Arkansas State University receives HEED award

by George Jared ([email protected]) 235 views 

Arkansas State University has received the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, according to the school.

The HEED selection was the first for ASU. The university will be featured, along with 95 other recipients including universities like Clemson, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Tulsa, in the magazine’s November 2018 issue. ASU was the only university from the state of Arkansas in the 2018 award listing.

“We are committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion at Arkansas State,” Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said. “Being mindful of inclusion is an important part of making sure that every red wolf counts regardless of color or creed. I am delighted A-State was selected for the HEED Award based on the advances we are making thanks to the leadership of Vice Chancellor Maurice Gipson. I deeply appreciate the students, faculty and staff who have embraced our goals through their support of key initiatives in this area.”

The magazine selected ASU largely because of its achievements in attracting historically under-represented and first-generation students as part of the institution’s renewed emphasis on retention, and for its efforts to recruit and support diverse faculty, Damphousse said. The HEED Award process consists of a rigorous application process that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of historically under-represented students and employees, as well as continued leadership support for campus diversity and inclusion.

“We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus,” magazine publisher Lenore Pearlstein said.

Highlights from A-State’s diversity program nomination that contributed to A-State’s recognition with a HEED Award include:

A-State Connection is a recruitment initiative that introduces diverse high school students to college life. Typically, this initiative hosts approximately 40-50 students from high schools located within the Delta region across three states. They participate in enrichment activities and meet with current students, faculty and staff to discuss how to maximize their college experience.

ACT Prep Camp is a free week-long intensive residential program designed to prepare rising high school seniors from underrepresented populations for the ACT. Various campus departments orient participants, who also enjoy campus perks during their visit.

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.) Program is an annual five-week summer program, introducing exceptional undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to the rigors of graduate study and preparing them for entrance to graduate programs.

A-State INSPIRE, a four-day program, is offered for newly admitted freshmen who are members of an underrepresented population, helping equip the students for college and campus life through workshops, networking opportunities and creating lasting relationships. Each INSPIRE scholar will be assigned a peer mentor to help guide them through their first two years of college.

Student Diversity and Recruitment Team is a hybrid organizational initiative that brings the A-State experience to high school students where they are, assisting in recruitment as well as retaining and mentoring newly admitted minority students through their college matriculation.

A-State Advance is a rigorous cohort-based program that assists faculty participants through the tenure-track process. Cohort members receive programming and coaching from senior tenured faculty members, and they participate in enrichment activities with the campus community. Cohort members are eligible to receive dedicated professional development, research and training support.

More information about the 2018 HEED Award is online at