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April 13, 2017

MANRRS 2017 – On March 29-April 2nd Penn State MANRRS Chapter traveled to Pittsburgh for the National MANRRS Conference. Nine of the students in our MANRRS Chapter attended with the hopes of gaining leadership skills, internship opportunities, and networking for success. This was the first time in over 10 years the conference was in Pennsylvania, and Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences by way of the Office of Multicultural Affairs were co-sponsors and co-hosts of the annual event. MANRRS Conferences are also a time for the students to compete with peers in judged competitions such as research discussions, poster presentations, and essay contests. This is where Penn State shines on an almost annual basis: Maurice Smith Jr, PhD Candidate in AEE at Penn State, took home first prize in Oral Research Contest - Division II - Graduate Student. Celize Christy, 1st year Masters Student in Rural Soc, won a 2nd place award in her research discussion contest. Chenira Smith and Merielle Stamm, both first year master’s students in AEE, won second and third place prizes, respectively, in the Research poster Contest II - Graduate Student division. It was amazing to see the hard work of these students pay off on a national level. Celize Christy was also awarded the Cynthia Hayes Memorial Scholarship from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the South Eastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON). She won this scholarship through an essay contest. Congratulations Celize! Courtnee Eddington, 3rd year PhD student in Entomology, also highlights Penn State’s leadership role in MANRRS by being chosen as the Region 1 Graduate Vice President. Courtnee will do great in this role as a graduate liaison from the MANRRS chapters in our region to the national office. Overall, the conference was great. With over 950 registrants, representation from most of the 1862 and 1890 institutions, MANRRS is growing. We hope to continue to promote diversity in Ag Sciences here at Penn State through MANRRS and look forward to next year in Greensboro, NC.

April 5, 2017

It's a well-known fact that a college education is becoming necessary for many jobs. Companies are listing bachelor’s degrees as requirements on vacancy announcements, automatically screening out anyone who doesn’t have the required education. In addition, as technology replaces the work of employees in certain traditionally unskilled labor positions, the number of opportunities for those with just a high school diploma only seems to shrink. However, going to college isn’t an automatic choice for many. In fact, what they are taught in high school about the college experience has a major impact on a student’s decision. So, what should we be teaching minority high school students about college? Here are some places to start.

March 20, 2017

After meeting with President Trump and members of Congress in late February, presidents and chancellors of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) expressed a sense of cautious optimism that there might be more support for their institutions under the new administration. Those hopes were not realized when the administration rolled out its budget proposal on Thursday. Instead of channeling more dollars to HBCUs, the new administration seeks to maintain current funding levels. Pell Grant funding, a program critical to the continuing viability of many HBCUs, would stay the same, while other programs, like TRIO and GEAR UP, that are designed to help low-income and first-generation college students through college, would see a loss of funding or be eliminated altogether in the Trumpian vision of America.

March 16, 2017

Of all the students who visited the food pantry at Montgomery College in recent times, one that stood out for pantry worker and honors student Elizabeth Zabala is the young man who came to get something to eat for a specific assignment. He had been taking a course called Nutrition 101, Zabala said, and needed to eat in order to do a diet analysis for the class. “He didn’t have enough money to buy food to do that assignment,” Zabala recalled. “I really admired him for the dedication to his schoolwork because he was still going to class. You could tell how weak he was because he wasn’t eating enough.”

March 15, 2017

T he task of making college students feel welcome on campus has been greatly complicated by both the election of President Trump and the political currents that helped put him in office, said campus diversity officers who gathered here on Tuesday. As the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education convened its annual conference, participants and guest speakers described themselves as shell-shocked by his victory and alarmed by the impact that the nation’s growing political polarization has had on their institutions.

March 2, 2017

Black law professor who gained national exposure for having predicted Donald J. Trump’s election victory in an eight-month series of 2016 television appearances and Harvard Law Record articles, has filed federal civil rights charges against Campbell University. Amos Jones In documents obtained by Diverse, associate professor of law Amos Jones alleges a pattern of discrimination and retaliation in hiring and promotion amid a Whites-dominated tenure pattern at the 40-year-old, Raleigh, North Carolina, school historically related to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

January 31, 2017

Many colleges and universities have for years been stating that they are trying to attract more minority faculty members. And for just as long, critics have been saying that colleges aren't doing all they can. This issue has taken on new urgency in the last two years as minority student protests on many campuses have demanded a more diversified faculty -- and many colleges have made specific pledges to hire more minority professors.

