Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Floats and Fellowship

On Wednesday, September 2nd, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted an informational session with the Multicultural Ambassadors from 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM in Legends 138. During this session, students were able to learn about why joining the Multicultural Ambassadors is a beneficial experience, as well as the requirements and meeting times for this organization.

Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason welcomed the students and introduced the Multicultural Ambassadors. Each Multicultural Ambassador then shared their personal experiences. Students were able to hear about the volunteer work that Multicultural Ambassadors had done in the past, such as working at the Tarrant County Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity. Students then completed an activity in which they were asked to draw a forest with wild animals without any other instructions. As the activity concluded, Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason signified that each student's drawing was different, because each student thinks differently. The importance of multiculturalism and diversity was emphasized as students were asked to question why an activity with different drawings is relevant to life experiences. As the session concluded, students were given cards that invited them to the first Multicultural Ambassador meeting. For more information about the Multicultural Ambassadors, you may contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Upward Bound

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted a diversity session for Upward Bound students from 6:00 – 8:00 PM on Tuesday, June 9th.Students were given the opportunity to define diversity as they participated in three sessions.These sessions included: What is diversity? Taking a risk on ourselves, Taking a risk on others, and Taking a risk together

                                                                                                        What is diversity?
Students in this session listened to statements such as “I know someone with a disability-physical or mental”, and stood up if it applied. Students discovered diversity goes beyond skin colors and includes any aspect that makes us different. They then reflected on the importance of understanding diversity and its impact on the college experience.

Taking a risk on ourselves
In this session, students examined how they can take risks on ourselves to help them evolve in ability and perspective. A modified version of rock-paper-scissors was played in this session. As students won at each rock-paper-scissors game, they evolved from an egg to a chicken, then a ninja, and finally, a superhero. Based on this activity, students then reflected on risk-taking in life when interacting with other students. In order to become superheroes, students had to be willing to play the game and take risks.

 Taking a risk on others
In this session, students were given a label to be placed on their forehead. On these labels included instructions such as “ Ignore me”, “Say hi to me” and “Give me a high-five.” At the end of the activity, students reflected on their experiences having different labels that evoked specific responses from their peers. Students then reflected on ways to make others feel welcome and included.  Students then wrote compliments on sticky notes and distributed them.

Taking a risk together
For this activity, all students were gathered into a large group and given the chance to play rock-paper-scissors again, without evolution. In this game, students who lost their games became cheerleaders for their peers. As each match continued, each person gained more and more cheerleaders. Near the end of this game, there were only two people left and each person had support. While reflecting on this activity, a remark was made that this activity made everyone feel better about themselves, because a support system had been formed. Students were then asked to think about their own support systems at home and how the people in that support system can help them achieve success as they get out of their comfort zones later on in life.

For more information about this event, contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at          or 254-968-9488.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Diversity and Inclusion Appreciation Luncheon

On April 27th, The Office of Diversity & Inclusion hosted a Diversity Appreciation Luncheon in the Dining Hall. At this luncheon, the works of finalists from the Diversity Art Show were presented. The guest speaker for this luncheon was Trenzio Turner, an SVP/Managing partner at Sanders/Wingo Advertising in Austin, Texas. Mr. Turner is a graduate of Tarleton and spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of social media in the job market. In addition, Mr. Turner reminded attendees of the importance of professionalism.

" The reality of who you are needs to closely align with the perception of who you are and what you stand for. " - Trenzio Turner

Monday, April 20, 2015

Multicultural Ambassador Program

Discovery Through Multicultural Ambassador Presentations

              For the spring of 2015, the Multicultural Ambassadors have taken it upon themselves to truly discover the variety and depth the word “diversity” holds. Ambassadors are preparing and delivering presentations on a variety of topics such as: being yourself, LGBTQ, women’s issues, vegan foods, motivation versus depression, and more. They are also holding social and service events in order to get to know the diversity of their fellow ambassadors better and to make a difference in the lives of others with their new found knowledge. Every day the Multicultural Ambassadors strive to understand and promote diversity so actions can be taken to positively impact the lives of others. These presentations are just one demonstration of their dedication towards diversity. Some other events the Multicultural Ambassadors are involved in include: volunteering at Diversity and Inclusion events, participating in cultural excursions, and leading organization for the annual #Leaders4Diversity Conference.
                The Multicultural Ambassadors deliver these presentations during the weekly meetings held on Wednesdays at 5pm and are, for the spring 2015 semester, in MATH 108. Anyone is welcome to come observe the ambassador program. To officially become an ambassador a pledge will be provided promising to demonstrate respect towards diversity.
                For any questions, feel free to contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in TSC 21 at or 254-968-9488.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

NO H8 in My School 2015

From March 31st through April 2nd, The Office of Diversity & Inclusion hosted NO H8 in My School, an initiative to promote gender and marriage equality. Participants were given the opportunity to be painted and have their photo taken as a way to promote equality-especially LGBTQ equality.

