Ignatian College Connection Fosters Diversity and Inclusion on Campus

 

Saint Joseph's University

Ignatian College Connection Fosters Diversity and Inclusion on Campus


 Thursday, October 27, 2016
by Elizabeth Krakoviak ’17
iccSaint Joseph’s University welcomed the arrival of five Ignatian College Connection (ICC) scholars at the start of the fall semester. Each scholarship recipient will receive eight semesters of full tuition awarded for academic achievement and faithful participation in the ICC program throughout high school.

Saint Joseph’s University welcomed the arrival of five Ignatian College Connection (ICC) scholars at the start of the fall semester. Each scholarship recipient will receive eight semesters of full tuition awarded for academic achievement and faithful participation in the ICC program throughout high school.

This year’s scholars include two graduates of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Steven Bradley, a communications studies major from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, and Alim Kamara, an economics major from Drexel Hill; Tim Hardy, a communications studies major from Philadelphia and graduate of Central High School, Triet Nguyen, an accounting major from Camden, New Jersey, and graduate of Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Malcolm Odum, a food marketing major from Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, and graduate of Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware.

Founded in 2004 by George Bur S.J., former rector of the Jesuit community at SJU, the program aims to expose students from diverse socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds to higher education and Saint Joseph’s University during their high school years, assist students in preparation for college by providing college awareness and enrichment programs, and offer continued support and mentorship, along with need-based scholarships to a select number of talented and motivated ICC scholars enrolled at SJU. The program is currently run by director of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity Access Programs Jennifer Dessus, M.S. It is supported by faculty from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business who teach courses in the summer program, as well as other University staff and administrators.

“ICC scholars can be found all over campus,” says Dessus, who became program director in 2007. “We want them as high school students to be excited about being a part of Saint Joseph’s University and as college students, to help advance the mission of the University and to become a part of the community. Our hope is that the successes of the ICC scholars can be replicated to serve other underrepresented populations on campus by helping them make better and more connections here on campus.”

The ICC program is a part of SJU’s Inclusion and Diversity Access Programs. Other access programs include the Lenfest Incentive Scholars Program in which up to eight Gesu School seventh-graders are invited to earn tuition credits toward continuing their education at Saint Joseph’s University. These students are also eligible to receive financial support from the Lenfest Scholarship if enrolled at the University. The Cristo Rey Scholarship offers a limited number of full-tuition scholarships to high-achieving students attending a high school in the Cristo Rey Network.

ICC scholarships are awarded based on an application and an on campus interview. Recipients must demonstrate academic achievement, participation in service and involvement in leadership positions. In addition to maintaining a GPA requirement, awardees are strongly encouraged to become actively involved in the SJU community. They give back to the program by assisting in the programming for high school students. Since the foundation of the program, four to six scholarships have been awarded to ICC students each year. There are currently 19 scholars on campus with a total of 46 graduates.

Students are awarded the scholarship after participating in the ICC program throughout their high school years. The program, which runs events in the spring, summer and fall semesters, offers activities such as SAT prep, college preparation workshops, and accelerated summer courses taught by professors and graduate students. High school freshmen through seniors from schools in the greater Philadelphia area, Southern New Jersey and Delaware are invited to participate.

Current ICC scholar Claribel Villa ’17 says that the ICC program has played an important role in her life on campus.

“The ICC community is like a family to me,” says the sociology and Spanish double major and co-president of the Latino Student Association. “They are always there for me. They often check up on me to make sure I’m doing I’m best. It is support that I value because it helps me to remain successful.”

Former ICC scholar Eric Jackman ’15 also credits the ICC Program.

“ICC is important to me because it has prepared me for my future,” says the former psychology major. “The faculty and staff challenged me to work hard academically and encouraged me to take risks in order to get the best out of myself. ICC provided me the opportunity to follow my dreams and to dare to make an impact in my community.”

The recent graduate is currently enrolled in the Church Management track in the ACESJU program and is working at the Gesu School. He hopes to eventually work as a counselor for male minority students.

“ICC is a true connection, beginning in high school, but extending far beyond for those scholars who persist through graduation and continue to work with the program to extend its diversity and inclusion reach,” says Dessus.

Dr. Reed’s Remarks on the President’s Council Meeting about Inclusion and Diversity

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Saint Joseph's University
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TO: University Community

FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President

RE: President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity

This week I joined the President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity for its first meeting, during which I shared with the council its charge to advise me and other University leaders on critical issues, to recommend initiatives, policies, and practices to enhance our inclusion efforts, and to coordinate existing inclusion initiatives with the Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity.

The creation of this council could not come at a more important time, as we engage in a strategic planning process that will chart the University’s path forward. The council will work with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and will also lead an assessment of the campus climate. From this, they will develop a blueprint for integration of inclusive excellence into all aspects of the University as we continue to foster a culture of collaboration.

I want to state clearly that the work of the council is actually the work of the entire University. We must all commit ourselves to the complex and ongoing work of facilitating critical thinking and engaged citizenship, of caring for the whole person, and of pursuing justice. Given a national and global backdrop of deep political and social divisiveness, unrest and violence, the University’s mission statement must be more than words. Our mission calls us to be honest and courageous in creating a more just, sustainable and humane world.

