Campus Scenic Students on lawn studying 20160309 dsc2601

DEI Collaborative

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.

Bias Incident Reporting

Unity Walk

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. 

The initial Unity March was sponsored by the Black Student Union as an expression of racial unity, with the intention of bringing together members of the Utica College community to proactively address issues of race and ethnicity on campus and in our community. Members of local colleges, including SUNY Morrisville, Colgate University, Hamilton College, MVCC, and SUNY Tech participate as well.

One of the outcomes of the many discussions that occurred that year was the establishment of the “Multicultural Program Committee” in 1990. In 1991, the “Program” part of the Committee name was dropped, and it became the Multicultural Committee and an integral part of the governance system at Utica College. The focus of the committee also broadened to include issues of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, etc. The name of the committee was changed to the Diversity Committee and later the DEI Collaborative, and it continues as a College committee with membership that includes faculty, staff, and students across disciplines and offices.

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

Current Members


NameDepartmentSubcommittee Membership
Hamza AllahdittaStudent 
Laura BeckerLibrary 
Judy BornerLearning Services 
Tracy BranchOpportunity Programs 
Alexis CooperAdmissions 
Kathleen CullenEducation DepartmentMLK Planning
Kimberly EtmanOpportunity ProgramsProgramming, Assessment, Diversity Awards
Jason FranceyStudent Living and College Engagement 
Peter GaughanStudent 
Luz GenaoStudent 
Lisa GreenHuman ResourcesHuman Resources (Lead)
Laurah KlepingerPhilosophy Department 
Halina LotyczewskiCareer ServicesWebsite (Lead)
Fran LuciaStudent Living and College EngagementSafeZone Programming
Elizabeth NassarAcademic Business DevelopmentMLK Planning
Dorothy ObernesserEnglish DepartmentAssessment (Lead), MLK Planning
John OssowskiOpportunity Programs 
Joanne PluffAdmissions 
Sania SafdarStudent 
Alane VargaDiversity and Inclusion (Chairperson)MLK Planning, Assessment
September 24, 20183:00Boehlert Conference Room
October 30, 20181:30Boehlert Conference Room
November 30, 20181:30DuRoss Family Dining Room

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  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

Previous Award Recipients:

Year of award

Name of recipient

Award category

2019Lukus BeckerStudent
2019Malcolm StoweStudent
2019Omega Phi BetaOrganization
2019Clemmie HarrisEmployee
2019Joanne PluffEmployee
2018Hermina GaricStudent
2018Theta Phi AlphaOrganization
2018John JohnsenEmployee
2017Shkumbin HalabaduStudent
2017Gay-Straight AllianceOrganization
2017Suzanne RichardsonEmployee
2016Amarildo CekaStudent
2016Balck Student UnionOrganization
2016Kathryn SilvaEmployee
2015Elaine ParavatiStudent
2015Africa in MotionOrganization
2015Alane VargaEmployee
2014Chochanmyei OoStudent
2014Omega Phi BetaOrganization
2014Damian Paco SantiagoEmployee
2013Janice TranStudent
2013Johnni MahdiEmployee
2012Anthony De La RosaStudent
2012Halina LotyczewskiEmployee
2011Anthony O'HaganStudent
2011Helen BlouetEmployee
2010Suhayl SantanaStudent
2010Arthur LangdonEmployee
2009Anthony O'HaganStudent
2009Joanne HathawayEmployee
2009Todd HuttonEmployee (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:

Employee Recipients


Student Recipients


Student Organization Recipient

Contact Us

Diversity & Inclusion at Utica College

Additional Resources

Utica Ethnic Engine Logo Uee
The Uee is your one-stop-shop for all Utica area ethnic places. Need a special food item? Looking for places of worship? Is there a particular hair style that only someone from your culture can do? The Uee can help!

Think of the Uee as the ultimate search tool for all of your ethnic needs. We understand that the city of Utica can be difficult to navigate, let us help!

