CNHP Faculty and Staff Challenged to Think About Diversity
October 9, 2013
On October 4, Tazuko Shibusawa, PhD, Dean and Director of the Master’s in Social Work Program at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, gave a presentation about the “Challenges of Diversity” on Drexel University’s Center City campus. All CNHP faculty and staff members were required to take the opportunity to attend. Several members of the distance faculty, reaching as far as Alaska, participated via webcast.
Shibusawa led the College’s faculty and staff through a discussion on the challenges of making higher education environments more inclusive for all, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the community. She brought the group’s attention to several diversity categories, including but not limited to gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and religion. “Diversity enriches the educational environment,” Shibusawa said. “It fosters collaboration. We need people who can understand the under-served and under-represented within our community.”
The presentation included both didactic and interactive learning components. Shibusawa directed the faculty and staff to respond to questions in small groups, as well as to write down visions for diversity and inclusiveness for the College. Furthermore, CNHP faculty and staff were given stickers to place on numerous posters that posed questions about the current levels of diversity and inclusiveness within the CNHP. These graphs visually exemplified the group’s current perceptions of diversity.
The program ended with an open question session where several audience members made remarks and brought personal experience into the fold. The CNHP Diversity Task Force, including members Ellen Schelly Hill, Roberta Waite, EdD, Jan Meiers, DPT, Alison Ventura, PhD, Ken Hardy, PhD and Task Force Chair Annie Madden, responded to these questions and comments along with the visiting speaker.
The presentation was made possible thanks to the efforts of Dean of the College Gloria Donnelly, PhD, the Task Force, and Susan Smith, Associate Dean for Research. “The CNHP Diversity Task Force did an outstanding job in planning the diversity session. Highlighting diversity is very much a part of the College’s Strategic Plan and strategic initiatives in curricular redesign, new programming and service to communities. I am grateful for the high level of faculty and staff attendance and engagement,” Donnelly ended.