Igniting Inclusive Excellence for Campus and Community
Vice Chancellor’s Corner
We are launching our first diversity and inclusion newsletter, celebrating, and emphasizing efforts, people, and activities that advance inclusive excellence and diversity at UNL and beyond.
This semester has come with a number of firsts and new beginnings for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). I had the opportunity to share my first 150 days at UNL, along with our capacity and positioning for inclusive excellence, during the inaugural State of Diversity. It was special to have so many people present who attended to learn more, support ODI, and express their personal commitment to inclusive excellence.
This semester we launched the Council on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity (CIED) – a group of institutional leaders who are key decision makers in their respective colleges, units, and organizations and who will work with ODI and other diversity professionals and leaders to advance the inclusive excellence agenda.
I could go on and on about my excitement, but this newsletter is dedicated to what WE are all doing to make UNL, Nebraska, and beyond, a more welcoming and inclusive place to live, work, and thrive. In this newsletter you will:
• Read diversity related events and initiatives occurring throughout our institution
• Learn about members of our Nebraska family making a difference
I and the ODI Team look forward to being a partner with you in making inclusive excellence and diversity a priority for N2025 and for the years to follow.
Held on October 29th and commemorating the first 150 days of Vice Chancellor Marco Barker’s tenure at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the State of Diversity hosted over 200 students, faculty and staff.
In the first 150 days, Barker and colleagues in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion have met with university stakeholders and alumni, campus leadership and community groups; held group meetings with campus groups; hosted an administrative diversity retreat; formed the Diversity Engagement Team; and set eight priorities for the office. Those priorities are communication, culture and climate, leadership development, learning and education, policy and practice, strategy and branding.
Joining 20 universities, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is embarking on a three-year institutional change effort to enhance its STEM faculty recruitment, hiring and retention practices. As a member of the cohort, the campus joins an inaugural group of 15 institutions that began working together to advance such work earlier this year.
Funded by the National Science Foundation and led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin, Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive and Diversity STEM Faculty, was implemented to advance diversity and inclusive teaching practices while providing resources and comprehensive support for institutional change.
Three-time Nebraska track and field All-American, Angela Mercurio, has been named the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. As the second University of Nebraska-Lincoln student-athlete to receive the honor, Mercurio joins former Husker volleyball national champion Billie Winsett-Fletcher, who earned the honor in 1996.
Mercurio was featured via videoconference during the inaugural State of Diversity and shared her thoughts on the awards while promoting her excitement on the newly established Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
The 2019 Women Advance IT leadership conference, presented by University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Online in partnership with EDUCAUSE, was held on November 5 – 6 at the University of Nebraska Innovation Campus.
Marking its fifth year, the conference drew more than 350 participants from higher education, business and technology. The theme for the 2019 conference, ‘Disruption,’ encouraged inclusiveness and continued education in improving education.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion served as one of the sponsors for the annual event and featured Vice Chancellor Marco Barker offering greetings to conference attendees during the opening session.
Launched in 2018, the Gaughan Center Hall of Fame honored four University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumni as the 2019 Hall of Fame class on October 4.
This year’s inductees included Rebekka Schlichting (Class of 2016), assistant director of Vision Maker Media; Marthaellen Florence (1980), director of community, Nebraska Educational Telecommunication; Ben Salazar (1973), activist for the Latino community; and Phat Nguyen (2018), platoon leader for the U.S. Army.
The event also featured Moises Padilla (2010), director of the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, recognized with the inaugural Gaughan Center Influencer Award. The honor is reserved for faculty and staff who go over and beyond the call of duty to support students.
The award ceremony is part of the university’s Multicultural Alumni Homecoming, which was created by the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color and the Gaughan Multicultural Center. The activities are designed to increase connections between Nebraska’s multicultural alumni, faculty and students.
The LGBTQA+ Center held its annual History Month Dinner & Social on Saturday, October 11 at the Cornhusker Marriott Atrium & Grand Ballroom, the event featured keynote speaker, Raquel Willis, a Black queer transgender activist, writer and speaker.
In celebration of International Education Week, Global Huskers Festival, a festival designed to educate and provide opportunities for cultural engagement and understanding, was held on November 19. The multicultural festival featured hundreds of Huskers sharing culture through cuisine and an international fashion show.
The event, sponsored by International Students Services Offices in partnership with Athletics, Student Involvement, and Housing, is part of several week-long events designed to celebrate students from over 100 countries and who call the institution home.
Trans Collaborations is a community-based partnership between transgender and gender diverse people (TGD) and academic researchers. Debra Hope, Richard Mocarski, and Nathan Woodruff, the head of the Nebraska Local Community Board, began Trans Collaborations in 2014 out of a desire to improve health care services for TGD people in the Central Great Plains. Trans Collaborations works to establish a network of researchers and communities focused on creating accountable research and resources for TGD communities in resource-limited areas. As part of this effort, Trans Collaborations is expanding to Alabama and Michigan through the development of additional Local Community Boards.
This is the second annual gift drive to help support students with children and their families during the holidays by providing gifts to help ease some of their stress! If you or someone you know would benefit from Holidays for Little Huskers or are interested in sponsoring a family please contact Holly Pridie at email@example.com
Heritage months and special observances were designed for the purpose of providing a period of commemoration on the complexities and richness of heritages and to raise awareness on groups and identities reflective of our diverse societies and citizens. Continue reading…
January 14 - Dish it up; 12:00 pm
January 16 - Brother 2 Brother; 5:00 pm
January 17 - Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast; 7:00 am
January 20 - January 25 – Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week
January 21 - Dish it up; 12:00 pm
January 24 - Academic Integrity workshop; 12:00 pm
January 28 - Dish it up; 12:00 pm
January 29 - First Gen Nebraska: Welcome Back Waffles; 3:30 pm
Vice Chancellor Barker is holding office hours on City and East campuses. Availability is 4 to 6 p.m. on the last Monday of the month in Canfield Administration Building South, Room 208; and 4 to 6 p.m. the third Monday of the month in the Nebraska East Union, Room 301.