Thank you to the members of the President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity, listed below, for their leadership and commitment:

Monica Nixon, Ed.D., Chair, Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity
Ashley Archer, Residence Hall Manager
Janée Burkhalter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing
Sharon Eisenmann, Vice President for Human Resources
Rob Focht ’19, English major
Beth Ford McNamee, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry
Tyler Jackson ’18, Political Science major
Melissa Logue, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Bob McBride, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management
John Neiva de Figueiredo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management
Becki Scola, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science
Napoleon Stephenson’18, Business Administration major
Sumera Syed ’17, Business Intelligence and Analytics major
Niki Van Aller ’17, English major

Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity

Saint Joseph's University

TO: University Community

FROM: Jeanne F. Brady, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost

RE: Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity

We are pleased to announce that Monica L. Nixon, Ed.D. will be joining the Saint Joseph’s University community on August 29 as the inaugural Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity. Dr. Nixon is currently the Assistant Vice President for Student Development at Seattle University, a fellow Jesuit institution. In this role she oversees numerous departments and projects focusing on leadership and innovation. Prior to her current role, she served eight years as the Director of Multicultural Affairs at Seattle University and held a variety of leadership roles at Colgate University, the University of Puget Sound and the University of Virginia. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington and both a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Virginia.

As Dr. Reed announced in March, “this senior leader will oversee and lead institutional diversity initiatives and student diversity programs and services, including the Office of Multicultural Life, the Women’s Center, and the Ignatian College Connection and other diversity related pre-college programs.” As part of the reorganization some of the titles and responsibilities have changed, allowing this important work to be more focused.

Dr. Nixon will also coordinate and work closely with the Offices of Human Resources, Admissions, Student Success, Veterans’ Services, Teaching and Learning, and Student Disability Services to promote, support and sustain a diverse and inclusive community. As a core member of the Provost’s Council, she will be well positioned to promote the needs of all underrepresented groups and advance diversity initiatives. Further, the Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity will chair the soon-to-be-appointed President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity.

We’d like to thank the search committee, co-chaired by Dr. Becki Scola and Dr. Kim Allen-Stuck, for their excellent work in identifying such a qualified candidate. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nixon when she arrives on Hawk Hill.

Saint Joseph’s University | 5600 City Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19131
610-660-1000 | sju.edu

Leadership and Support for Inclusion and Diversity

Office of the President Letterhead

DATE:           May 11, 2016

TO:                 University Community

FROM:          Dr. Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President

RE:                 Leadership and Support for Inclusion and Diversity

As the spring semester comes to a close, I feel it is important to provide the University community an update on the status of leadership and support for Inclusion and Diversity on campus.  You will recall that following spring break, I wrote to the University community and reaffirmed that the commitment to, importance, and value of diversity are central to the mission of our University.  To that end, I announced a reorganization of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and coordination of efforts across campus and to support students.

I am pleased to share the following updates:

  • The search for the Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity is well underway, progressing right on schedule.  The position attracted many quality applicants, and the search committee (which includes staff, faculty, and students) conducted several interviews and has identified a small number of final candidates who will be coming to campus over the next two weeks.  Please look for an upcoming invitation in Hawk Hill Today to attend an open session to meet the candidates.
  • Following the appointment of the Assistant Provost, the membership, role, and expectations for the (University-wide) President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity will be determined and in place for the fall semester.  Additionally, an Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Team will be established to coordinate initiatives across campus and ensure reach to students, faculty, and staff.
  • We continue evaluation of options for space additions and enhancements for the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and student groups.  We recognize the challenges associated with identifying space and completing the necessary work but are firmly committed to accomplishing this as soon as possible.

I am grateful to Dr. Cary Anderson, Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost, and all the members of the search committee for their timely work on this important search.  I thank all of you who embrace diversity at Saint Joseph’s University.  Building a culture that is welcoming and inclusive to individuals from all backgrounds is a responsibility we all share.

Leadership for Inclusion and Diversity

Office of the President Letterhead

DATE:          March 18, 2016

TO:                SJU Community

FROM:         Dr. Mark C. Reed

RE:               Leadership for Inclusion and Diversity

Commitment to inclusion and diversity is central to our institutional mission, which calls us to be active global citizens who think critically and act responsibly. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that Saint Joseph’s is a welcoming and accepting place for students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds to live, learn, and work.

To address this critical area and in response to ongoing, thoughtful campus-wide conversations on this topic, I am announcing the reorganization of formerly separate offices and functions and the creation of the position of Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, reporting to the Provost through the Vice President for Student Life & Associate Provost. This senior leader will oversee and lead institutional diversity initiatives and student diversity programs and services, including the Office of Multicultural Life, the Women’s Center, and the Ignatian College Connection and other diversity related pre-college programs.

The Assistant Provost will also coordinate and work closely with the offices of Human Resources, Admissions, Student Success, Veterans’ Services, the Office of Teaching and Learning, and Student Disability Services to promote, support, and sustain a diverse and inclusive community.  As a core member of the Provost’s Council, the Assistant Provost will be well-positioned to promote the needs of all underrepresented groups and advance diversity initiatives.  Moreover, we will identify and establish a unified physical space for staff working in these areas and the students they serve. We will begin the recruitment and hiring process for the Assistant Provost position immediately.

The creation of this position makes a clear statement about the value of diversity at Saint Joseph’s, but the work that needs to be done cannot and will not be accomplished by one individual. It is our collective responsibility. Therefore, I am also creating the President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity, to be chaired by the Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, but comprised of representatives across our campus. The Council will report to me regularly on the status of efforts to promote, support and expand the culture of diversity on our campus.  I will consult with the senior leadership of the University before finalizing appointments to this new council.

I’m grateful to all those on campus who actively embrace diversity and make a difference in the lives of our students.

Dr. Mark C. Reed
President