The DEI Collaborative is engaged in ongoing work that increases the awareness and appreciation of diversity on campus and in society at large. Through the implementation of programs, activities, and events, we endeavor to build a sense of unity within and across cultures.
Our community of students, faculty and staff reflect a diversity of experiences, opinions, and cultural backgrounds shaped by biology, society, history, and choice. Our community includes members who are diverse by virtue of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religious and/or spiritual affiliations, and socio-economic status, as well as the number of other ways in which who we are influences how we see the world.
Furthermore, we value and celebrate diversity, and this results in a commitment to multiculturalism. We believe that within the community of human persons, all cultures, perspectives, and beliefs about faith, ideals, taste and lifestyles are of equal value. Our diversity deepens our commitment to nurture a multicultural environment in which we engage with others and blend perspectives, to learn about diverse cultures, to explore who we are and where we come from and to accept one another without prejudice.
The Utica College Mission and Values Statement includes a commitment to fostering diversity in perspective, background, and experience within an environment that is dedicated to the freedom of expression and the open sharing of ideas.
The DEI Collaborative was established as the “Multicultural Program Committee” in 1990. After a series of incidents at Utica College, other local colleges, and in the Utica community drew attention to the divisions that still existed between members of our community based on race and ethnicity, Utica College spearheaded the first Unity March in 1989.
One of the activities most associated with the Multicultural/Diversity Committee/DEI Collaborative is the Unity March. Some information about Utica College Unity Marches follows:
- First Unity March occurred in 1989. This event was a response to incidents that had occurred on several campuses in the area, and was both a protest that such situations continued to occur and an expression of the belief in our ability to live together in harmony.
- Unity Marches initially were called “Candlelight Unity March for Racial Harmony”, and participants marched in the evening from Oneida Square to City Hall.
- In 1991, Unity March was advertised as the “Unity March: A Celebration of Diversity”, but primarily addressed racial and ethnic diversity. By 1992, the focus of the march had broadened, and co-sponsors included not only student organizations such as the Black Student Union and the Latin American Student Union but newly formed groups such as the Womyn’s Resource Center and the Gay and Lesbian Student Alliance.
- Every Unity March included members of local colleges and the community; some came because they were explicitly invited, while others would see the March was occurring and simply join us.
- Other activities that took place at some of the marches included banner contests, marching with candles (or lighting candles at end of march), and guest speakers or presentations before or after the march.
- Eventually the format for Unity Marches evolved into a pre-march rally with speakers, then the march from Oneida Square, a gathering and speak-out after the march and, occasionally, post-march activities (such as a play, panel discussions, etc.). The route for marchers took students, faculty/staff and community members from Oneida Square through the surrounding community and back to Plymouth Bethesda Church for the post-march speak out. The final Unity March in 2003 ended at Pratt Institute as part of a collaborative effort between Pratt and Utica College students.
- Unity Marches became a powerful expression of the belief in the gifts diversity brings to our campus and our communities, but also affirmed the need to talk with each other and understand each other in order to better support each other. You can see those concepts expressed in the eventual banner design that was used for several years, in which the words “Community” and “Unity Through Diversity” encircle the words “Peace and Justice” Include design here
- The Unity March began to lose its relevance as a student-initiated event, and eventually became less representative of a strategy for the campus community to express our belief in the value of cultural diversity. As a result, the Diversity Committee suggested that the campus move towards a Multicultural Retreat in the spring of 2005 in order to bring members of the Utica College community back together to take a look at the ways in which Utica College is diverse, what the climate at Utica College is like in terms of being inclusive and welcoming, and raise issues that still need to be addressed.
The DEI Collaborative has been involved in a number of other activities in response to needs of the Utica College campus. Such activities include:
- Peer leadership program (1992) – was intended to develop, implement, and assist in programming related to issues of diversity and multiculturalism on the Utica College Campus. The intention was for this group to serve as a liaison, when their assistance was requested, between students, faculty, and the administration at times of racial or cultural crisis or tension. This program does not currently exist at Utica College.
- Train-the-trainer programming with Hamilton College and Colgate University (1995)
- Funding creative programming focused on cultural diversity (2002-2003)
- Other programs, such as a flag presentation day and a multicultural fair, were initiated by the Diversity Committee and incorporated into regular programming planning by offices such as the International Programs office and Student Activities.
