Diversity conference set for March
"Enhancing Diversity in Higher Education: Undergraduate Retention and Recruitment of Graduate Students, Faculty and Staff" will be the theme March 1 and 2 for Mississippi State's second Diversity Conference.
Sponsored by the university President's Commission on the Status of Minorities, the program includes a keynote address by Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said invitations have been extended to administrators, faculty, staff, and students from other institutions of higher learning throughout Mississippi and beyond.
"Diversity empowers and enriches any institution and the individuals within it," Keenum said. "It gives us the opportunity to communicate, to know one another and to displace fear and prejudice with understanding and respect.
"It is particularly important that our colleges and universities, where the leaders of the future are developing today, should be in the forefront in enhancing diversity," he added.
Adrienne R. Morris, chair of the campus commission and conference coordinator, said the agenda is designed to share ideas and explore meaningful ways of using diversity as a tool to move forward communities, businesses and educational systems.
"The conference is designed to draw attention to the opportunities identified in the theme, to discuss best practices for accomplishing diversity goals in reference to those opportunities, and to offer general recommendations for enhancing diversity initiatives," Morris said.
Online sign-up may be completed at http://ce.msstate.edu/DiversityConference/index.html. An early regular registration fee of $125 is in effect through Feb. 15; $150 afterwards. Student fees during these dates are $50 and $75, respectively.
Morris said Hrabowski is among a diverse schedule of presenters, moderators, and panelists representing several universities and organizations at the conference. (For a complete list, visit http://ce.msstate.edu/DiversityConference/agenda.html.)
Hrabowski, president of UMBC since 1992, is a widely known researcher and writer in the areas of science and mathematics education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies committee that recently produced the report, "Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads."
In 2008, he was named one of America's Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which in 2009, 2010, and 2011 ranked UMBC as the No. 1 "Up and Coming" university in the nation.
With philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, he co-founded in 1988 the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, which has become a national model. The effort assists high-achieving, but underrepresented, minority students with demonstrated commitments to pursuing advanced degrees and research careers in science and engineering.
Hrabowski is the author of "Beating the Odds" and "Overcoming the Odds" (both Oxford University Press). Focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science, both books are used by universities, school systems and community groups around the country. [More information at www.umbc.edu/aboutumbc/president/index.php.]
For other information on the conference, contact Morris at 662-325-8124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allison Matthews | University Relations