Celebrate Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion Week is a new recognition initiative for campus with the objective of acknowledging a few highlights of diversity and inclusion FSU has in its faculty, staff, and student community. This initiative allows people to share who they are and the richness they bring to the FSU community. While we want to acknowledge and honor their multiple identities, this initiative is about action, asking various departments across FSU: Who in your environment most clearly strives for diversity and inclusivity?
Celebrating Sustainable Campus, Urban & Regional Planning, and Facilities
Sustainable Campus: Florida State University's Sustainable Campus works to educate and engage students, staff, and faculty to set an example of campus sustainability and position FSU as a leader of environmental and social action. The FSU Sustainable Campus program seeks to have our campus serve as a living model of sustainability, providing learning experiences that students, faculty, and staff may develop, apply and practice at FSU and in their extended communities.
Department of Urban & Regional Planning: The Department of Urban & Regional Planning is well-known for its award-winning community-engaged work produced through the Mark and Marianne Barnebey Planning and Development Lab and Studio and the high-impact, innovative scholarship of our faculty. They strive to use our research to transform planning practice and planning scholarship.
Facilities: FSU facilities is responsible for the day-to-day operations of buildings, grounds, and utility systems. While providing 24-hour service to students, faculty, staff, and visitors, they strive to meet current and evolving needs of the university and ensure a safe, healthy and attractive environment. With an emphasis on quality service and sustainability, they plan, design, construct, renovate, clean, and maintain university facilities and grounds.
In her quest to learn and educate others about environmental sustainability, Cyndel Brunell discovered the value of using her talents and opportunities to uplift others. While pursuing a M. Ed. in Student Affairs at Clemson University, Brunell was recognized by College Student Educators International for her stellar work advising a group of sustainability leaders on campus known as Eco-Reps and developing a residence hall sustainability tournament. During her time at FSU, Brunell has developed an interest in climate change and how it impacts access to education, contributing to larger issues such as environmental inequalities and racism. She is interested in how practitioners can combat these issues, extending the scope of sustainability initiatives to include social justice concerns. In her role at FSU, Brunell celebrates and encourages collaborative learning and open dialogue at Sustainable Campus. According to her nominator, Brunell “strives to create a safe, inclusive learning environment for everyone involved with the Sustainable Campus program. She understands and connects with students deeply and brings a creativity to her work that opens new dimensions for us.” Brunell states that her identity as a woman has often been an uphill battle in a male-dominated field, but that this difficulty encourages her to use her own privilege to lift up others around her and create a more inclusive environment for everyone. Her efforts have an incredibly positive impact on those around her and have been both recognized and celebrated by those in the Sustainable Campus community and beyond.
Celebrating the College of Medicine, Innovation Hub, FSU-FAMU College of Engineering, Department of Architecture and Interior Design,
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science Department, and English Department
College of Medicine: The Florida State University College of Medicine educates and develops exemplary physicians who practice patient-centered health care, discover and advance knowledge, and are responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority, and underserved populations.
Innovation Hub: The Innovation Hub is a unique space on campus that fosters a collaborative community founded on a culture of creativity and innovation that identifies issues, explores opportunities, and develops solutions using design thinking and emerging technologies.
FSU-FAMU Engineering Department: The FSU-FAMU College of Engineering provides an enlightened and enriched academic, intellectual, moral, cultural, ethical, technological and student-centered environment, conducive to the development of highly qualified individuals who are prepared and capable of serving as leaders and contributors in our ever-evolving society.
Department of Mathematics: The Department of Mathematics at Florida State University is home to researchers, educators, students, and a supporting staff that strive for excellence in mathematics. The cutting-edge research of their faculty and students covers a broad spectrum of pure and applied mathematics, creating a vibrant scientific atmosphere in the department.
Computer Science Department: The Computer Science department is a wonderful resource on FSU's campus and has been an advocate for female representation in science. The department has been addressing the issue of low representation of women in Computer Science through a series of departmental initiatives. The primary initiative is the creation of Women in Computer Science (WiCS). This organization is a social and professional group geared at helping to advance women in the department and the field at large through a departmental mentorship program, creating a network to connect students to alumni, and hosting monthly guest speakers and student social events designed to help support and connect students.
English Department: Within the English Department, faculty and graduate students participate in a variety of interdisciplinary programs. Faculty within the English Department have distinguished themselves by winning awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities, as well as numerous College and University teaching awards.
