Friday 7:30 PM Session on Inclusion
Dean Larry Dennis, co-anchored with Dr. Chanta Haywood, showed the exciting and relative initiative FSU had the foresight to take on the important issue of inclusion. Throughout the whole session, I kept thinking of the traumatic events covered by news, and how FSU is a great microcosm of movement to approach this problem of inequality, diversity and representation. Dean Dennis referred to Dale Carnegie’s text How to Win Friends & Influence People (and there is an edition for the Digital Age too!) connecting the similarities that the only person you can control is yourself.
The process as described by Dr. Haywood showed her expertise in level by level, addressing the issues that were relevant to be addressed, recruiting staff, using collaborative research, finding grant funding, enhancing the curriculum to match set goals, finding the strategic and ways to teach to this goal. In finding how to address the needs to create awareness and open-mindedness of addressing equality and diversity in an age where those actions are often overlooked, it is refreshing to see how a systematic approach was put into action and is deemed a priority to the FSU campus. It was emphasized the student experiences as well as alumni experiences helped shape the best steps forward in meeting the challenges the world outside of FSU poses. From synthesizing and analyzing reports, definite objectives, common themes, barriers, and focus groups were created to make this successful.
I asked How has the virtual arena challenged students in still being part of this initiative? and stated I think this initiative is a backbone of any institution and always in need. Dean Dennis did acknowledge the key factor that makes all of this work was communication, communication, communication.
From the virtual event we found ourselves in, to the amazing job Dr. Kazmer did in guiding everyone through this whole process, insights that came out of this thanks to all the aforementioned professionals, allow the virtual walls to be torn down and almost feel as if you are in the same room with the same concerns. The takeaway is, no matter the vehicle of communication, remote, hybrid, in person, there are always issues and topics we all have an interest and say in, despite agreeing and disagreeing, the most important aspect is having a place at the table!