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Greetings,

I N S I D E

The Office of Inclusive Excellence Team is very excited about the academic year 2018-2019. As we reflect on the previous

THE FRAMEWORK F A L L

academic year, our institution’s various units worked to build an infrastructure of diversity and inclusion in a number of ways.

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These inclusive efforts highlight our institutional goal to move toward national preeminence with inclusive excellence as a foundational principle. As we embark on this new academic year, our office will

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continue to engage the GC community in a variety of ways whether through university events, the Diversity Peer Educator program, training and development efforts, or collaborative efforts on Civility and Respect with departments and units around campus.

Campus Climate ...................2 Diversity on Campus and Beyond

The work of building inclusive excellence at Georgia College is made possible because of valuable GC partners, like you, who are working individually and

Embracing Diversity..............4 Recruitment Efforts

collectively to create and cultivate inclusive environments that lead to active and supportive learning and productive work places. Thank you so much for your support and for working with us to foster a culture of inclusion at our great institution.

Diversity Peer Educators ......8 Cover Story

The Office of Inclusive Excellence was established in October 2015, by President Steve Dorman to provide leadership, vision, and strategic initiatives for a university-

Diversity Training ................10

wide goal of inclusive excellence. The office monitors the Diversity Action Plan, supports the University’s Strategic Plan, prepares and analyzes reports to monitor our success, and highlights inclusive excellence as a university priority. Diversity, inclusion, and inclusive excellence challenges us to explore ideas and ideologies, life experiences, and practices that are different than our own. GC strives to present educational and work environments that support our students who are undergoing transformational experiences during their time at GC. We encourage you to explore GC FrontPage, OIE’s website and Facebook page,

CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER VERONICA L. WOMACK EDITOR AUBRIE L. SOFALA JENNIFER BIRCH PHOTO CREDITS AUBRIE L. SOFALA ANNA LEAVITT WRITERS MARGARET BROWN CINDY O’DONNELL ERIC JONES ‘06

and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to find out information on events, opportunities, and a variety of resources related to inclusive excellence. We also encourage you to work with the Diversity Leadership Teams within your area to make GC a national leader in inclusive excellence. Thank you and have a wonderful year! Veronica Womack Chief Diversity Officer

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Diversity on campus and beyond

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Ensuring the campus is an inclusive, diverse community is one of the cornerstones of the Diversity Action Plan. From hosting the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. event that is open to community members to focusing on communications that showcase the diversity of campus, all these actions go toward the goal of fostering diversity and inclusion at Georgia College.

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â‘ The Department of English and the Ina Dillard Russell Library hosted an

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African-American read in spring semester 2018. (Also picture 5)

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â‘Ą Students take time to listen to the read-in at the library.

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is a priority.

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â‘Ł Campus took part in the panel Confronting Islamophobia, hosted by the 3

Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) in Fall 2017. Panelists included students, faculty, and community members that participated in thoughtful dialogue. THE FRAMEWORK 3 GEORGIA COLLEGE


THE FRAMEWORK 4 GEORGIA COLLEGE


Embracing Diversity FOR THE SAKE OF STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES

Tapping into diverse student markets is an initiative that the team

of eight admissions counselors takes very seriously.

“We recruit students from underrepresented markets and ethnic backgrounds,” said Javier Francisco, associate director of enrollment management. “So, we really emphasize with every admissions counselor that recruiting them is important and to prepare to take a lot of time and effort because these students are highly sought after.”

Students participate in a GLMIPSE event on campus in Milledgeville.


Students learn the ins and outs of teamwork during a GLIMPSE program.

“OUR BELIEF IS TO PROVIDE STUDENTS ACCESS, EXPOSE THEM TO COLLEGE, AND ALLOW THEM TO SEE OPPORTUNITIES JAVIER FRANCISCO

THAT WE’RE ABLE TO OFFER THEM HERE.”

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any times, team members meet with students who think

“It will expose them to what their potential could be at Georgia

they can attend a college close to their house because

College,” said Francisco. “This past year, we had 34 students attend

it’s convenient.

the November GLIMPSE session. Out of 34 participants, 30 have already applied. About 20 of them have been actually admitted, and

“That is the challenge we face because sometimes the college-

the others were offered the summer Bridge Scholars program.”

going culture in their homes is very limited,” he said. “At times you meet students at those same high schools who are the

GLIMPSE has been offered since 1993 helping the number of

opposite. They know about Georgia College and the liberal arts.

diverse incoming first-year students continue to rise as a result.

