Mount St. Mary's University & Montgomery College
Mount St. Mary's University DEI newsletter from the Office of Equity and Success

Welcome to the inaugural DEI newsletter from the Office of Equity and Success!

Welcome to the inaugural DEI newsletter from the Office of Equity and Success! The newsletter serves as an educational resource for the Mount community regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) topics and informs you of DEI activities on campus. If there’s a subject you would like to see addressed in a future newsletter, please email us at dei@msmary.edu.



In This Issue:



Education Corner Masthead

What are diversity, equity, and inclusion?

  • Diversity IconDiversity: Individual differences and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, religion, class, gender, country of origin and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations).

  • Equity IconEquity: The creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion.

  • Inclusion IconInclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum and in communities in ways that increase students’ awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

  • Source: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Making Excellence Inclusive framework.

What can I find on the Mount’s DEI website?

There are a lot of resources on the Mount’s
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website
.

  • Ways the campus celebrates diversity
  • Organizations and clubs that celebrate diversity
  • Our institutional DEI plans
    • Operational Plan IconCourageous Dialogue, Meaningful Action, the University DEI Task Force Operational Plan developed in Fall 2020 by over 100 faculty, students, administrators, staff, and community members to address racism that exists on our campus and in our surrounding communities.
    • The DEI 5-year Strategic Plan (2018-2023) developed by the Mount’s Inclusive Excellence Committee to address Objective 6.2 in the Mount’s Strategic Plan: Ensure our campus environment is welcoming to all who seek to live, learn, and worship.
    • Both plans have four major objectives.
      • Access and success. The Mount will continue to diversify its student body and students will achieve equitable outcomes and success.
      • Climate and intergroup relations. The Mount will embody a welcoming climate and a more inclusive learning community, workplace, and campus environment.
      • Education and scholarship. The Mount will define and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through education and scholarship.
      • Institutional viability and vitality. The Mount will have institutional viability and vitality through comprehensive development, continuous improvement, and active, intentional involvement with diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Information about the Mount’s Inclusive Excellence Committee and the President’s Advisory Council for DEI
  • List of external DEI resources (films, podcasts, articles, and books)

What can I read to learn more about DEI?

Jessica BoyerJessica Boyer, director of the Phillips Library, has prepared a DEI Research Guide.

I’m a faculty member.
Where can I learn more about DEI in the classroom?

Center for Instructional Design and Delivery

The Center for Instructional Design and Delivery has a webpage dedicated to Inclusive Teaching, which explains effective practices in inclusive pedagogy. It also lists resources for inclusive pedagogy and for building foundational knowledge to promote an inclusive lens.

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DEI Initiatives Highlight

In each newsletter, we will report on progress towards the initiatives listed in Courageous Dialogue, Meaningful Action,
the University DEI Task Force Operational Plan

and the DEI 5-year Strategic Plan (2018-2023).


Integrating DEI into the Curriculum:
A Three-Pronged Approach

Student Input

Student Input: The Committee on Curriculum and Assessment (CCA) is planning a survey for students to provide feedback on the curriculum in relation to DEI later this semester or at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester. Results will be shared with department chairs and program directors.

Student Input

Program and Departmental Review of Curriculum: The CCA has charged each program in the core curriculum and each major with developing a strategic plan for diversification of its curriculum and program. In 2021-2022, each program and department is:

  1. Articulating how its program and majors contribute to understanding the diversity of human cultures in a global community (undergraduate program goal #5).

  2. Identifying initiatives for improvement and expansion.

  3. Developing an implementation and assessment plan for these initiatives.

  4. Faculty will implement the proposed changes 2022-2023 and assess outcomes in 2023-24.
Student Input

Accountability: Funding is available to support each program and department in completing the curricular review. Moving forward, department chairs and program directors will include updates on their DEI initiatives in their annual reports and DEI efforts will be assessed in the periodic review process for departments and programs.

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Catholic Identity

The Mount’s Catholic identity is integral to our commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. We seek a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of humanity with the full participation of people who represent the breadth of human differences. The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching guide us in these endeavors. We will address three principles here: life and dignity of the human person, solidarity, and option for the poor and vulnerable.

“‘With respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language, or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent.’”

