Penn State forms Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State has named a diverse group of students, faculty and administrators to a recently formed Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force, which will work collaboratively to provide recommendations to the University Faculty Senate and Penn State’s administration to increase diversity awareness in the University community.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson and 2012-13 Senate Chair Larry Backer called for the formation of the joint task force following the Jan. 29 Senate meeting, in response to a request made by members of the Student Diversity Awareness Task Force.

The goal of the task force will be to undertake a review of issues related to cultural awareness and to make suggestions and recommendations on curricular and out-of-class climate changes that could enhance the environment for all students at the University. 

The joint task force will hold its first meeting in the near future, at which 2013-14 Senate Chair Brent Yarnel and Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Rob Pangborn will present its formal charge. The group is expected to meet throughout the summer.

“The incidents of intolerance and lack of respect and understanding in recent months have underscored the need for the University community to engage in discussions at many levels to seek ways to improve the climate for diversity at Penn State,” said Pangborn. “The Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force has the opportunity to make a lasting impact within the general education curriculum and other curricular and co-curricular learning experiences of both current and future students.”

The following students, faculty and administrators will serve on the Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force for 2013-14:

-- Brian Aynardi, graduate student in plant pathology and Graduate Student Association representative to the Faculty Senate;

-- Mark Brennan, associate professor of rural sociology and agricultural and extension education, and UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership and Youth Development;

-- Melissa Creely, undergraduate student in biobehavioral health;

-- Barbara Dewey, dean, University Libraries and scholarly communications;

-- Caleb Fernandez, undergraduate student in communications;

-- Jesus Hinojosa, undergraduate student in psychology and economics;

-- Antwain Hunter, graduate student in history;

-- Patreese Ingram, assistant dean of multicultural affairs and professor of agricultural sciences and extension education;

-- Krishna Jayakar, associate professor of communications;

-- Ariel Johnson, graduate student in media studies;

-- Terrell Jones, vice provost, Office of Educational Equity;

-- Jonna Kulikowich, professor of education and chair-elect of the University Faculty Senate;

-- Yanni Mai, undergraduate student, division of undergraduate studies;

-- Karyn McKinney Marvasti, associate professor of sociology and women’s studies, Penn State Altoona;

-- Curtis Price, associate dean of educational equity and coordinator of multicultural programs, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

-- Evan Riddick, undergraduate student in crime, law and justice;

-- Jo Tyler, associate professor of training and development, Penn State Harrisburg;

-- Teresa Vescio, associate professor of psychology and women’s studies; and

-- Carlos Wiley, director, Paul Robeson Cultural Center.

Last Updated May 03, 2013