After several town halls hosted from summer 2020 through fall, the Guarini School tasked five working groups to identify priorities centered around diversity, inclusion, and equality. Each of the groups focused on a specific area and delivered their findings in February to inform the Guarini School Diversity Commitment for academic programs within the School. Details of the Commitment, goals, and progress can be found on the Guarini School website and will be updated regularly.
Jane Seibel, Assistant Dean of Recruiting, Diversity, and Communications, noted the town halls acted as catalysts for the work and was pleased with how much the community is invested in constructing positive and sustainable change in the Guarini School.
"I am so thankful for the work conducted in these groups," says Seibel. "The members of the put in a lot of time examining current initiatives and practices and made really valuable suggestions for things that Guarini can work on moving forward. I continue to look forward to working with faculty, staff and students in the advisory group."
The working groups looked for strategies Guarini could employ as an entire community to develop and strengthen within each of the five areas identified during the town halls as areas for development. The five were: student recruitment and retention; professional development and mentor training; faculty and departmental diversity, equality, and inclusion practices; student compensation and resources; and community climate and safety.
Guarini has been working on several threads within each of the five categories through various programs, including the Diversity Fellows initiative, the summer research program, ASURE, and in fall of 2019 sent several faculty and administrators to participate in CIMER training with a view to bringing a train-the-trainer model back to campus.
"What this work does," explains Seibel, "is formalizes those initiatives we were already implementing and places them within a measurable and sustainable context of the necessary work according to the five categories."
This work will be monitored and evaluated consistently through the efforts of the Diversity Advisory Group which will meet four or five times annually to report on progress made in each of the five areas. Members of the Group are drawn from across all programs under the Guarini School umbrella and include staff, students, and faculty.
"Some members were those who participated in the working groups," explains Seibel, but anyone is welcome, she adds. "The Group is mostly made up of students with some faculty involved."
A checklist of the progress being made will be updated regularly on the Guarini School website, along with a Diversity and Inclusion Commitment. Anyone interested in joining the Group is encouraged to email Jane Seibel for more information.