Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us this evening for cultural connections. I'm so excited to welcome you tonight as we wrap up what has been an incredible few weeks of learning and engagement during Ohio University's diversity web series for the culture. My name is Nancy Edwards-Grady. And I have the honor and privilege to serve as a senior Assistant Director for diversity recruitment in undergraduate admissions. Over the past two months, the for the culture web series has allowed our new bob cats to engage with the multicultural community at Ohio. Each session focused on an important aspect of the Ohio experience for students of color. session topics included discussions with current diverse students about the college experience, and Residence Life, Multicultural Student Organizations, and opportunities and support resources specifically for students of color. We were joined by representatives from offices across the university, campus leaders and our current students. And tonight, we're going to wrap it all up with cultural connections. And don't worry, even if you didn't attend any of the for the culture sessions, tonight is still for you. The goal of tonight's event is to bring together the Ohio community who is here to ensure that you have the support and resources you need to thrive at Ohio and beyond. In just a few moments, you're going to hear from our campus leadership, Ohio President Dr. M. Duane Nellis and vice president of diversity and inclusion, Dr. Gigi Secuban, along with the student senate president and other current bob cats. The rest of the evening will be filled with breakout rooms where students and parents could connect with Ohio students and staff and presentations from various offices and organizations around campus. Before we get started, I'd like to introduce you to some of the students who will be joining us this evening. These students are members of the Ohio University recruiting society more commonly known as ours. Ours is a student organization that focuses on the recruitment of multicultural students to Ohio. In addition to participating in many different community service projects in the community. Our students work closely with the university to participate in events that will connect them to future bobcats the work that they do to make our incoming students feel welcome and prepare to join the Ohio community is invaluable. So now I'll turn it over to them to introduce themselves.
My name is Ania and I am a second year and a member of ours. I enjoy being unified with my team as a member of pound's dance team and connecting with others and meeting new students through the Ohio University recruiting society. Ohio is a very active and involved campus with over 500 student organizations. In this next presentation, you will hear from a few current students who represent Multicultural Student Organizations.
Hi, everyone. My name is Faith Brooks and I'm a junior here at Ohio University and a member of ours at Ohio. They're currently six of the Divine nine in one unified Greek council fraternities and sororities. Greek life is an integral part of student life at Ohio University is committed to fostering the positive aspects of fraternities and sororities such as leadership, character, responsibility, academics and social justice as such members of fraternities and sororities are committed to the academics volunteer their time in the community develop and strengthen their leadership skills while forming an environment of friendship and familiarity.
Thank you all for your introductions for being with us here tonight. And for all the work you do for our future podcasts. It is now my pleasure to introduce Ohio University's president, Dr. M. Duane Nellis, and Ohio University's vice president of diversity inclusion, Dr. Gigi Secuban.
Welcome to our high University in today's cultural connections event. I'm Dr. Gigi Secuban, and I'm the Vice President for diversity inclusion at Ohio University. I'm so thrilled that you are here with us today and that you are considering Ohio University as your college choice. Today, you're going to learn more about how Ohio University can help you reach your goals. You will also learn more about the programs we have in place to help our students. And finally, you will learn more about what it means to be a bobcat. Before we begin, let me first congratulate you on your admission to Ohio's first and finest University. I know that each of you have worked hard to achieve this success. It's exciting to now look ahead to the next steps in your own journey. Here at Ohio. We invest in the powers and promise of diversity to help our students achieve academic and personal success. Each student brings unique insights and experiences to our classrooms, residence halls, research labs, student organizations and campus jobs. Each student helps to make Ohio University the special place that it is. And at the same time, the Ohio University community will help you to reach your own individual goals and to grow as a person. Bob cats stick up for each other. We lift each other up, and we are unwavering in our shared desire to see each other Excel. It's who we are. Here in Ohio, we take care of each other on and off campus. In that spirit, I'm proud to introduce the centers within the division of diversity and inclusion. They each realize the best of our university's inclusive vision. We have the LGBT Center, the Multicultural Center, the Office for Multicultural Student Access and retention, and the Women's Center. Our entire division of diversity inclusion is devoted to celebrating all members of our Ohio University community. We work every day to uplift diverse identities, cultures, experiences and perspectives. We work to make all people visible and valued and I am looking forward to working with you when you begin your time at Ohio University. Again, it's a real pleasure to have you here today and we look forward to supporting you on your college journey. I'd now like to present Ohio University's 21st President Dr. Duane Nellis.
