since the Clarks’ doll experiments, we need to show that we learned their lessons. If we are to draw students from the majority minority pool, we need a non-white president, a non-white dean of students, non-white people in Gable Health, and a representative faculty. We need to renounce our de facto hiring ethic that we only have to have an inclusive pool, we don’t actually have to make an offer to anyone who is non-white.”
Theresa “TC” Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science

“Campus diversity means having a campus where every student and member of the community, no matter what they look like, where there are from, or their past experiences, has a place to feel safe and receive – Tiffany Clayton ’08, Coordinator of Multicultural Programs & Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Leadership

“When I think about campus diversity, I think of an environment where students, faculty, administrators and staff are valued for their uniqueness and similarities. Everyone is deemed as having contributions that enhance the collective. I envision a community where individuals are less quick to judge and more willing to understand the motivations and thoughts behind the actions. A place where people are not threatened by difference but welcome the journey of exploration. There is an atmosphere of civility and respect as people are invited into the experiences of others. Agreement is not paramount; rather, insight is the goal. True diversity is embodied when persons from all walks of life can sit at the table and feel that they belong there. Campus diversity is not a destination; it is an evolving process.”
Brenda Ingram-Wallace, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology

“I love the definition of diversity put forth by Kluckhorn and Murray (1948) that says that diversity is the ways in which each of us is like all others, like some others, and like no other. I view diversity very broadly to include a number of social identities such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, physical abilities and age, among other things. I believe that all institutions of higher education must work toward inclusivity where each and every member of the campus community, regardless of the diversity they bring, is a valued and treasured member of the community.”
Tiffenia D. Archie, Ph.D. ’92, Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Temple University

“A key component of higher education is learning to think critically and analytically about topics both familiar and unfamiliar. By creating a culture of diversity on campus, students from many different backgrounds have the opportunity to collaborate, learn and teach each other.”
Kevin J. Ezzell ’03, Director, Accelerated and Graduate Programs

“On campus, we think about diversity from the perspective of celebrating, appreciating and learning about difference. For this to happen the campus culture needs to foster safety in a climate where each individual is valued. The campus needs to be a place where no student feels marginalized and all students know that they have the opportunity to grow and learn free from discrimination. When we talk about diversity we must talk about equity and inclusion and we must consider dimensions of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, socio-economic status, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs and other ideologies.

“When I talk with students, I hear that they value the diversity in our community but appreciate that work still must be done. Our students seek faculty, administration, staff and mentors who have had similar experiences as they have; people they can connect with and feel supported. Our students ask for assurances  of safety and look for overt messages that state clearly and unequivocally that in our community, prejudice in words or actions will not be tolerated. Our students seek opportunities that value their unique  viewpoints and experiences individually and collectively.

“What campus diversity really means to me is that my work will always be guided by the desire to help to shape a culture of respect and civility in a place where every person knows that they are valued.”
Gina-Lyn Crance, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

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