Message from the Chief Diversity Officer
Dear App State Community,
App State’s official enrollment numbers for fall 2022 show continued progress in broadening representation among students to better reflect the state population. Under Chancellor Sheri Everts’ leadership, we have the most diverse student body in university history for the eighth year in a row, with 18.6% of students who are racially and/or ethnically underrepresented. This represents a 66% increase since 2014. Of all the racially/ethnically underrepresented student groups, the Hispanic/Latine population is the largest, representing 8% of our student population, and has grown significantly since fall 2014, increasing by 123%.
Around this time each year, we celebrate Hispanic/Latine Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) by recognizing the important contributions Hispanic and Latine people have made to our institution, our community and our nation. The beginning of this month-long celebration also marks the national independence days for Mexico and several Latin American countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
As part of App State’s commitment to creating an inclusive campus community for our Hispanic/Latine students, faculty, staff and alumni, and with the support of Chancellor Everts, the Office of Diversity partnered with App Unidos (one of our faculty/staff affinity groups) to bring Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) membership to our campus.
Established in 1986 with 18 member organizations, HACU today represents more than 500 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, and it is the only national association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). It offers a wide variety of programs, including scholarship and internship opportunities such as the HACU National Internship Program, all of which are available to members of the App State community. Last year, HACU placed one out of three applicants for federal agency internships, while placing more than 70% of applicants for corporate internships. Our community also has access to the HACU job board, ProTalento – The Leading Job Board in Hispanic Higher Education. On this site, employers post positions, faculty share professional opportunities, and candidates search for positions that meet their goals. Be sure to visit the job board to learn more about the many resources App State now enjoys as a member of HACU.
In addition to these exciting new benefits, our campus will host several cultural events and activities this fall celebrating our Hispanic/Latine heritage.
- The Office of Diversity will host a conversation series this year called “We’re Here” to amplify the voices of faculty, staff, students and alumni with various identities on campus. Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin will lead this month’s conversation, which will center around the experiences of our Hispanic/Latine community. This event will take place on Sept. 20 from 4-5 p.m. in Linville Falls in the Plemmons Student Union. To learn more, please visit our Fall 2022 Events Calendar.
- The Latin Hispanic Alliance will host the Latin Hispanic Heritage Festival on Sept. 23 starting at 3 p.m. on Sanford Mall. This year’s festival will include dancers, singers and so much more. To learn more about this event and register, please visit the Engage website.
- Each year, the Hayes School of Music invites our campus to celebrate Hispanic/Latine Heritage Month through a concert series. This year’s series will feature in-person and livestreaming options on Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. Visit the Hayes School of Music website for more information.
In addition, Sept. 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a commemoration that originated in Canada which honors the Indigenous children who were forcibly taken from their parents and sent to Native American Boarding Schools in the 19th and 20th centuries. By wearing an orange shirt on this day, we acknowledge the pain and healing that is still taking place in the lives of those impacted communities in the United States and Canada.
I look forward to participating in these events with fellow Mountaineers, as we continue to cultivate a welcoming university community and an academic culture of collaboration and respect through education and inclusive practices.
Jamie Parson, J.D.
Chief Diversity Officer