Colorado State models diversity efforts for other colleges and universities

Colorado State University’s commitment to diversity at all levels of the institution has been recognized as a role model by Minority Access Inc., which is dedicated to improving the recruitment, retention and enhancement of minorities on campuses and in the workplace.

Mary Ontiveros, CSU vice president for diversity, accepted the award on behalf of CSU at the 16th National Role Models Conference in Baltimore in September. Forty-two colleges and university were cited by Minority Access for their commitment to diversity.

This is the second recognition for CSU from Minority Access, which also cited the university’s diversity efforts in 2009.

Ontiveros, who became VP in 2010, said that she has seen CSU as an organization become more inclusive over the years.

“I’m proud that our recognition focused on our work with students and our efforts to eliminate disparities in both access and success on campus,” she said. “Although the Office of the Vice President for Diversity is home to many of the initiatives, it’s important to note that the entire campus is responsible for ensuring the important work of developing inclusive excellence gets done.”

For example, colleges and units across campus, including Athletics, have added positions that champion diversity; Key Communities, a living learning program that assists students from historically underrepresented populations through their first two years at CSU; Reframing Disability, a short course for faculty and staff that explores the change in perspective about disability, and other training sessions focused on developing an inclusive community; and the annual Diversity Symposium, a two-day free event for the entire community that brings presentations, performances and keynotes to campus to explore the range of human characteristics and interactions around them.

In 2015, the National Hispanic Institute named Colorado State the University of the Year for its partnership in presenting the annual Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session. For the past 25 years, this week-long leadership development experiences has brought about 150 talented Hispanic high school students from across the nation and other countries to campus, the only school in Colorado to host the prestigious opportunity.