Francesca Bernardi has proven herself a passionate advocate for the advancement of women and underrepresented students in STEM, both leading by example and through direct action. As the recent recipient of a Ph.D. in Mathematics, Bernardi places great importance on her position as a woman in STEM. In Fall 2018, she won the Poster Competition at the FSU Sixth Annual Postdoctoral Symposium in the Physical Sciences Category, and as a graduate teaching assistant at UNC Chapel Hill, she received the 2017 J. Burton Linker Award for undergraduate teaching. In addition to these achievements, Bernardi aims to give back by encouraging more women and underrepresented students to pursue STEM fields. In 2016, Bernardi co-founded a camp called Girls Talk Math with fellow Ph.D. candidate at the time, Katrina Morgan. The camp is a free day camp for high school students who identify as female or gender non-conforming that helps them explore interests in math and media. In 2018, Bernardi and Morgan won the UNC Chapel Hill University Award for the Advancement of Women for this outstanding program. In addition, Bernardi makes a special effort to mentor students who are interested in STEM fields, taking particular joy in suggesting the possibility of pursuing a degree in STEM to students who previously didn’t believe such an opportunity would be possible for them. Bernardi shows the power of using one’s gifts to give back and pay it forward, and the Department of Mathematics has recognized and celebrates her efforts, stating that she represents the diversity and inclusion that the Department of Mathematics strives to achieve.
Gwen Lofman illustrates the power of visibility and its potential for widespread impact. Her mission is to openly represent every part of herself, connect with others through her principles, and lead by adhering to them. In 2016, she volunteered at a computing machinery conference called ACM SIGGRAPH and noticed several issues with the way that staff treated her as a trans person. The next year, when she took a more senior role in volunteering, she directly communicated these issues and used her experience to educate the staff and ensure that LGBTQ+ attendees were treated respectfully in the future. Students at the conference noticed a marked difference and thanked Lofman, encouraging her to continue being present and visible in the conference community. Her achievements in STEM go far beyond the conference to include the creation of a Virtual Reality application for the film school that was exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. In all her work, she strives to make advancements that are personally meaningful as well as useful to others, retaining a core value of personal authenticity in everything she does.
Celebrating student activities and identities in addition to FSU Community and local Tallahassee talent
Please support and attend Market Wednesday.
Celebrating the Center for Global Engagement, Sociology Department, and Department of Social Work
Center for Global Engagement: The CGE provides orientation, immigration advising, and ongoing support to over 3,000 international students and family members as well as to over 400 international scholars and faculty. Their goal is to promote interaction among students of all cultures and help develop a culturally enriching learning environment throughout the FSU community.
Sociology Department: The faculty and students within the sociology department engage in fascinating studies of the social inequalities that define our times, as seen in relationships, health outcomes, educational and professional careers, and interactions. They are also committed to sharing sociology with non-academic audiences since the discipline provides unique insights that can improve policy responses and inform collective action.
Department of Social Work: The Department of Social Work is one of the nation’s leading institutions for social work education. The Florida State University College of Social Work (CSW) maintains a long and distinguished history of educating the best and brightest and preparing professional social workers to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of diverse populations with particular attention to the empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, or living in poverty.
Brittney Dennis is an active voice in shaping diversity and inclusion in the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on racial and gender disparities in higher education, specifically disparities of executive-level administrators. By understanding how influential decision-makers think about these topics, Dennis believes we can better define our next steps toward creating interventions and programs. As a graduate student, Dennis also teaches classes within the Department of Sociology and takes special care to make her syllabus inclusive. To accomplish this goal, she lists resources for students of various identities, includes authors with diverse identities and backgrounds, and understanding and adapting to students’ unique learning levels and capacities. She is also aware that, as a black woman instructor, many students rarely see an instructor with her identity and that her presence does have an impact on students and their understanding of these identities. In addition to her work in the classroom, Dennis founded a departmental committee on Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Sociology. This committee has worked to put together a survey to establish the current climate of diversity and inclusion in the department to understand what improvements may need to be made. By first gaining an understanding of the needs of those in the Department, Dennis is optimistic that the committee can take action to inspire positive change in the near future.
LGBTQ+: Day of Silence
Celebrating Allies & Safe Zones, CHAW, and the Counseling Center
Allies & Safe Zones: Allies & Safe Zones is an ally development program meant to promote acceptance and support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, and Two-Spirit-identifying (LGBTQ+) people. Allies & Safe Zones is coordinated through the offices of the Department of Student Governance & Advocacy at Florida State University and is offered regularly to the campus community. The program is open to all, regardless of orientation, identity, or expression.