So, they know what they want, but the majority of the time you have to educate students as to who we really are as an

“As of March 5, we’ve increased the fall 2018 enrollment for

institution.”

students of color by 14.7 percent,” said Francisco. “We have 424 students of color admitted as opposed to 371 for this same time last

Francisco stresses that it’s a lot of work because sometimes these

year. Of those students, 92 have already confirmed their enrollment

students are low-income, first-generation college students.

this year, as opposed to 66 this same time last year.”

“That’s why we offer GLIMPSE,” he said. Francisco also works with the underrepresented students through GLIMPSE is a tool for diverse student recruitment that provides

the Knowledge is Power Program—a charter school in Atlanta and

them with an opportunity to visit Georgia College and become

Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. He plans to bring a group of

exposed to the benefits of a liberal arts education and living on a

junior high school students from these schools to Georgia College

residential campus.

this spring. THE FRAMEWORK 6 GEORGIA COLLEGE


“Our belief is to provide students access, expose them to college, and allow them to see opportunities that we’re able to offer them here,” said Francisco. “It takes a whole team to work with these students.” In the past three years, as part of the Diversity Action Plan, the Office of Admissions has implemented even more ways to reach underrepresented students. One way is a phonathon to minority applicants, where current students and faculty of color reach out to admitted prospective freshmen to share experiences. Another is through the Within Reach Program, which targets residents of Baldwin, Hancock, Jones, Putnam, Washington, and Wilkinson counties. It provides in-school application review and acceptance, college planning sessions, and application fee waivers. The Office of Human Resources also embraces diversity in its hiring, promotion and professional development practices. It has also expanded its global reach for potential employees through gcsujobs.com and higheredjobs.com. Employee recruitment is up to the department heads. They are able to post open positions to premium job boards and can use the University System of Georgia (USG) clearinghouse for job transfers. “Recently, we started looking at their job searches to make sure they have a diverse group of candidates, and that can mean male, female, or minorities,” said Leslie Pierce, former chief human resources officer. “As long as they have done their due diligence, and tried to reach a broad category of individuals who are welcome to apply, they usually make that cut.” Often, timing affects the diversity pool. “Anyone is welcome to apply,” said Pierce. “It’s just going to depend on who’s looking, applying, and available. We want to make sure that there’s a wide enough net cast to attract more people.” Pierce envisions students having mentors, representative of their race, gender, or other affiliations. “I think that’s the spirit behind the Diversity Action Plan. Then, we back those resources when disseminating that philosophy throughout our institution—down to the VPs and then to the division heads, so that they can share what we’re doing to be successful.” The Office of Human Resources stays on the cusp of the latest educational trends for it’s workforce by offering Equal Employment Opportunity training, search committee training, a supervisor education program, and more. Since coming on board in 2014, Pierce has noticed more diversity at Georgia College. “We invest in diversity because we are global now,” she said. “With our business practices expanding the globe, you want to be fair. It just makes good business sense.” n

GLIMPSE DAY PROGRAM HIGH SCHOOLS


Serena Odeh, Education

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Cam Watts, Economics

Sara Toro, Psychology, ‘18

earing a hijab head covering, the outward sign of her Islamic faith, Serena Odeh often wonders if people are judging her.

When she became a diversity peer educator through Georgia College’s Office of

Inclusive Excellence (OIE) – Odeh participated in the same tolerance activities

she would later use with first-year students. It revealed something surprising – her religion was constantly on her mind. Tanvi Lonkar, Psychology, ‘18

“I was like ‘wow’ – I think about this way more than I should. I couldn’t believe this was occupying my mind this much,” Odeh said. “Walking in this place, Georgia, I’m very aware of my religion, because it’s very ‘out there’ all the time. That’s the first thing people see about me, and I just think about that way too much, I guess. I’m working on that.” Personal experience with discrimination has strengthened Odeh’s belief that all people deserve respect. It’s one reason the senior special education major joined OIE. Her passion has quickly propelled her to the group’s top position as coordinator – in charge of nine diversity peer educators. The group conducts roughly 50 interactive, in-class activities for first-year

