Increasing and celebrating diversity has long been a strategic direction of SUNY Oswego. It is a priority because as we understand and engage differences among cultures and other divisions of the human family, each of us becomes more fully human.
In 2010-11, we embarked on projects to encourage more women to pursue careers in the sciences and more members of minority groups to enter business fields. We celebrated success in recruiting students and faculty of color and examined how to engage populations at risk more fully in education and its benefits. And we continued our tradition of sharing arts and values drawn from a range of cultural traditions.
- The annual African, Latino, Asian and Native American (ALANA) Student Leadership Conference added a Peace and Unity Walk to the 25-year-old conference as it opened the 2010-11 academic year.
- The college's annual International Day celebrated diversity with displays by various cultural student organizations on campus as well as study-abroad opportunities.
- The hit musical "Grease," which transports audiences to America of the 1950s, has endured countless stagings and reruns, but Oswego's 2011 production was likely among the first to cast people of color as leads Sandy and Danny. "It's not really about your culture or your color. It's about being a young person," said director Jonel Langenfeld-Rial of the theatre faculty. Added student Alagia Conwell-Felix, assistant director, "'Grease' hits home for everyone. . . . Every culture enjoys it."
- Step Afrika opened the college's professional performing arts series in 2010-11 with a celebration of stepping, an art form born at African-American fraternities. The Artswego series continued with U.S.-based performance groups that drew on Latino, Israeli, jazz and other cultural traditions as well as performers visiting from abroad.
- High school students from around the world competed in science and art at SUNY Oswego in summer 2011 through the first GENIUS Olympiad, sharing diverse cultures as well as intellectual discovery.
- SUNY Oswego strikingly exceeded recruitment goals for students of color in 2010-11 and saw the proportion of faculty of color rise to more than 18 percent of all full-time faculty.
- The 2010-11 focus of the annual Symposium on Learning and Teaching was "Communicating Diversity and Diversifying Communication."
- Oswego is part of the national Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students in graduate school, doctoral programs and the professoriate. Oswego received $231,000 in 2010-11 to support 26 talented juniors and seniors.
- A group of local and national educators gathered in downtown Syracuse to share their insights in an open discussion on using culturally relevant teaching to help students in the public schools learn.
- Oswego's Center for Accounting Research and Education launched an effort to increase the number of people from minority groups studying accounting and entering the profession. The effort aims to bring new ethnic diversity to the business arena and expand opportunity for underrepresented populations.
- In an effort to encourage more women to embark on careers in the sciences, Oswego is investigating the status of women faculty in these disciplines under a project supported by the National Science Foundation.