CHAW: The Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW) advocates for the health and wellbeing of the Florida State community through education, coalition building, and policy reform.
Counseling Center: The Counseling Center is a phenomenal resource on campus and assists students with a variety of concerns, like homesickness, struggles with relationships, sexual identity and gender questions, cultural issues, eating and body image, substance use, worries, and depression. Their licensed and professionally-trained staff offer counseling to those currently enrolled at FSU in a variety of ways and there is no out-of-pocket expense for any visit.
The National Day of Silence Project draws attention to those who have been silenced by bullying, harassment, hatred, oppression, and prejudice, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+. If you would like to participate in the Day of Silence, email Shane Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bailey is a person who gives their all to the mission of helping students at FSU grow and develop into confident leaders. As someone who identifies as non-binary, Albrecht states that this identity has strongly influenced the work they do with students each day. In their work with Women’s Leadership Institute, they were instrumental in making sure the space was accessible for those identifying outside of the gender binary as well as for women. This made the event more inclusive and allowed them to experience a stronger connection with the women in the program. Albrecht also states that this awareness of their identity extends into the day-to-day interactions they have with students, as they strive to be a role model for non-binary students who may never have met someone who identifies in the same way as them. Albrecht says that this ability to connect with young queer people discovering their identity makes the discomfort of being open about their identity in certain spaces worth it. They strive for each interaction with a student at FSU to foster a sense of belonging and develop a relationship that extends beyond the boundaries of set meetings. In this way, Albrecht goes above and beyond in their job description to create truly impactful interactions with FSU students and encourage them along their journeys of growth and self-discovery.
Celebrating the Film School and The Arts Department
FSU College of Motion Pictures: The FSU Film School has one of the finest production facilities in the world, devoted exclusively to motion picture education. From writers’ rooms and sound stages to post-production suites, animation labs, and screening rooms, the school functions as an industry-grade production studio.
College of Fine Arts: The Florida State University College of Fine Arts is a place where learning and creativity are nurtured through instruction, research, and practice. Many of their programs rank among the most respected in the nation. They are proud to feature specialized programs that leverage relationships between departments and museums to enrich the degree-based curriculum.
Holly Hanessian is a sculptor and ceramicist who uses her art to advocate for change and teaches her students to do the same. Every three years, Hanessian teaches a socially engaged art class, in which students collaborate with social and environmental organizations to raise and donate money through ceramic based projects that honor varying groups of underrepresented people. Beneficiaries of the class’s efforts have included LGBTQ charities, PACE, and Hurricane Michael victims. From 2012-2013, Hanessian participated in the One Million Bones Project, in which a group of artists fired over 5 kiln loads of ceramic bones to create a public art installation for the National Mall in Washington D.C. The installation was on display in June of 2013 and raised awareness of ongoing genocides and mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2018, Hanessian created the Gadsden Farm Project, a socially engaged art project focusing on farmers in Gadsden County, one of the poorest communities in the state of Florida and an area officially classified as a food desert. The project fosters a sense of community and shared purpose among farmers who are trying to address the county’s food desert statu and create a new chapter in the county’s history, and is available in archives through a series of photographs, audio interviews, video recordings, and handmade ceramic plates. In recognition of her outstanding projects, Hanessian has been invited to be a part of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective and is the President of the National Council on Education of the Ceramic Arts. In this position, she has created a Diversity Task Force, come up with a non-harassment policy for the organization, and is actively trying to build a more diverse and gender inclusive membership. During her time on campus working with students, Hanessian makes an effort to create a safe place for students to work and express themselves and celebrates artwork that comes out of personal stories of change.
Keith Patterson is a great example of the power of integrating the values of diversity and inclusion into daily life. As an Academic Program Specialist for the Department of Art, Patterson works directly with students each day to guide them in their academic journeys and is known for treating each student in his office with incredible respect and consideration. His nominator stated that he will go out of his way to accommodate anyone and will never turn away anyone who comes to him for help. Others at FSU have noticed his efforts too, resulting in Patterson’s nomination for the 2019 Exemplary Service Award. Patterson says he believes everyone is unique in many ways and everyone deserves respect. He aims to treat everyone equally, whether it is a student, faculty, colleague, or visitor. In all of his interactions, Patterson’s genuine respect and appreciation for others shows through, and his attitude makes an impact on those he works with at FSU. As Patterson says, “I feel like a family member at FSU. I don’t feel like I’m among strangers here, just friends I haven’t met yet.”