The Penn State Lehigh Valley community came together on April 17 to officially kick-off the “All In at Penn State” campus initiative.
About 70 people including faculty, staff and students attended the lunchtime inaugural event to discuss the current campus climate in regard to inclusiveness and diversity, and to share thoughts, concerns and ideas all while enjoying a meal of international food.
Chancellor Tina Q. Richardson opened the program with a welcome address. She introduced the Inclusive Excellence Committee members, which include two co-chairs Angela Jeon-Huh and Tom Dubreuil, plus Marta DaSilva, Jessie Heimann, Hiba Moussa, Denise Ogden, Denise O’Neill, Jennifer Parker and Kenneth Thigpen.
Ogden, committee member and professor of marketing at the Lehigh Valley campus, then ran the interactive program portion of the event in conjunction with Dubreuil, committee co-chair and director of student affairs.
“We are here today celebrating that we believe in inclusion, acceptance and mutual respect,” said Ogden.
They engaged attendees in an audience participation activity using sli.do, which allows for live Q&A sessions and polls. They posed these three questions to the members of the campus community in attendance:
- What does inclusive excellence mean to you?
- What is a stereotype observed on our campus?
- What types of diversity and inclusion programs or services would you like to see at Penn State Lehigh Valley?
The responses submitted via smart phones showed up on the screens at the front of the room and the submissions were split up between students, faculty and staff. Ogden and Dubreuil let the responses drive the conversation and discussions.
“More than 20 campus events held this year alone could be categorized as ‘All In’ events, including student affairs events and faculty programming,” said Dubreuil. “We are already doing this type of programming, but are looking to focus on it more.”
Dubreuil then announced that a student club on inclusion and diversity is coming to campus next semester and will be working with the Student Government Association’s diversity subcommittee on these sorts of issues and events related to them.
“We want to seek different ideas and take steps to further improve the campus climate,” said Ogden. “Our committee will work on complex and sensitive issues that arise.”
If anyone has any concerns, ideas or program suggestions, contact Angela Jeon-Huh at [email protected] or by calling 610-285-5276.
“All In at Penn State” is an ongoing University-wide initiative that brings students, faculty and staff together to show their commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment — respectful of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, abilities, background, veteran’s status, political beliefs.
Follow the Lehigh Valley campus inclusion and diversity events, by tracking #PSULVallin on social media.