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Greenville Business Magazine

Clemson Receives 2nd Excellence In Diversity Award

Sep 18, 2018 09:56AM ● By Kathleen Maris

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine named Clemson University a recipient of its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the second year in a row. The magazine, which is the oldest and largest publication and website of its kind in higher education, also recognized Clemson as a Diversity Champion and recipient of its first Inspiring Programs in STEM Award.

The HEED Award is a national honor that recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Clemson will be featured alongside other recipients in the November 2018 HEED Award issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

Clemson is one of only 13 colleges and universities around the country to receive the Diversity Champion designation.

INSIGHT Into Diversity recognizes the university for exemplifying what it calls “an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout its campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.” The magazine points to a comprehensive list, including:

  • The Clemson University Men of Color National Summit, which works to close the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic males;
  • Tiger Alliance, a program that mentors and prepares African-American and Hispanic high school males for college entrance and success;
  • The Emerging Scholars Program, which helps establish a college-going culture among students from the state’s economically disadvantaged areas;
  • Call Me MISTER, a national program that was founded at Clemson to increase the pool of available teachers from more diverse backgrounds;
  • The Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, which supports and advocates for all Clemson students’ needs while providing diverse and experiential learning opportunities;
  • The Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education, which examines issues that impact the educational experiences of African-Americans;
  • The Clemson Career Workshop summer program that supports college readiness of high-achieving students from diverse populations;
  • PEER/WISE: Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), which provide collaborative experiences for underrepresented students in science and engineering;
  • The Erwin Center Summer Scholars Program that debuted in 2018 as an initiative created by Clemson’s Erwin Center for Brand Communication. The week-long immersive experience provides college students from historically black colleges and universities and other universities an opportunity to engage with professionals in the fields of marketing, advertising, and communication; and
  • Commissions that focus on five strategic emphasis areas: accessibility, black faculty and staff, Latinx affairs, LGBTQ affairs, and women’s issues.

Additionally, more than 40 people representing faculty, staff, and community leaders make up the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, which provides feedback and reviews of Clemson’s diversity initiatives.

“And as a Diversity Champion school, Clemson University exceeds everyday expectations by developing successful strategies and programs that serve as models of excellence for other higher education institutions,” said Lenore Pearlstein, INSIGHT Into Diversity’s publisher.

Clemson’s programs and initiatives align with and reflect Clemson’s core values as prioritized in the ClemsonFORWARD strategic plan.

“We are honored to be recognized once again by INSIGHT Into Diversity for our efforts to foster inclusive excellence at Clemson,” said President James P. Clements. “This recognition is due to the dedicated faculty, staff, and students who have worked tirelessly to promote diversity and inclusion and I am grateful for their hard work. It is wonderful to be recognized for our efforts, but the true reward is seeing the difference that our work is making as we strive to make Clemson a place where everyone feels welcome and has the opportunity to be successful.”

In August, INSIGHT Into Diversity recognized Clemson’s PEER/WISE programs, honoring it with the magazine’s Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. The programs aim to educate, recruit, and retain underrepresented students in STEM fields through mentoring, academic coaching, counseling, and academic enrichment. The magazine features Serita Acker, director of PEER/WISE, and members of the program on the front cover of its 2018 September edition.

Pearlstein called Clemson “a visionary leader among institutions of higher education for inclusive excellence throughout its campus.”

“I am grateful for this very special recognition,” said Robert Jones, Clemson’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “It reflects not only the dedication and hard work of many within our community, but also some real progress toward our aspirational goals.”

Clemson is leading the way by diligently working to advance a welcoming environment for students, faculty, staff, and community.

“This is truly an honor and speaks volumes to the dedication and hard work of so many faculty and staff across our campus,” said Lee Gill, J.D., chief diversity officer and special assistant to the president on inclusive excellence. “Everyone likes to receive awards, but the most gratifying aspect is the recognition that Clemson University is building an infrastructure to sustain a culture of inclusive excellence.”

Gill credits Clemson’s leadership for its commitment and vision.

“The ClemsonForward strategic plan, created in the spring of 2016, is our road map for everything we are attempting to accomplish,” he noted. “We are challenging ourselves to be better and this recognition demonstrates our Clemson family is up to the test.”