New education program seeking to raise awareness on diversity, looking for facilitators

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The Office of Diversity and Inclusion launched its Reaching Inclusive Excellence Diversity Education Program for incoming freshmen next year. (UConn Diversity and Inclusion Website)

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion launched its Reaching Inclusive Excellence Diversity Education Program for incoming freshmen next year. (UConn Diversity and Inclusion Website)

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion recently launched its Reaching Inclusive Excellence (RISE) Diversity Education Program, according to their website. This is a diversity education program for students in coordination with the Division for Student Affairs, according to their website

The program is looking for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and professional staff who are flexible and understand group dynamics, among other qualities listed on the program website. 

Director of programs and initiatives Elsie Gonzalez said that there was a lack of diversity awareness among students. 

“There were talks about how to do that with a campus of this size,” Gonzalez said. “It was decided between out office and Division of Student Affairs to just start small with the current programs started with WOW [Week of Welcome].” 

Gonzalez said RISE is partnering with summer orientations because the program had success in the past with speakers coming in to speak about diversity. 

Although the position will not be paid, staff have a lot to gain from becoming a facilitator within the program. The website listed a few qualifications of preferred experience for facilitators. 

“The benefits of participating in this program include diversity awareness, cultural competency skills, partnership with university faculty, leadership experience and presentation skills,” the website said. 

Gonzalez hopes that for the future, the program will reach the entire campus community with its workshops. 

“One of our goals is to maintain training opportunities for our facilitators to engage,” Gonzalez said. 

She wants the office to be contacted all year long for classes such as FYE programs and student organizations, for a few examples, so the program can be continued. 

Those interested in finding out more about the qualifications and to find the link to apply can go to www.diversity.uconn.edu/rise/.

“We’re hitting the ground running….with how UConn wants to be involved in this work across campus,” Gonzalez said.


Kimberly Nguyen is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.nguyen@uconn.edu.

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