Siena strives to embody the vision and values of St. Francis of Assisi, including his commitment to building a more just, peaceful, and humane world. We must recommit to strengthening the bonds of racial justice to fulfill that mission and ensure people of color in our community feel safe, accepted, appreciated and affirmed. This effort starts with education and conversation. It requires action.
- Siena proudly welcomed its most diverse class in history this year, including the largest international population in the College's history.
- For the 2025 recruitment class, the College is looking to build on the recruiting partnership between George Christian, presidential actions officer and Katie Szalda, director of admissions. Other new partnerships include: Green Tech High Charter School mentoring program, 15-Love and Siena partnership with Fr. Greg Gebbia to develop their College Preparatory program to include campus visits and consultation with campus experts on college search and financial aid topics, and a Strategic Enrollment Management Committee student experience challenge in partnership with Siena's Institutional Research Office.
- Focusing recent (as of April 2022) work on New York City population. Fr. Greg Gebbia, OFM traveled down to the city to bring 4 students to Siena for a day-long visit. Would like to make this a continuing experience, perhaps expanding to bring the families of the students as well.
FACULTY/STAFF RECRUITMENT & Training/Education
- Finance and Administration has offered a walk-thru of an analysis done by Jackson Lewis, the outside firm that annually reviews our affirmative action results, of their diversity, equity and inclusion for any interested community members.
- Faculty Task Force examined programs at other colleges and made recommendations for a very comprehensive strategy to increase the diversity of candidate pools for faculty positions and structure interviews to enhance their likelihood of accepting our offers. They will be hiring a Faculty Hiring Coordinator.
- Matt Grimes '12 facilitated a second ‘Staff Day of Practice’ – a continuation of January’s workshop ‘Reflecting on our Values and Identities to Lead Boldly for Racial Justice," in October. The Council of Administrators hosted this event. The Council is looking at setting up an annual training for staff and administrators, and in talks about a required annual virtual training for those who cannot attend in person.
- The Task Force on Diversifying the Faculty has drafted a set of recommendations that will be shared with the greater community. The Task Force on Faculty Development on Diversity Issues has also drafted recommendations that will be shared with the community of faculty for input. Both reports will be refined and submitted to Provost Madden by the end of the fall semester.
- A Faculty Development Coordinator will be brought on to further develop the plans proposed by the Task Force.
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM
- The College’s first Provost and Senior Vice President Margaret Madden, Ph.D. is working with faculty to develop a criminal justice studies major that meets market demand and reflects Siena’s mission and values. Criminal Justice Studies has been submitted to NYSED and we await their response. We will implement the major as soon as approval is received.
- Departmental Diversity Grants were awarded for the Fall 2020 semester and are currently underway.
- Changing Political Imbalance: Elect Her to Lead — Ausra Park and Taewook Kang, Department of Political Science and International Relations
- Incorporating Accessibility, Inclusivity and Diversity into Pedagogical Practices — Shannon Draucker, James Belflower, and Stacey Dearing, Department of English
- Philosophy and Race Course Development — Joshua Alexander, Department of Philosophy
- Research and Mentorship Program for Underrepresented BIPOC Students — Len Cutler and Laurie Naranch, Department of Political Science and International Relations
- Revising Curriculum, Courses, and Instructional Practices — Dean Amadio, Maureen Hannah, Nicole Heller and Stefanie Simon, Department of Psychology
- Department Grant work as of March 2022: Social Work: Student advocates going to community colleges to recruit, and will continue outreach to regional high schools. English: 2 speakers on pedagogical techniques, increasing resources in their library, learned concrete strategies for feminist, anti racist, and accessible teaching and created sustained conversations with colleagues about these issues. Psychology: Increased resource library, hosted 3 speakers, hired a student diversity liaison, developing two new course focusing on diversity. Philosophy: Speaker series.
- COFD and DAC have sponsored a whole series of presentations by faculty members discussing how they use inclusive curriculum and pedagogy in their classes.
- The Damietta Cross-Cultural Center accomplished:
- Damietta Lounge Redesign
- Fall 2021 Diversity Trainings for Saints, Community Assistants, and Commuter Transition Specialists with Matt Grimes '12
- Damietta, "Faces of Damietta" t shirt campaign
- Strong programming including: Cooking with Fr. Tito, Día de la Raza Concert and Dialogue, Cafe Euphoria and Fall Fusion
- Beyond the Binary with CJ Suitt (Black History Month keynote) — February 9, 2022
- Joy of Samba Workshop, Mardi Gras Carnaval — Mar 1, 2022
- Karim Nagi, Arab, Culture, Music and Dance Night — March 31, 2022
- Expoze: Multicultural Talent Show — April 9, 2022
- Robyn Ochs presentation: “All the Letters: Understanding LGBTQIA+ Identities & Experiences with the Sociology Department
- ALANA & Lavender Celebration of Achievement — May 1, 2022
- The Spirit of ’68 endowment committee is hosting the 10th Annual Capital District Feminist Studies Consortium Conference on Friday, February 25th. More information can be found here.
- The Spirit of '68 is also put together a panel discussion on Critical Race Theory for April 2022.
- The Mission Office in partnership with First-Year Seminar, and Athletics host Fr. Dan Horan, OFM, Ph.D., for his talk "A Siena Saints Guide to Racism and Privilege: Franciscan Values on Siena's Campus," on Wednesday, November 3 at 7 PM in the Maloney Great Room. This was followed by small group, student-led discussion, concluding with "Where Do We Go From Here?" Closing remarks from President Gibson on "Strengthening the Bonds of Racial Justice."
- The 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Series will be held May 3, 2022 and feature Martin Luther King III, oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. For more information, click here.
- Annual Golub Lecture: Helps students become socially responsible citizens — this year’s guest speaker will be Megan Hogan who is the Chief Diversity Officer at Goldman Sachs, this event is on May 2nd at 3:30 in the SSU.
- The Strategic Enrollment Management Committee has been looking at data, and Br. George Camacho hosted a focus group in which he asked students for more information to be able to address the issues that came out of the data. This group will place these action items into the Strategic Plan.
- Provost's Office has a new Student Retention Committee which is focused on all students, but is deeply analyzing different cohorts of students. The students on this Committee attended a workshop hosted by the Gardner Institute titled "Equity in Retention Academy." During this workshop they gained many ideas for best practices in student retention.