Brooke Judie, Liberal Studies and Philosophy

students. They also plan and organize spring activities for “Diversity Week.” Peer-to-peer education is a big part of fostering an inclusive culture at Georgia

2017-2018 Diversity Peer Educators

College, said Dr. Veronica Womack, chief diversity officer. “The whole concept is to create more diversity on campus and to be more inclusive in our community,” Odeh said. “As peer educators, we are a part of that. We’re all working towards that ultimate goal.” “When it comes from a peer, students will listen more,” she said. “We talk about our own experiences and what has happened to us, and it becomes more relatable.” Most students don’t realize discrimination occurs, said recent graduate Tanvi Lonkar of Mumbai, India. She became a diversity peer educator to show fellow Oliver Carnazzo, Exercise Science


Diversity Peer Educators Spread Tolerance Across Campus students everyone contributes to variety on campus. Virtually everyone has descendants who came to America as immigrants. “We all have different things that we struggle with,” Lonkar said. The struggle can be about race, ethnicity, age, appearance, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disabilities, or religion. Diversity peer educators make this point by putting identity signs around a classroom. They read statements, asking students to move and stand under signs that best describe their situation in life. In another activity, students learn how devastating it is for those in the LGBTQ+ community to ‘come out’ – and risk losing family members, friends, or job opportunities.

international studies, psychology, and philosophy. Many either experience discrimination first-hand or have witnessed it and want to make a difference. Students interview in late spring for the yearlong job and get paid for their work. For Diversity Week in March, peer educators held rotating, 15minute info sessions about immigration, opioids, the ‘Me Too’ sexual-assault movement, and real-vs.-fake news. During Welcome Week for first-year students, they put on interactive skits about peer pressure, drug use, disabilities, and immigration. They get their ideas from real situations that happen on campus. And they’re constantly surveying students to see what they can do better.

“These activities bring out great discussions,” Lonkar said. There’s progress. But Odeh and Lonkar admit it’s slow. This year’s peer educators are a good mix, Odeh said, representing Muslims, Indians, Latinos, the disabled, LGBTQ+, African-Americans, and Caucasians. They come from a wide selection of majors: premed, special education, rhetoric, biology,

“Just knowing that someone else is going through something completely different than you, and it’s affecting them so much, can be touching.” TANVI LONKAR

“A lot of times, we ask if students think diversity’s an issue on campus and they say ‘no,’” Odeh said. “Making them aware of it is the most we can do right now. Just having that conversation, makes them think.”

2018-2019 Diversity Peer Educators THE FRAMEWORK 9 GEORGIA COLLEGE


Diversity Training Makes an Impact Early in 2016, due to the increasing politicization of the immigrant issue, the Office of Inclusive Excellence Education

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Outreach and Training Coodinator Jennifer Birch decided to organize a panel to help educate the community. The result was the highly successful “Undocumented in America” workshop, and she has since continued to bring understanding through discussion of engaging headlines through The Civility Project, an OIE initiative comprised of a series of workshops and panel discussions relating to diversity and inclusion. So far, topics have ranged from “Undocumented in America” to “Disability 101”,

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“Civility and Free Speech”, “Managing Triggers,” and many others. For instance, “[‘Building Bridges, Breaking Walls’] was a forum discussion about building bridges with our local community of law enforcement,” Jennifer said. “How can we maintain and continue to improve that relationship with things that were going on in the news with the shooting of unarmed black men and police accountability? Those were the discussions that were going on and we wanted to stay ahead of that. Our role is to foster understanding and educate so the initiative attempts to do just that.”

① Part of OIE’s outreach includes collecting stories from around campus for #IAMGC. ② Community members at the Spring 2017 Building Bridges and Breaking Walls forum, which focused on building stronger relationships in the city.

