Diversity and Inclusion
November 10, 2016
Dear Honors Community,
The Honors College community stands strong in affirming one another as individuals and as part of a larger community that values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life. We remain committed to being a welcoming and supportive learning and work environment for students, faculty/staff, alumni and all members of the Honors and MU community. We believe in the sanctity of individuality and personal identity and fully embrace the value of all members of our community. That means we welcome and support individuals of all races, ethnicities and nationalities; individuals of all abilities, genders, identities, and sexual orientations; and for individuals of all faiths and creeds.
The weeks and months leading up to this most recent election revealed great disagreement and conflict in the United States. We do not and cannot condone the divisiveness of this election cycle; we do however, note the importance of participating in the political process. The election is behind us now and the country has elected its next president. As the members of our community make meaning of the election results, either through jubilation and excitement, or fear, disappointment and apprehension, we must be careful to give everyone the ability to do so respectfully.
It is especially important to remember that what separates communities can also lead to opportunities to find, remember, and affirm commonalities among us all. You are a community of engaged scholars and leaders; thank you for taking the time to actively, intently and sincerely listen to each other and reach out to each other in a courteous manner, especially where you disagree. We acknowledge that we may not agree on all issues, we also recognize that honest, respectful and civil dialogue is only one part of the path forward. Thank you for working together to be a part of the solution and for finding commonality in these uncertain times.
Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, PhD
Dean and Professor
Artwork created by Therese Brimmer for MSU's Project 60/50
Message from the Dean
The Honors College takes an active approach to ensure that the College closely mirrors Michigan State University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The phrase inclusive excellence is a great way to describe the value we hold true: we are a better and stronger Honors College the more diverse we are in experience and composition. A philosophy of inclusive excellence means that we think about issues of inclusion in everything that we do; that we are necessarily and intentionally thinking about how our actions with regard to academic policy and programs, student services, and admissions are inclusive. Through some of the initiatives below you’ll see that we are not resting on the College’s strong history of inclusion, but continually challenging ourselves to grow to meet the needs of our students and celebrate the diversity of their experiences and backgrounds. Whatever stake or role you have in the Honors College I invite you to join us in our commitment to and role-modeling of inclusive excellence.
In light of continued discussions on campus and around the country, and the importance of ongoing dialogue, I want to share with you several statements from members of the MSU Leadership Team:
Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, PhD
Honors College Initiatives
Inclusive Excellence Strategic Committee
Begun in 2013, the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Committee works with the dean and staff of the Honors College to identify and implement strategies to encourage diversity and foster a climate of inclusivity within the Honors College. The Committee’s charge is to Identify and address opportunities for improvement in access, climate and experiences of multiple constituencies within and associated with the college including students (current and prospective), faculty/staff, alumni, and campus partners. The committee further assists with proposal development and implementation for any initiatives or programs related to inclusive excellence and inclusive practices. Additionally the committee disseminates and discusses best practices and research related to issues of inclusion and diversity.
Students, faculty, staff, and administrators from a diverse range of programs around campus make up the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Committee, which meets monthly.
Dr. Matt Anderson
Charles Cotton (Convener)
Dr. Bess German
Dr. Ashley Green
Dr. Lee June
Sadiq Khan Mohammed
MLK, Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Award is an effort to build the body of work authored by students that supports the MSU and MLK, Jr. ideals of inclusive excellence. Students from Honors College (all majors), James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, and Res College in the Arts & Humanities are eligible to apply for the Award.
MOSAIC is the College’s student organization that fosters multiculturalism and inclusion through programming and support of campus-wide diversity efforts.
The Mowbray Scholars Program honors the memory of Michigan State University’s first African-American graduate, Myrtle Craig Mowbray. The Mowbray Scholars Program, open by application to all students, includes in its mission the support of students of color in the Honors College who have demonstrated potential for leadership in promoting cross-cultural understanding and who will contribute to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the Honors College because of their life experiences.
Thank you to those individuals and organizations who have provided financial support over the years to enable us to offer students opportunities for research and study abroad. If you would like to contribute to the Mowbray Scholarship program, please use this link:
The First Generation Community Initiative is a collection of efforts aimed at improving the experience and persistence of first generation students in the Honors College and Michigan State University. The Honors College seeks to facilitate personal connections and build community among its first-generation students and current HC students, faculty, and staff, helping students to forge a network of resources that will positively impact student success from transition to graduation.
Diversity Abroad Committee: Dr. Kristin Janka
First Generation Community Initiative: Andrew Murray
International Scholars Advisory Board: Sadiq Mohammed
College Diversity Coordinators - IDEA: Charles Cotton and Dr. Bess German
International Initiatives: Dr. Kristin Janka
LBGT Resource Center Liaison: Dr. Bess German
Sexual Harassment Unit Liaison: Dr. Bess German
12 staff in the Honors College have completed QuILL: Queer Inclusive Learning and Leadership training.
Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender Resource Center