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Thiel College among a select group chosen for inaugural diversity and civility institute


Thiel College among a select group chosen for inaugural diversity and civility institute

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, is one of 26 institutions selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in the inaugural Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute to be held in Atlanta June 3-6. 

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Liz Frombgen, Ph.D.; Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Mike McKinney ’02; Professor of Sociology and Study Abroad Coordinator Cynthia Sutton, Ph.D.; and Assistant Professor of Communication Ross Nugent will represent Thiel College. The Institute is designed to help faculty members and administrators learn about research and best practices that enable students to understand issues of diversity, civility and the causes of social unrest.

Thiel was selected from a pool of applicants that was three times as large as the number of openings. According to CIC president Richard Ekman, Ph.D., “the volume, quality, and urgency of the proposals reflect the commitment of independent colleges and universities to promoting diversity and civility, not just on their campuses but across the nation.”

“Thiel College is eager to engage with a network of colleges and universities committed to strengthening diversity and civility on their campuses. It is our responsibility to prepare our students to lead in their communities. Our involvement in this program will better enable our faculty and professional staff to engage effectively with students on matters related to diversity, inclusion, civility, and social justice,” Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., said. “One of the College’s strategic plan goals is to create a more ‘diverse and inclusive learning environment.’ Thiel College’s selection for this prestigious and important initiative is a significant accomplishment and is a symbol of how our campus community is connected and committed to a common goal of acceptance, tolerance and civility.”  

The Institute is directed by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., president emerita of Spelman College and a leading scholar of race and higher education. During the Institute, leading humanities and social sciences scholars will present key concepts and recent developments in their fields and apply these concepts to understand student concerns and deepen the educational experience. The goal is to encourage thoughtful campus discussions that engage students’ minds as well as their emotions. Each participating college will develop plans to incorporate the content into many courses, advising and counseling services, and co-curricular activities at their institutions.

The Institute is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Institute faculty is comprised of some of the nation’s leading scholars of diversity, history, literature, social change, and political philosophy. Including representatives from institutions like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania to name a few.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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