Ivanna (Ivy) D. Colon, assistant director TRiO Upward Bound Leadership Academy for Young Men, graduated from the Leadership Rochester Signature Program. Leadership Rochester teaches the skills to make positive impacts on issues affecting the greater Rochester region. Colon was a keynote speaker at the August 3rd event and talked about lessons in leadership especially during unsettling times.
Tina Chapman DaCosta, director of RIT Diversity Theater, wrote an advertorial published in the July 2020 issue of INSIGHTInto Diversity magazine entitled “Sharing Our Stories is Important During Physical Distancing and Protests.” It was written in response to the death of George Floyd. The publication focuses on diversity issues in higher education. Also, accolades for Diversity Theater’s film, BRICK BY BRICK. To date it has been accepted into 9 festivals, including winning Best Short at the San Diego Black Film festival and it was a semi-finalist for DUMBO Film Festival in NYC. In addition, after the successful pilot of the RIT 365 Brick by Brick Workshop experience last fall with 2019 freshmen, the film workshop is being offered again this fall to all incoming RIT freshmen as part of their Diversity & Inclusion experiences.
Kareem Hayes, director Upward Bound Classic, presented at the Penfield School District’s Symposium on Equity in August. Hayes discussed redlining and its’ effects on education, helping educators build a bridge of inclusivity for black and brown students. Hayes is also an online educator for the Success Enrichment Group (SEG) focusing on photography and discussions surrounding student success.
Jonathan Ntheketha, associate director of Student Success and Engagement, MCAS, has been invited to deliver the capnote address for the 2020 National Virtual Conference held by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national organization for Extension Professionals Oct. 8th. The conference theme is Cooperative Extension...Focus on the Future and is hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Taj Smith, director of diversity education, facilitated a roundtable titled “Driving Out Hate: What Can We Learn from Chili and Pittsford?” with the Levine Center to End Hate on September 13th. Activists from those respective communities shared their efforts and best practices. Some RIT faculty and students from the College of Art and Design also took part in a session on media representation.
Tomicka Wagstaff, assistant vice president for Academic Access and Success, presented at the Penfield School District’s Symposium on Equity in August. The title of her presentation was “Conversations on Diversity, Equity, Access and Culturally Responsive Classrooms.” Wagstaff is working with the Success Enrichment Group (SEG). She conducted a 3-day camp called “Body Positivity; Reject Negative Marketing Images and Create Your own Advertising”, a self-esteem building program for students. She is currently running a diversity discussion group for home schooled children and is teaching an Honors Seminar at RIT called “Explorations of People, Place and Space” which looks at the impact of leaders and social movements on the place where we are today as a society.
Sandra Whitmore, senior director of operations, served as a panelist for Constellation Brands Corporate Human Resources Teamin August. Focusing on Career development suggestions for success, i.e. tools and tips, SHRM Competency Model highlights and how behaviors translate to success in the workplace and foster development, including focus of D+I lens on HR practitioner work.