Hello, I'm Ohio University President Duane Nellis, and I'm honored to be speaking with you. And I'm very happy that we have so many students and parents with us today. I know that several of the parents here are also Ohio University alumni, and I'm thrilled that you're part of this special event. Our alumni are amazing, and it is inspiring to see how they consistently provide encouraging words, advice and resources to our students. To the admitted students with us today. I want you to know that as part of the first public university in Ohio, you will join a network of students, faculty and alumni who help each other succeed. The bobcat family is truly special. And you'll learn more about that today. You don't just go to college to learn a trade, you go to college to learn about the world and to learn more about yourself. Many of our students come here because they want to help their families give back to their communities, or even be role models. We hear this from many of our students, and then we see our alumni realizing their goals around the world. Ohio University, for example, is among the nation's leader in producing Fulbright award winners. We also had three students receive the prestigious Goldwater scholarships this year, we've had 41 Pulitzer Prize winners, including Clarence Paige, who visits Ohio University often to talk with our students. The list of honors earned by our alumni goes on and on. And as a student, you'll have a chance to hear from our alumni, Ohio graduate. Eureka Duncan, for example, is the anchor for the CBS weekend news and a national correspondent, but she made time in her busy schedule to speak with our students earlier this year. As a bobcat, you'll have the opportunity to take part in transformative educational experiences in a wide variety of majors. These include studying with world class faculty members, doing research and state of the art laboratories, and traveling abroad for educational programs. Our campuses provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for students from around the world. In fact, we're recognized as one of the nation's best learning communities. We're also ranked as one of America's Best Value colleges and we're nationally recognized for innovation and value and for overall student satisfaction. We're also extremely proud that we have been recognized for the third year in a row for our outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are dedicated to ensuring that our campus is a place where difference in all forms is welcomed and celebrated. It is a point of pride in our history that john Newton Templeton, the fourth African American in the nation to earn a college degree graduated from Ohio University in 1828. Before the turn of the 20th century, Ohio University also welcomed as first international student and in 1916, Martha Jane Hunley, Blackburn became the university's first female African American Graduate. Today, our university community is comprised of individuals from all 50 states and more than 100 nations around the world. We embrace and celebrate our diversity, which makes our university and our community so special. Our students, faculty and staff love living in this vibrant campus environment. The city of Athens, in fact has been rated as one of the top college towns in the United States. I hear often from alumni who choose to live here after they graduated because they love Athens so much. At Ohio University, you'll be part of a nationally ranked institution filled with amazing opportunities, but you'll also receive individual attention our students make connections and lifelong friendships while moving forward in reaching their goals. I see this every day but it's been even more apparent in this last year. I'm immensely proud of How our students, faculty and staff have responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic. And I'm impressed by the strength of our community we've pulled together during this difficult year, and we've continued to learn and grow. And now I look forward to welcoming you as a bobcat to seeing everything that you add to this special place. I love being part of Ohio University, and I know that each of you will benefit greatly from being a member of the bobcat family. It's now my pleasure to introduce to you Ian Carter, who is the president of the Ohio University students Senate. He's a member of my president's cabinet, and I'm proud to work with him. Let's welcome Ian Carter.
Hello, everyone, and a special welcome to our perspective Bobcat. My name is Ian Carter II and I'm the student senate president at Ohio University. I'm a senior from Canton, Ohio majoring in biological sciences in a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity incorporated the Sigma psi chapter. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this year's cultural connections program. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 cultural connections will be held virtually to ensure everyone's safety. Around this time last year, we were all given the news about the covid 19 pandemic. This pandemic changed our daily interactions and some of our lives forever. I want to congratulate everyone for their hard work, perseverance, dedication, and the midst of all the craziness this year from COVID to the increased visibility of violence against people of color. I'm sure we are all looking forward to opening the next chapter in our lives and continuing our growth as individuals. I know all seniors such as myself are excited about graduating and celebrating our accomplishments with our friends and family. Attending Ohio University has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Prior to attending Ohio University, I came to a freshman orientation. This summer after graduating high school and fell in love with the campus immediately. I will always remember and cherish the friendships and connections I made here. Ohio University provided me with an environment that cultivated my growth which allowed me to break internal barriers and become the best version of myself. I develop the confidence to join multiple organizations such as my fraternity and many others eventually leading up to me running for student senate president. throughout my entire journey. My friends and mentors have been here to support me every step of the way. This way our family is here at Ohio University. We refer to our community as a family. You may be asking yourself, how are we a family, we display compassion for our peers to encourage each other's growth and support new endeavors. The bar we establish amongst each other with faculty, administrators or staff is like no other student center is a governing body that acts as the voice of the students at Ohio University. My job as the president is to be the voice of the Student Senate and bridge the gap between us and the university. I have been able to have one on ones with leaders and decision makers at the university to give the student perspective to let them know what we love about our university and to identify areas that need strengthening. One such area is strengthening the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion. And we are working together to make Ohio a more inclusive place for all bobcats. Ohio University will always be a special place I call home. I have made so many unforgettable memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Here we aren't just students. We are a family. We are about cats. As a part of the bobcat family. Thank you all for attending cultural connections, and we look forward to you joining our family. Thank you.
It's really important to kind of get connected with people that look like you and share thoughts that are similar to you. Just so you kind of have that support that you really need in college.
Diversity and inclusion have been big here at Ohio. I know a group of-- I and my friends try to strive to bring that to the campus.
I've definitely met so many great people here from various diverse backgrounds, and I've had really great interactions with them. I've worked professionally with them. I've developed close friendships with them. And I've just like developed those good relationships that will definitely help me in my career and in the workforce.
Diversity and inclusion is important to me because it's allowing me to learn different perspectives and different cultures, different identities, different sexualities.
To me it is definitely important because I feel like it's needed everywhere around the world, not just just campus in particular.
I have been able to learn how to be a self advocate, and to be an advocate for anything that's worthy to support or be an ally for.
They have so many programs available for everyone. I've been working for the Women's Center for the last two years. I have learned so much in like that short amount of time.
The OU organization, which is a first year organization that's trying to build a network for people of color here at Ohio university. And that's been a huge part of my success here so far.
I'm a part of the diversity and inclusion student Task Force. So we try to bring issue to faculty that we hear from students.
I'm a part of various organizations, especially within the Latin X community, where I serve as leader or I have some sort of exec board position.
My engagement on campus has really me, giving me so much strength to believe in my leadership abilities.
We live in a world that is rapidly changing. There's so many different cultures. And the biggest thing that we're facing as a country right now is acceptance of all that diversity.
I realized coming here that is not just about my group in specific, we have other minority students here as well. And it's really just helped me to realize that I really want diversity and inclusion literally for everyone.
Obviously, not everyone looks like me, and there's not a lot of people that look like me here. So I think it's really important to kind of find who it is that things like you and just has your same kind of viewpoints.
Having that safe net where you can fall back on and feel really accounted for and just being surrounded by so many great people that look like you have those shared experiences, just makes you feel at home.