Utah State University's 11th annual Diversity Awards were presented Tuesday, Nov. 2. The awards recognize individuals on campus or in the community who have made significant contributions to equal opportunity and diversity. This year's recipients are Judith Holt, Elizabeth York, Liz Allred, Braden Jenkins, Emma Mecham and the staff and faculty of the Logan School District South Campus.
Nationally recognized diversity authority James Anderson presented the keynote address at the awards. Anderson is the vice president and associate provost for Institutional Assessment and Diversity at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on the development of student learning styles across gender, race, culture and class, and the examination of how diversity impacts retention. He edited a landmark book to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation decision.
The title of Anderson's presentation was "How Leadership and Diversity Promote Positive Educational Outcomes."
Anderson began with an overview of transformative leadership in higher education and went on to define diversity in academia. Elements of that diversity include cultural diversity, multiculturalism, pluralism and cultural democracy.
There are elements of leadership and diversity that we want students to know, Anderson told the audience, including:
• Need to begin to develop a common vocabulary (may need new meanings for terms like authority and leadership)
• Know how to draw from their own cultural contexts and those of others
• Become well versed about the different kinds of "isms" and "centrisms"
• Develop a sense of social ethics and social responsibility
• Be willing to tolerate different types of stress and ambiguity
• Be willing to accept the demands of a role model
• How do their personal values/ideas affect how they think about leadership and diversity
• Think in terms of the human condition
The full text of Dr. Anderson's presentation is located on the Utah State University Web site
under President's Page, Speeches, Presentations and Commentaries.