For more information about the NO H8 in My School, you may contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"That's Not Funny" Diversity Dialogue

On April 1, 2015, The Office of Diversity & Inclusion hosted “ That’s Not Funny” for the Diversity Dialogue. This Diversity Dialogue focused on the issue of social injustice and it’s connection with “humor”. Topics that are joked about that attack one’s religion, ethnicity, nationality, ability status and self-image were explored. Students were asked to think about the implications of allowing others to use offensive humor by thinking about the poem “First they came for” by Martin Niemöller. Students gave examples of topics that they have personally heard that are made light of, including the Trail of Tears, the Holocaust, adoption, homelessness and race.
For more information about Diversity Dialogues, please contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at You may also view upcoming events by going to

Friday, March 27, 2015

#Leaders4Diversity Conference

On March 27th, 2015, The Office of Diversity & Inclusion hosted the #Leaders4Diversity conference. This conference was a one day event focused on empowering students to become leaders within diverse communities.

This event was sponsored by the College of Business Administration, Student Success and Multicultural Initiatives, AHA!, International Programs, SWAT, Center for Academic Readiness and Success, Academic Advising, JTAC/Grassburr, Applied Learning Experience, and  Career Services.
Workshop I (9:40-10:40 AM)
Islamophobia: Causes and Consequences was presented by Dr. Syed Jafri, professor of Economics. In his presentation, he identified the causes of Islamophobia, the fear of those who practice the Islamic faith. In addition, he identified ways to address this phobia with a perspective that will promote understanding in a diverse society.

Leadership Development-Tarleton Style was presented by Dr. Rudy Tarpley, the Department head of Agriculture & Consumer sciences. His presentation provided students with 10 suggestions for an effective leader.

The Wonderful World of LGBTQ Superheroes was presented by students Nichole Kirby, Bertie Gardner, Emily VanKirk, Torri Carrol, and Kaitlin Sullivan. During this panel, students were able to learn about positive representations of celebrities within the LGBTQ community.

Workshop II (10:50 - 11:50 AM)

Competencies and Karaoke: Two Methods of Selecting Diverse Work Teams was presented by Dr. Randy McCamey, Associate professor of Management. In this workshop, students were asked to think critically about building diverse teams through the use of personal strengths.


 Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? was presented by Dr. David Franzier, Assistant professor of Agricultural education.  Students were able to use this hands-on workshop to learn about the importance of respecting cultural differences.

 Inspiring Diverse Leadership in Ourselves and Others was presented by Lauren Donnell, Lacie Pence , and Jayna Bhakta, students in the social work program. This presentation incorporated the use of live social media to demonstrate the importance of networking to increase diversity. The presenters also highlighted how students can use diversity when developing organizations to maintain relationships on a college campus.
 Workshop III (1:20 - 2:20 PM)

 Decision Making in College: the Good, the Bad, and the Failed Out was presented by Patrick Byrne, a senior Agricultural Leadership and Development student at Texas Tech University.  This workshop explores the decisions college students face that determine how successful they will be at reaching their goals.

 Believing In What You Can’t See: Achieving Success in the Face of Adversity was presented by Landan Schaffert, a speaker and senior at Coloradio State University. Schaffert is also the National FFA Secretary. With this presentation, students were given information on how to combat challenges to reach their goals. Schaffert connected with students by speaking about a personal challenge he faces- being legally blind.

 The Benefits of Study Abroad was presented by Dr. Marcy Tanter, Associate Professor of English. Dr. Tanter has led a study abroad trip to Scotland and South Korea at Tarleton. Dr. Tanter uses her personal experience to speak about how study abroad enhances tolerance through hands-on education. She also provided students with resources they could utilize to fund study abroad trips.

 Workshop IV ( 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM)

We the People” in the Age of Obergefell v. Hodges was presented by Judd Leach, Associate professor of Business Law and proud Tarleton Ally. Through this workshop, Mr. Leach explored the meaning behind the term “ We the people” in the United States constitution. He explored who exactly the “we” is  by examining the Three-Fifths Compromise and the struggle for women’s suffrage in history. Leach also explored the case of Loving v. Virginia, and introduced participants to the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, a lawsuit focused on the recognition of  same-sex marriage beyond state lines.

Listen and Resolve: Building Trust and Managing Conflict Effectively was presented by Landan Schaffert. In this workshop, students explored managing and preventing conflict when faced with opposing perspectives.

Tolerance, Coexistance, Secularization, Religious Freedom, and the Challenges of Religious Diversity in the Public Square was presented by Dr. Eric Morrow, Assistant Professor of Political science and Interim Head of the Department of Social Sciences. In this workshop, the relationship between religious diversity and its effect on politics were explored. Dr. Morrow stressed that religion is not always tolerated in government.

The keynote speaker for this event was Priscilla Hartman Hedlin. Mrs. Hedlin is known for her blog at Mrs. Hedlin blogs about her life as a mother to three boys and shares words of encouragement. During the presentation, Mrs. Hedlin presented photos of her three boys and spoke about her choice to stay positive despite being paralyzed in 1999. She spoke of the misconceptions people have about her and told students, “ I don’t have to compare myself to anybody else and neither should you.” You can find more information on Mrs. Hedlin on her website.