Statewide Diversity Summit held for the first time at Nevada State College, draws more than 250

November 30, 2015

More than 250 academic, student and community leaders gathered last month at the newly expanded NSC campus for the 4th annual Diversity Summit.

The day-long event was part of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s (NSHE) ongoing initiative to ensure Nevada’s educational institutions reflect the state’s increasingly diverse population and that they serve and graduate more Nevadans.

This year’s event included a special pre-summit public debut of CSN’s documentary, No Greater Odds, a film poised to create a movement and start a national dialogue about the role of community colleges in higher education.

“We’re honored to have been the home of this year’s Diversity Summit,” said Nevada State College President Bart Patterson. “Our college takes great pride in the diversity of our staff and students, and we strive to elevate students who come from an underserved background.”

State officials have said the Diversity Summit and other similar initiatives are increasingly important to Nevada, which is now a state with no ethnic majority. As a result, the NSHE has made a special effort to emphasize programs and support campuses that are reflective of the state’s population to meet the current and future social, economic and workforce needs of a highly diverse state.

The Diversity Summit featured keynote speaker Dr. Gina Núñez-Mchiri of the University of Texas, El Paso, who spoke about charting a successful path for Latinas in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Dr. Nunez truly set the tone for a deeper focus on student engagement and success, and that theme permeated throughout the day within the breakout sessions,” said Constance Brooks, NSHE vice chancellor for government and community affairs.
Other breakout sessions throughout the day focused on topics such as community cultural wealth, the value of leadership development for undergraduate women and social identity on college campuses.

This year’s program was made possible with support from MGM Resorts International, the NSHE Board of Regents, NSHE Equity and Diversity Counsel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Southern Nevada, the Desert Research Institute and the Nevada State College Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.