Central to the Catholic faith is the belief that humans are created in the image and likeness of God, thereby endowing all people with intrinsic dignity and making every person worthy of respect. We are called to defend this dignity and build a community where all people belong and have equitable opportunities to flourish. Bias and discrimination, both interpersonal and structural, against people in targeted social groups violate this dignity and are not compatible with authentic faith in God. As explained in Gaudium et Spes from Vatican Council II, “With respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language, or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent.”

In addition to respecting the innate dignity of every person, the Catholic faith calls us to live in solidarity with one another. We must love our neighbors as ourselves and we are responsible for each other’s welfare. As Pope John Paul II wrote in his Sollicitudo Rei Socialis encyclical letter in December 1987, “Solidarity helps us to see the ‘other’ – whether a person, people, or nation – not just as some kind of instrument…but as our ‘neighbor,’ a ‘helper’ (cf. Gn. 2:18-20), to be made a sharer, on a par with ourselves, in the banquet of life to which all are equally invited by God.”

“If we are intentionally or unintentionally party to actions that promote injustice, we cannot be in right relationship with God, with one another, or with the rest of
God’s creation.”

Structural inequities based on race, class, gender, and other social identity categories have led to substantial disparities in income and wealth, access to healthcare, treatment by the criminal justice system, and housing and education opportunities in our society. Both the Catholic principles of solidarity and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable call on us to correct these systemic injustices. This preferential option for the poor “is a call to special solidarity with the humble and the weak, with those who are suffering and weeping, who are humiliated and left on the margin of society, in order to have them realize more fully their own dignity as human persons and children of God,” Pope John Paul II explained in his address to Brazilian bishops on July 10, 1980.

If we are intentionally or unintentionally party to actions that promote injustice, we cannot be in right relationship with God, with one another, or with the rest of God’s creation. We must strive to recognize and dismantle both personal and structural forms of oppression to embody the Catholic vision of the human person and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

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About Us

The Office of Equity and Success promotes an institutional climate in which all community members understand their value, feel welcomed and respected, and have equal opportunity to succeed. We seek a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of humanity with the full participation of people who represent the breadth of human differences.

Our office is led by Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ed.D., vice president for equity and success. We are located in Bradley 313. Our office includes both the Center for Student Engagement and Success (CSES, on the 1st floor of Phillips Library) and the Institute for Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, and Development (iLEAD, located in Pangborn).

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ed.D. is the vice president for equity and success and the director of the Center for Student Engagement and Success (CSES). She oversees the Student Success Coaches and coordinates the Peer Leaders, First-Generation, and Peer Mentoring Programs. She also chairs the Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee (MIEC).

Rosie Bolen

Rosie Bolen, Ph.D. is the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion training and development. She also serves on the MIEC and teaches courses in biology.

Gayle Luksic

Gayle Luksic is the executive assistant to the vice president for equity and success and serves on the MIEC.

Andrew Atkins

Andrew Atkins is a graduate assistant for CSES who works primarily with first-year students to ensure a successful transition to college and to educate them about university-wide expectations and resources. He also serves on the MIEC.

Dustin Doan

Dustin Doan is a graduate assistant for CSES who works primarily with first-year students to ensure a successful transition to college and to educate them about university-wide expectations and resources.

Dana Sauers

Dana Sauers is the director of the Institute for Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, and Development (iLEAD). She is a CIDD Teaching Fellow, teaches First Year Symposium and courses in communication and sociology, and is the advisor for the National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS).

Kristin Sites

Kristin Sites is the associate director of learning and success. She is focused on peer tutoring, academic support, academic probation, and general learning services inquiries. She also plays an important role in CSES by coordinating the Tools for Academic Success (TAS) weekly sessions.

Alice Creasman

Alice Creasman is a student success coach in CSES. She assists students by supporting academic advising, developing a plan for success, serving as a liaison between students and Mount St. Mary’s University, and offering overall support.

Jose Del Valle

Jose Del Valle is a student success coach in CSES and mentor for Third Century Scholars. He assists students by supporting academic advising, developing a plan for success, serving as a liaison between students and Mount St. Mary’s University, and offering overall support. He also serves on the MIEC and teaches First Year Symposium.

Questions? Comments?

Contact Us


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