January 31, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday said future diversity on college campuses is a key to diversifying society at large, noting that the number of Black students at the University of Michigan is a “real problem.”

January 10, 2017

Many colleges and universities pride themselves on their commitment to diversity, yet that commitment often seems to be superficial, writes Macy Wilson.

January 6, 2017

I harbor a moderate preference for white faces. You probably do, too: About 70 percent of people who take the race version of the Implicit Association Test show the same tendency — that is, they prefer faces with typically European-American features over those with African-American features. Since it first went online in 1998, millions have visited Harvard’s Project Implicit website, and the results have been cited in thousands of peer-reviewed papers. No other measure has been as influential in the conversation about unconscious bias.

January 4, 2017

St. Cloud State University spent 15 years trying to become a beacon of diversity and tolerance while its city fought over the arrival of Muslim refugees. Then Donald Trump came along.

December 9, 2016

I t’s been 20 years since Sheila Salinas saw her maternal grandparents, or the tiny concrete home on a dusty unpaved road where she grew up in Chalco, Mexico. As an undocumented student finishing her studies at California State University at Long Beach, she is excited but apprehensive about her planned educational trip to her home country. That’s because study-abroad options may soon be cut off for her and thousands of other students who have benefited from a policy that gives undocumented students temporary protection from deportation.

December 7, 2016

WASHINGTON — With the overall number of public high school graduates in the United States expected to plateau over the next several years but at the same time become more diverse, colleges and universities must do more to enroll students of color and ensure their success. Doing so, said Joe Garcia — president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, or WICHE — is not just a matter of increasing equity and opportunity. “This is a matter of economic competitiveness and sustainability of the economic recovery,” Garcia said. And for colleges and universities that face declining enrollment and have excess capacity, he said: “This is a matter of survival.”

November 8, 2016

T iffany C. Martínez, a sociology major at Suffolk University, made waves last week when she blogged about an experience in which she said her professor had called her out in front of her classmates and accused her of copying parts of an assignment. Ms. Martínez said she was particularly upset that her professor had circled the word "hence" and written in the margin, "This is not your language."

November 7, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. ― The last of Mississippi’’s eight public universities has stopped displaying the state flag that prominently features the Confederate battle emblem. Delta State University President Bill LaForge announced the decision Thursday. He said the university acted because state government hasn’t moved to change the flag. The university called for a different state banner in 2015, and LaForge said again Thursday that Mississippi needs a flag symbolizing unity, not divisiveness.

November 2, 2016

The typical White household in Washington, D.C., in 2013 and 2014 had a net worth of $284,000 — a whopping 81 times greater than that of the typical Black household in the city, according to the report “The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital.”

October 12, 2016

Speaking to a crowd of several hundred last week, Randall Stephenson's, frankness underscored a sense of personal alarm over the spread of racially charged violence in the United States. Spurred on by events, he spoke urgently about the need for difficult conversations about race - and in so doing became one of the most outspoken corporate leaders on the Black Lives Matter movement. Randall Stephenson is CEO of AT&T.

August 29, 2016

I n the fall of 2008, a team of researchers began studying some 3,000 Pell Grant recipients who had enrolled in Wisconsin’s 42 public colleges and universities for the first time that year. At age 18, they were ambitious, committed (all began full time), and entirely unaware that, six years later, fewer than half of them would complete a degree of any kind.

August 25, 2016

The grass is greener ... if you're a student in Detroit, looking across your school district's boundary with the neighboring Grosse Pointe public schools. Nearly half of Detroit's students live in poverty; that means a family of four lives on roughly $24,000 a year — or less. In Grosse Pointe, a narrow stretch of real estate nestled between Detroit and Lake St. Clair, just 7 percent of students live at or below the poverty line. To recap, that's 49 percent vs. 7 percent. Neighbors. Which is why a new report from the nonprofit EdBuild ranks the Detroit-Grosse Pointe boundary as "the most segregating school district border in the country."

August 25, 2016

The debate over which restroom transgender students may use at school is now playing out in the nation's courtrooms, presenting a lot of uncertainty for school leaders just as millions of students return to classrooms for the new academic year.