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2012 Diversity Symposium

September 13, 2012

This year's symposium will explore access to higher education and the building of community partnerships to improve access to higher education.

September 18-20
9-4 p.m. each day
Lory Student Center

The overall theme for this year’s Symposium is “Access, Attainment, and Responsibility.”

The Symposium will last for three days, September 18-20 and will begin at 9 a.m. every day with sessions being held every hour in different rooms on the second floor of the Lory Student Center.  Everyone is encouraged to come get any questions answered and learn more about the community and how to support and engage those around you.  

Keynote by Spokane tribe member

This year the keynote speaker will be Sherman Alexie, Colorado State University Monfort Professor-in-Residence, author, poet, producer, screenwriter, and performer. Alexie is a member of the Sherman Alexie's stories and poems have won many awards, including the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award.Spokane Tribe in Washington.

Alexie has written over twenty books, countless poems, and he is also the writer/co-producer of Smoke Signals. Smoke Signals was the first film written, directed and produced completely by Native Americans and won awards at Sundance Film Festival in 1998.

Alexie will be giving his keynote address on Tuesday, September 18 at 7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theatre.

Diversity: No one who is not unique

What is diversity and how is it represented in the Colorado State community? In the past this has been a question on many people’s minds.

Diversity is usually defined by a person’s ethnicity or race; however, there are many other facets of diversity that often aren’t considered; such as veteran status, geographic background, familial status, etc.  Furthermore, there are various questions about race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. that people want to know the answers to, but don’t feel comfortable asking. 

In response to this, the Diversity Symposium (previously known as the Diversity Conference) was created in 2001.

Come and go as you please

The first conference held was restricted to invited deans, department heads and directors, and only lasted one day. Today however, the symposium is open to CSU and the Fort Collins community and goes on for three days, allowing people to come and go as they please.  

Each year the Symposium has a different theme relating to diversity, a keynote speaker and numerous presenters are selected to talk about the chosen topics.

Topics: Affirmative action and access

For example, two of the topics that will be discussed this year (in sessions) are: “Access through Affirmative Action” and “Increasing Access through National and Local Partnerships: The Lorenzo de Zavala Student Experience.”

“Access through Affirmative Action”  presented by Diana Prieto, the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity at CSU, will explore the history and controversy surrounding the process of affirmative action, and how or if the process will continue in the future.

“Increasing Access through National and Local Partnerships…” will be presented by Maria L. Gabriel, Ph.D., who has been a Colorado educator for fifteen years.

This topic will share hopes for increased community partnerships with higher education access, and student experiences from the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Leadership program that is held each summer at CSU.

How access to higher education has evolved

With the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Act (known as the Land Grant Act) coming up this year, the Diversity Symposium’s goal is to focus on and explore how access in higher education has evolved over the years and what can be done to improve the process.

Contact: Rod Higgins
Phone: (970) 491-2297