Diane Jefferson, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, is a recipient of PASSHE’s inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Keepers of the Flame Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions by creating and promoting diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments that cultivate a sense of belonging. Keepers of the Flame inspire others and keep the flame for positive change burning bright.
Ms. Di, as she is affectionately known, began her career at Ship in 1984, overseeing several multicultural clubs on campus. In 1989, with the creation of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), she took on the role of director. At its core, MSA works to support, educate and graduate students. As part of this work, Ms. Di strives to educate the entire campus community on diversity, equity and inclusion, and build culturally competent leaders who can work with individuals from all backgrounds.
Under her leadership, MSA has worked to provide a variety of events and programing for students for the last 38 years. Most are student organized and led, something she takes great pride in. Through these events students become leaders and learn to overcome challenges. With Ms. Di’s steadfast support, students have created an array of cultural festivals, service-learning projects, and programing that help students acclimate to college life. She is a dedicated and well-respected student affairs professional and valued member of the Ship family.
Ms. Di will be formally recognized during PASSHE’s virtual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit on November 4.
The 2022 PASSHE DEI Summit, will be held virtually November 2-4, 2022. This year’s theme is “What does it mean to belong? Cultivating relationships and centering equity in our communities.”
To create diverse communities that are inclusive and equitable to all, we must explore the question: “What does it mean to belong?” How can we individually and as a collective, nurture diversity, equity, and inclusion as foundational to building a robust State System? This year’s Summit aims to serve as a platform for dialogue, reflection, communal learning, and community building, centered on exploring the praxis of belonging.
Last year, the virtual DEI Summit held over 40 sessions with over 500 attendees from across the State System! This year, we hope to expand on that success and deepen connections that support this work.
We invite students, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, trustees, and other State System stakeholders to think together about how to cultivate environments that promote belonging and well-being for all, both on and beyond campus. We also invite these groups to submit a proposal to share your research, best practices, or lead an interactive workshop that is related to learning and implementing DEI practices, activating organizational cultural change, and measuring the impact of this work on your campus or in your community.