Edinboro University recognized, receives national HEED Award

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 at 10:03 PM

Edinboro University has received a national award for the second year in a row. EU was recognized for its “outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion” with the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity.

“Edinboro University is extremely proud to be honored with the HEED Award for a second year,” said Ronald A. Wilson, director of Social Equity, chief diversity officer and Title IX coordinator, to the university. “Even more, we are proud of the impact that our increasingly diverse and inclusive campuses have on the lives of the students, faculty and staff. We are committed to continually enhancing the campus climate.”

Edinboro will be featured alongside 91 other recipients in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The HEED Award acknowledges Edinboro University’s level of achievement and “intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach, student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.”

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, and best practices for both, continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, to the university.

“We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application, in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the workbeing accomplished every day across a campus.”

The road to national recognition hasn’t been an easy one. Two years ago, President Wollman found an interest in applying for the award because of “all the diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs on campus.”

“I knew that even if we didn’t get the award, which involves a very long and detailed application citing evidence of activities and commitments and progress, it would make us look more closely at what we were doing and consider how to do even better in advancing diversity on campus,” Wollman said.

Valerie Hayes, former director of social equity became the front-runner of the application process. After “much hard work,” Edinboro University won the award in 2014. This year, Wilson, the new director of social equity and Title IX, tackled the application process yet again and EU won again.

“Mr. Wilson has a range of initiatives underway that should ensure that we continue to improve as a campus that celebrates and encourages diversity and inclusion,” Wollman added.

“I plan to keep the ball moving during my time here and work with student affairs, ROTC, SGA, athletics, and staff to help understand why it’s [diversity] is important and what resources are available,” said Wilson. Wilson added that the continuing key to success is “that we give opportunities to all students, as well as openness and willingness to have students express themselves. It’s all about inclusion, respect and acceptance, and removing the prejudices and hatreds.”

He would continue, “Diversity is a goal that we must remove barriers to get to by teaching tolerance, acceptance and to embrace diversity.” There are many organizations and programs available to students through these efforts, such as the Women’s Commission, Frederick Douglas Institute, the Multicultural Resource Center, the new National Coalition Building Institute, and several others.

“Edinboro University is proud to have received national recognition for its diversity efforts,” said Dr. Kahan Sablo, vice president of student affairs. Sablo added, “The recent opening of the Multicultural Resource Center in the Pogue Center is but one of many initiatives that support the university’s long-term commitment to the celebration of human diversity. In November, the university will host the campus affiliates of the National Coalition Building Institute, an international organization that was founded to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism.”

The inclusion diversity in the university’s strategic plan assures our on-going commitment to providing a welcoming environment for all members of our campus community,” Sablo concluded.

Karlee Dies is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

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