Ethnic Clubs/Organizations in Utica

Culture Name/Website Address/Map
African AmericanMohawk Valley Frontiers ClubP.O. Box 712, Utica, NY 13503
African AmericanNational Association for the Advancement of Colored PeopleP.O. Box 236, Utica, NY 13503
Bhutanese-NepaliAssociation of Hindu Society of Utica, NYN/A
Bhutanese-NepaliBhutanese-Nepali Folk CollectiveN/A
BurmeseMulti-Ethnic Association of BurmaN/A
BurmeseThe'inngu Vipassana Meditation Center1005 Miller Street, Utica
BosnianBosnian Islamic Association of Utica306 Court Street, Utica
HispanicMohawk Valley Latino Association309 Genesee Street, Utica
IrishCraobh DuganN/A
ItalianItalian Heritage Club of the Mohawk Valley644 Bleecker Street, Utica
MulticulturalMidtown Utica Community Center40 Faxton Street, Utica
MulticulturalMohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees309 Genesee Street, Utica
MulticulturalMuslim Community Association of the Mohawk Valley1631 Kemble Street, Utica
MulticulturalRefugees Starting Over in Utica, NYN/A
JewishJewish Community Federation of the Mohawk Valley2310 Oneida Street, Utica
PolishLittle Poland-Polish Community Home810 Columbia Street, Utica
Somali-BantuMohawk Valley Somali-Bantu Community Association615 Elizabeth Street, Utica


Ethnic Cafes/Restaurants in Utica

Culture Name/Website Address/Map
American/Italian/PolishTiny's Grill1014 State Street, Utica
Asian FusionA7 Asian Restaurant1034 Mohawk Street, Utica
Asian FusionThe Lotus Garden Noodle and Sushi House1011 King Street, Utica
Asian FusionSunny Restaurant530 Albany Street Utica
BosnianDanijela's Kitchen6 Bank Place, Utica
BosnianEuropa Food Bar and Restaurant705 Albany Street, Utica
BosnianRuznic Market and Restaurant801 Albany Street, Utica
BosnianTNB Bakery901 Albany Street, Utica
ChineseBeijing House1506 Genesee Street, Utica
ChineseChina Wok2001 Genesee Street, Utica
ChineseGood Friend Chinese Restaurant50 Auert Avenue, Utica
ChineseGrand Harmony 1809 Genesee Street, Utica
ChineseNo. 1 Chinese Restaurant1122 Mohawk Street, Utica
ChinesePanda House Chinese Restaurant248 Genesee Street, Utica
Chinese/JapaneseSakura Sushi Bar 1143 Mohawk Street, Utica
DominicanEl Barajo Restaurant672 Bleecker Street, Utica
DominicanJoel's Spanish Food1225 Park Avenue, Utica
DominicanMi Casa1315 Genesee Street, Utica
EuropeanUtica Bread106 Genesee Street, Utica
GreekAcropolis Greek Restaurant621 James Street, Utica
GreekSymeon's4941 Commercial Drive, Yorkville
Greek/TurkishCafe Hummus1155 Mohawk Street, Utica
IndianMinar Fine Indian Cuisine609 French Road, New Hartford
IndianTaj Mahal Indian Halal Restaurant60 Genesee Street, New Hartford
IrishThe Celtic Harp805 Varick Street, Utica
IraqiHummus and Tabbouleh675 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianAlee's Restaurant247 Elizabeth Street, Utica
ItalianAmbasador Restaurant537 Albany Street, Utica
ItalianAncora!261 Genesee Street, Utica
ItalianAqua Vino Restaurant and Banquets16 Harbor Lock Road, Utica
ItalianBella Regina239 Genesee Street, Utica
ItalianCafe Caruso707 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianCafe Daniele1556 Mohawk Street, Utica
ItalianChesterfield Restaurant1713 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianDelmonico's Italian Steakhouse147 North Genesee Street, Utica
ItalianDesserts Beyond the Ordinary24 Bank Place, Utica
ItalianFlorentine Pastry Shop667 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianJoe's Restaurant927 Jay Street, Utica
ItalianJoey's Restaurant307 Mohawk Street, Utica
ItalianRaspberries of Utica2634 Genesee Street, Utica
ItalianRosa's Trattoria Italian Bakery and Deli2644 Genesee Street, Utica
ItalianSammy and Annie Foods717 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianVentura's Restaurant787 Lansing Street, Utica
JamaicanCome into Jamaica1224 Steuben Street, Utica
JamaicanGuess House of Wings1207 Park Avenue, Utica
JapaneseMitsuba17 Ellinwood Drive, New Hartford

120 Genesee Street, New Hartford

LebaneseKaram's Middle East Bakery and Restaurant137 Campbell Avenue, Yorkville
LebaneseMassoud's Cafe8 Bank Place, Utica
LebanesePhoenician Restaurant 623 French Road, New Hartford
LebaneseZeina's Cafe607 Varick Street, Utica
VietnameseBac Lieu683 Bleecker Street, Utica
VietnamesePho Ever Noodles8469 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford
VietnamesePho Mekong House of Noodles601 John Street, Utica


