Message from the Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Dear App State Community,
As we recognize National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month, it is important to know that many students on our campus and across the nation deal with basic needs insecurity. In one national study, survey data showed that nearly 40% of the 167,000 college students surveyed had recently experienced food insecurity.
At App State, we are committed to addressing food insecurity.
- Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in their courses, is urged to contact the Dean of Students for resources and support.
- One key resource to help students is the Mountaineer Food Hub and Free Store, which is located within the Office of Sustainability in East Hall, with six satellite locations across campus. From March 2020 to now, the Food Hub has distributed more than 8,500 meals.
Together, we can make a difference for those on our campus who are struggling with food insecurity:
- Consider donating to the Mountaineer Food Hub and Free Store. Be sure to review the list of recommended donation items, as it changes regularly based on current needs.
- Encourage and support financial literacy efforts on campus, such as the Walker College of Business’ Money Talk program.
- Faculty, consider including the food insecurity statement in syllabi or on AsULearn.
November also offers us the opportunity to recognize members of our community who identify as veterans and Indigenous persons.
- Last week, we commemorated Veterans Day with a ceremony at App State’s Veterans Memorial. We are working hard to ensure students who serve or have served in the armed forces have the support they need, and the Major General Edward M. Reeder Jr. Student Veteran Resource Center is a shining example of that work. We are proud to be recognized among the top 10 large public institutions in the U.S. for supporting our veteran and active-duty military students.
- We are also celebrating Native American Heritage Month. Over the last few months, App State’s Gadugi Partnership has hosted programming to recognize and honor the bicentennial of Cherokee syllabary — written symbols representing each syllable in the spoken Cherokee language — and all that it means to the Cherokee people. Here are two of the event recordings: Celebrating Sequoyah w/Ms. Ayla Bryant and Celebrating Sequoyah with Mr. Catcuce Tiger.
Diversity, equity and inclusion work is challenging and important work for our campus. In January 2020, we recognized the first recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence to cultivate a culture of celebration for the hard work being done at App State and in our surrounding community. We are currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence. The selection criteria detail each category and nominations may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. I’d like to thank the Inclusive Excellence Awards working group from the Center for Academic Excellence for their time and recommendations. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage all faculty, staff and students to take care of themselves as we head into the busy and challenging final weeks of the semester.
Jamie Parson, J.D.