The DEI Collaborative welcomes the participation of any member of the Utica College community - students, staff, or faculty!
To become a member, contact Mark Kovacs at email@example.com.
|Name||Department or Area|
|Andrea Casuras||Center for Student Success|
|Anthony Baird||Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Student Transitions|
|Christopher Specht||Integrated Information Technology Services (IITS)|
|Cicily Talerico||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Civita Allard||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Corinne Tagliarina||School of Arts & Sciences|
|Deborah Wilson-Allam||International Education|
|Dorothy Obernesser||School of Arts & Sciences|
|Dyamond Howell||Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)|
|Elizabeth Nassar||Academic Business Development|
|Ellen Smith||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Jason Francey||Student Living and College Engagement (SLCE)|
|Jasper Wojtach||TRiO Student Support Services (SSS)|
|Jessica Amerosa||Office of Learning Services|
|John Ossowski||Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)|
|Kailea Murray||Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Student Transitions|
|Kathleen Cullen||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Kelly Minerva||School of Arts & Sciences|
|Laurah Klepinger||School of Arts & Sciences|
|Lisa Green||Human Resources|
|Lynne Ferrara||School of Arts & Sciences|
|Margaret Hemstrought||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Mark Kovacs||Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Student Transitions|
|Mathew Vincent||TRiO Student Support Services (SSS)|
|Meghan Jordan||Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Student Transitions|
|Nina Nguyen||Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Student Transitions|
|Patrice Hallock||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Ryan Clement||Enrollment Management|
|Samantha Marocco||School of Health Professions & Education|
|Stacy Phelps||International Education|
|Tracy Branch||Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)|
The Utica College DEi Collaborative is soliciting nominations for the "Excellence in Fostering a Diverse Campus Community" Award. This award will recognize the dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to promote diversity at Utica College by fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus community through their actions, collaboration, and influence.
The Utica College DEI Collaborative has established three awards:
- One award will be given to a Utica College employee (faculty, staff, or contract employee).
- One award will be given to a Utica College student (undergraduate, graduate, on-campus, or distance).
- One award will be given to a Utica College student club or organization.
Members of the Utica College community are encouraged to submit nominations for employees, students, and student clubs or organizations online at http://tinyurl.com/UCDiversity. Previous award recipients are eligible to receive another award after a three year time period (see recipient chart below).
Nominations must be completed no later than [DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED]. The awards for the Utica College student and club or organization will be presented during the Student Affairs Student Recognition Brunch in April. The award for the Utica College employee will be presented during the Employee Recognition Ceremony in May.
If you have any questions, please contact Kateri Henkel, Chairperson of the Diversity Award Sub-Committee (792-3032), or the Diversity Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous Award Recipients:
Year of award
Name of recipient
|2019||Omega Phi Beta||Organization|
|2018||Theta Phi Alpha||Organization|
|2016||Balck Student Union||Organization|
|2015||Africa in Motion||Organization|
|2014||Omega Phi Beta||Organization|
|2014||Damian Paco Santiago||Employee|
|2012||Anthony De La Rosa||Student|
|2009||Todd Hutton||Employee (President)|
2020 Award Recipients
Efforts to create a community that is not only diverse but equitable and inclusive are ongoing, and require the time, energy and commitment of individuals and groups across campus. Every year, the Utica College Diversity Committee solicits nominations for the "Excellence in Fostering a Diverse Campus Community" Award. This award recognizes the dedicated individuals who promote diversity at Utica College by fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus community through their actions, collaboration, and influence.
The Utica College Diversity Committee has established three awards, recognizing members of our community in each of the following groups:
- Utica College employees (faculty, staff, or contract employee)
- Utica College students (undergraduate, graduate, on-campus, or distance)
- Utica College student club or organization
Generally, these awards are presented at the appropriate recognition ceremonies in April and May. Because that was not possible this year, we are posting the names of the recipients and the letters they will receive with their certificate in order to acknowledge their efforts and say thank you!
You can find the awards letter for each recipient here:
- Mark Kovacs, Executive Director of Alumni and Parent Relations
- Elizabeth Threadgill, Assistant Professor of English
Student Organization Recipient
Diversity & Inclusion at Utica College
President Casamento Announces Largest Endowed Scholarship in College’s History; Dedicates New Wilcox Center for Students
Donor Contribution to Advance the Work of Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program at Utica College
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