From the Farm to the Stars: Fostering Respect and Creating Community through a Peer Approach to Diversity Education
Geographically situated in the rural Midwestern United States, Purdue University began as a land-grant institution to provide agricultural and mechanical arts education for Indiana students. Purdue has evolved into a world-renowned and internationally recognized research institution, especially proud of its role in space exploration and its diverse campus population. Currently Purdue has the second highest international enrollment among all public U.S. colleges and universities and includes faculty, staff, and students from more than 130 countries and with a myriad of social, religious, and ethnic identities. The development and deployment of diversity education strategies enabling students, staff and faculty to weave together the fabrics of their own religious, political and socio-cultural identities is a major challenge and the subject of the presentation case study. The study examines methodologies to link formal research and evaluative assessments to practical applications and program advocacy, realignment of resources to match vision, and utilization of peer learning communities of practice at all ranks and levels of the organization.
Keywords: Diversity Education, Workshops and Training, Competency Programs, Strategic Planning, Assessment
Dr. Carolyn E. Johnson
Director, Diversity Resource Office
Director for Human Resources and Cultural Programming, University Residences, Purdue University