Ethnic Markets/Shops in Utica

AfricanAfrican Halal Market1155 Mohawk Street, Utica
AsianAsian Food Market1581 Neilson Street, Utica
Belarusian/Eastern EuropeanEuropean Food Store859 Bleecker Street, Utica
Belarusian/Eastern EuropeanSenshine Market600 Culver Avenue, Utica
BosnianInternational Grocery Europa Market1024 Webster Avenue, Utica
BosnianRuznic Market and Restaurant801 Albany Street, Utica
BurmeseVashti's Boutique635 Blandina Street, Utica
BurmeseMin Htet Win Oriental Market115 South Street, Utica
BurmeseRoema Asian Grocery and Market335 South Street, Utica
BurmeseGolden Burma Halal Meat Market1173 McQuade Avenue, Utica
CambodianLucky Mey’s Market1633 Oneida Street, Utica
EuropeanUtica Bread106 Genesee Street, Utica
HispanicHannaford Supermarket
Very extensive selection of Goya products
1122 Mohawk Street, Utica
ItalianAvico Spice Distributors729 Broad Street, Utica
ItalianBig O Bakery775 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianGiuseppe Bakery506 Mohawk Street, Utica
ItalianLittle Italy Imports1150 McQuade Avenue, Utica
ItalianMaria’s Pasta Shop2520 Oneida Street, Utica
ItalianNapoli’s Italian Bakery and Deli412 Culver Avenue, Utica
ItalianRoma’s Sausage and Deli2029 Bleecker Street, Utica
ItalianSammy and Annie Foods717 Bleecker Street, Utica
KenyanMajeni Grocery Store600 Culver Avenue, Utica
PolishPulaski Meat Market1201 Lenox Avenue, Utica
PolishHapanowicz Brothers Meat Market19 Clinton Street, New York Mills
RussianRoyal Imports1201 Albany Street, Utica
SomalianHalal Food Market1138 Steuben Street, Utica
VietnameseNguyen Phat Oriental Store643 Bleecker Street, Utica


Places of Worship in Utica

(ranked alphabetically)

Click here for an overall guide on places of worship in Utica, NY

DEI Collaborative's Recommended Web Links

American Association of Colleges and Universities

Since 1971 AAC&U has developed initiatives that bring together faculty and institutions of higher learning to provide national leadership that advances diversity and equity in higher education, and the best educational practices for an increasingly diverse population.  AAC&U understands diversity and equity as fundamental goals of higher education and as resources for learning that are valuable for all students, vital to democracy and a democratic workforce and to the global position and wellbeing of the United States.


Americans with Disabilities Act

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division provides information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


College Guide for LGBTQ Students ( features resources designed to inform LGBTQ prospective students about LGTBQ-friendly campuses.


Campus Pride

Campus Pride serves LGBT and ally student leaders and campus organizations in the areas of leadership development, support programs and services to create safer, more inclusive LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to develop, support and give “voice and action” in building future LGBT and ally student leaders.  Campus Pride envisions campuses and a society free of anti-LGBT prejudice, bigotry and hate. It works to develop student leaders, campus networks, and future actions to create such positive change.


Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

The combined vision and mission of the Consortium is to achieve higher education environments in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni have equity in every respect. Our goals are to support colleagues and develop curriculum to professionally enhance this work; to seek climate improvement on campuses; and to advocate for policy change, program development, and establishment of LGBT Office/Centers.


Diversity Inc.

Diversity Inc is the leading publication on diversity and business.  Its mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity.


Higher Education Recruitment Consortium

Diversity is integral to institutional excellence. HERC understands the need to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented faculty and staff from historically excluded and underrepresented populations. HERC maintains a list of higher education and related publications, websites, associations, organizations, and professional societies that serve diverse constituents and publish diverse content.  


Human Rights Campaign
As the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide — all committed to making HRC's vision a reality.  Founded in 1980, HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.  The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

Noah Wagoner

Noah is a transgender male who will shift our understanding of gender.  During his TEDx Flour City Talk, "What's Left? Our Rights." he'll share his personal journey to help us empathize with how something so basic as identity can be challenged daily.  Also view his YouTube video, made while he was a student at Nazareth College.


The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.  Throughout our history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.

Need information on a particular holiday found across the world? Want to find out when to celebrate?  The Earth Calendar is a non-profit website to which individuals submit information about the world's holidays and celebrations. 


I would like to see logins and resources for:

For a general list of frequently used logins, you can also visit our logins page.