Programs and Initiatives

Diversity matters. This is why we strive for a community where historically underrepresented, marginalized, and oppressed participants not only thrive, but also see themselves reflected in peers among our student body, in faculty in our classrooms, in staff across our campus, and in our alumni network around the world. Over time we have developed, sought, and solidified initiatives and programs to grow our capacity to support a more equitable and inlcusive experience for all participants. Some of these efforts are led by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and others are based in a variety of offices, departments, and programs across the institution. This reflects our whole campus commitment to empowering all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential. 

Campus Wide

Laker Live Poster

Laker Live - Even when the Oswego family couldn’t be together geographically, the college’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion created Laker Live in spring 2020, a new initiative that allows any member of the campus community to submit a proposal to virtually host anything from a how-to session or a performance to a fitness class or a painting lesson — whatever their skill or passion might be that could resonate with others. Every Laker Live session also serves as a fundraiser for the Student Emergency Fund. 

Building Bridges - An evolving intititative out of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Building Bridges is at its core an effort to work with individuals and groups, on campus and beyond, to better understand issues of diversity, equity, and inlcusion, through synchronous and asynchronous training and opportunities for dialogue related to those issues. Building Bridges creates a space to learn concepts, share ideas, ask questions, and honor the many experiences and identities that coexist in our community. In this vein, an education module covering diversity, equity, and inclusion resources, concepts, and expectations was embedded into every incoming student's orientation experience leading in fall 2020. Addionally, DEI training was offered across summer 2020 to student leaders and First Year Experience faculty on topics including community concept, social identity, cultural humility, microagressions, and dialogue practice.

Student Support

CSTEP - SUNY Oswego is proud to bring the CSTEP program back to campus in 2020 after a five-year hiatus. The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is a New York State Department of Education funded program developed to increase the number of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students who are pursuing professional licensure and careers in science, technology, engineering, math, and health-related fields.

TOC II picture

SUNY Oswego School of Educations's MBK TOC II program provides tuition assistance, academic, social, professional and other financial support to aid students in successfully completing their teacher education program at SUNY Oswego. Every TOC II scholar receives $2,500 a year, financial support to pay for all certification exams, and field placement travel reimbursements or transportation. In addition, TOC II candidates participate in clinical residency and employment opportunities, professional development, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

EOP - Beginning in 1970, EOP students at SUNY Oswego have a long and rich history of engagement, accomplishments and institutional commitment. In collaboration with the institution, the EOP staff serve as advocates for historically under-represented and under-served student access to higher education.

In 2019 - 2020, the college fully funded seven students through the Diversity Fellowship Program. We also changed our funding model to support winter and summer courses, and we started a Graduate Diversity Grant program for a one-time tuition grant. This program provided support to five additional students. 

Oz Grand Challenges Academy - Supported by the Heckscher Foundation, a summer residential program (virtual in 2020), provides an opportunity for first-generation students to experience a vibrant campus life, inspire them to pursue a college degree, prepare them for going to college and ignite their intellectual curiosity. 

Faculty and Staff Development

New staff including three PRODiG fellows

ProdiG - The SUNY PRODiG Fellowship Consortium represents a collaborative effort of the thirteen comprehensive colleges in the SUNY system. The program consists of a three-pronged approach to increase faculty diversity on our campuses. Eligible candidates for this two-year program include late-stage ABDs or post-docs who are underrepresented minorities faculty in general and women faculty of all races in STEM fields. The focus of the collaborative is to introduce early-career diverse faculty to opportunities at a comprehensive college, and will provide outstanding mentorship and support to increase future success and retention as faculty.

Ongoing work of faculty and staff from the college’s nearly 40 years-old Faculty & Staff of Color Core Mentoring Group to discuss ways in which current mentorship models can be improved and reconfigured to meet needs of current and incoming PRODiG faculty and Fellows. A session with the CDIO was included in new faculty orientation in order to share information on institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and opportunities for engagement.

School-based Diversity Committees - Each college and school at SUNY Oswego, as well as the Division of Student Affairs, has a diversity committee dedicated to developing intentional practice related to recruiting, retaining, and supporting diverse students, faculty, and staff and addressing systemic departmental and institutional obstacles to success for all.

Working together with the Dean of the School of Communication, Media, and the Arts, ARTSwego helped to create a new SUNY Oswego Artist-in-Residence program to be implemented in fall 2020. A central focus of this residency program is on artistic work that engages with issues of diversity, intersectionality, inclusion, and belonging. The Resident artist is expected to work with students across disciplines through teaching and creation of work tSUNY Oswego's 2019 e-holiday greeting card “World of Wonder.” in their respective fields of study.

Coordinated by the CDIO and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), professional development for faculty and staff included an online MOOC on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that focused on micro/macroaggressions in the classroom and inclusive pedagogies.

CELT's ongoing Tea for Teaching podcast is a series of informal discussions of innovative and effective practices in teaching and learning. Hosted by John Kane and Rebecca Mushtare, the series covers a range of topics inlcuding planning instructional spaces for inclusion, academic ableism, trauma informed pedagogy, cultural acclimation, working with first generation college students, teaching about race, etc.

Alumni and Beyond 

Black Lives Matter Painting

In June 2020, as Oswego students and alumni organized and led a Black Lives Matter march that started on campus, the college worked with alumnus Jeff Knauss ’07 and his Digital Hyve agency (who donated supplies and time) to paint a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Sheldon Hall. President Stanley and many administrators, faculty, staff and local community members joined students in a peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter on June 14, 2020.

Development of an Alumni Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee — The Alumni Association Board is working on creating a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee will connect alumni to ongoing campus wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Also, this committee will develop specific DEI initiatives and programming for alumni.

Development of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Fund through the Alumni Association — The Alumni Association Board created a diversity and inclusion fund to support programming and other initiatives.

Chaired by CDIO Rodmon King, the purpose of the Campus-City Relations Committee (CCRC) is to maintain and strengthen positive relations between the college and the City of Oswego, with efforts always grounded in the mission: One City. One Campus. One Community. Several students and employees of the college serve on the Mayor appointed CCRC. Members of the CCRC meet regularly to initiate dialogue among residents, students, landlords, business owners, local law enforcement, college administrators and the Mayor’s office. The work of the CCRC strives to make clear that all members of the greater Oswego community benefit significantly when our collective energies blend to create a more vital, vibrant and inclusive living and working environment.