“We try to mix it up in terms of, not only the topics presented, but in the way the information is presented. Sometimes it’s panel discussions, sometimes it’s a training format, and sometimes we have guest

In the past, diversity training was relegated to the Office of Human Resources and focused primarily on Equal Employment Opportunity measures such as investigating and mitigating any possible discrimination efforts, unfair pay, or other issues of legality. When the Office of Inclusive Excellence was established, it set forth with the mission to cover areas that weren’t strictly to do with legality, but rather focused on the psychology of inclusion, micro-aggressions, and cultural competencies that would not only prevent the kinds of prejudices and lack of understanding that leads to discrimination, but also work to make Georgia College a more comfortable environment for people of different cultural backgrounds, different gender identities, and just differences in general. It was out of that philosophy, making GC a better place for everyone, that The Civility Project was created.

speakers come.” Another part of the Civility Project is its corresponding “#IAMGC” social media campaign, which is designed to capture the different backgrounds, stories, and experiences of the GC community to illustrate the idea that diversity is not strictly a binary proposition. At GC events, the Civility Project will set up a table with signs and a backdrop with the #IAMGC logo on it. Staff, faculty, and students are invited to answer the question, “What makes you GC?” and write the answer on a sign for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posting. “It’s not black/ white. It’s not straight/ gay. It’s not male/ female. There’s so many different nuances to everyone,” said Jennifer. “I think when some people hear the word, ‘diversity’, they think of separation,” said Jennifer, “and that’s unfortunate, because diversity

“We’ve had good participation from those Civility Development Workshops, CDW for short,” said Birch, “The largest group of attendees was for our Confronting Islamophobia event. I know there was over 200 people in the auditorium.”

just means differences. And instead of being afraid of our differences, we should embrace and respect those differences.” Diversity training at GC has made it easier for staff, faculty, students, and the wider public community to understand the views and backgrounds of others, making it easier to express their own views while inhabiting their own

Jennifer’s workshops typically draw between 25 and 30 participants.

differences, and that means that it’s easier to be who you are at GC, no matter who you are.

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Diversity Action Plan in action 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences, former Dean Ken Procter and Interim Associate Dean Chavonda Mills ①

A focus on systemic change by reforming policies and practices related to:

International Education Center, former Interim Vice President of International Education Tsu-Ming Chiang ① Diverse study abroad opportunities beyond western destinations ② Trainings on intercultural sensitivity

Faculty and staff recruitment

Hiring

Grants and Sponsored Events, Director Robin Lewis

Faculty evaluations

Provided support for grant applications that address diversity and inclusive excellence such as the YES program and High Achievers

The establishment of the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship for first-year underrepresented students

Departmental level reporting of diversity and inclusive

Extended University, Director Artis Williamson

excellence efforts

External grant for YES program outreach efforts to locals students

Exhibitions at the Sallie Ellis Davis House

and communities

College of Business, Dean Dale Young ①

Minority-based scholarships for women in IT and students of color

Increased efforts for diversity in the curriculum

Institutional Research, Associate Vice President Chris Ferland ①

Development of online data base to access demographic

College of Health Sciences, Dean Sandra Gangstead

indicator for retention, graduation rates, students, faculty, and

① External grants funding to promote diversity and inclusion education

staff by demographic category

Rural Nurse Traineeship

“Live Healthy by Design”

Finance and Administration, Vice President Susan Allen

Life Enrichment Center

Administered climate survey within unit

Diverse hiring strategies through various websites, conferences, and

Search committee training

• ②

Increased efforts to recruit underrepresented faculty

Diversifying the curriculum through student abroad experiences in Honduras, Tanzania, Belize, and the Philippines.

job fairs to recruit diverse applicant pool

Ina Dillard Russell Library, Interim Director Shaundra Walker

Student Affairs, former Vice President Bruce Harshbarger

Permanent acquisition of diverse databases and special collections

Creation of the HUB

Transatlantic Slave Collection

Cultural competence and diversity programs

Slavery & Anti Slavery: A Transnational Archive

Honorable Floyd Griffin collection

Archival footage for MLK Breakfast at GC

Outreach efforts with Bridge Scholars, Call me MiSTER,

University Advancement, Vice President Monica Delisa ①

Four new scholarships for first generation students in financial need

and Georgia College Early College

Center for Student Success, Associate Provost Carolyn Denard ①

Outreach and recruitment to underrepresented students for the

Successful recruitment of diverse staff

Increased participation of underrepresented students in High Impact

Bridge Program, Honors Program, and Leadership Programs

practices such as the National Scholarship applications and finalists ④

Development of task force to address retention of underrepresented students

Information derived from each unit’s Diversity Annual Report 2017-2018.

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Office of Inclusive Excellence | CBX 04 | 478-445-4233 | oie@gcsu.edu THE FRAMEWORK 12 GEORGIA COLLEGE

2018 Framework  
2018 Framework