Underrepresented students (while we acknowledge that that term includes a wide swath, for this podcast, we’re referring to race and ethnicity) entering predominantly white campuses have not only the rigors of higher education to adjust to, but often, also a cultural shift that can leave them feeling lost and alone. While predominantly white institutions (PWI) try their best to diversify there campuses and admit more underrepresented students, what work is being done to retain and graduate these students?
This is where the role of a Diversity Director or Coordinator comes into play. Often these individuals are charged with programming for the wider campus, but also mentoring and creating safe authentic places for these students to have on campus. Throw in recruitment duties, trainings, and assisting with strategic planning and you have a recipe for burnout.
In this episode, our host Dan Kimbrough speaks with Erica Acosta, the Director of Diversity Initiatives at Wilkes University. She holds a BA in Spanish, a MS in Organizational Management and a MBA. She’s created diversity awareness and programming at two different universities as well as a Diversity and Inclusion Student Conference. We’ll discuss the importance and impact of these positions as well as the difficulties faced in wearing so many hats.