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Northeastern receives national award for commitment to diversity

Northeastern University celebrated its 116th Commencement on May 4, 2018. Since 2006, Northeastern has grown enrollment of international students by 540 percent and enrollment of students of color by 116 percent. Photo by Billie Weiss/Northeastern University

For the third year in a row, Northeastern has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The award recognizes colleges and universities in the United States that “demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Northeastern earned the award for its commitment to diversity among students, faculty, and staff and for developing programs that promote inclusion on campus. These commitments  include scholarship programs for underrepresented minority students, professional development programs for faculty and staff, the university’s many cultural and resource centers, and community engagement in the neighborhoods surrounding Northeastern’s campuses and in cities and countries worldwide. The university’s diversity website serves as a primary resource for information on these efforts.

Diversity and inclusion are core tenets of the university’s academic plan, Northeastern 2025, which promotes the principle that diverse ideas, experiences, and perspectives strengthen professional, intellectual, and cultural agility.

“I think the collaborative efforts across the university show our commitment to being a place where people feel like they belong, regardless of what their identity is,” said John Armendariz, vice provost of institutional diversity and inclusion at Northeastern.

Armendariz also acknowledged the growth of two events hosted by Northeastern to promote diversity and inclusion on campus and beyond. The Women of Color in the Academy Conference has expanded to include current and prospective female faculty from Boston area institutions outside of Northeastern. The Reach (Out) LGBTQA+ Career Conference has drawn more students from Northeastern and other area colleges and universities in each of the past four years. The 5th annual Reach (Out) LGBTQA+ Career Conference will be held later this month, on Nov. 16-17.

Since 2006, Northeastern has grown enrollment of international students by 540 percent and enrollment of students of color by 116 percent.

Northeastern’s commitment to diversity and inclusion  also include initiatives focused on increasing diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Last month, for example, Northeastern celebrated a $4.4 million grant from National Science Foundation for scholarships supporting underrepresented minority students in a fast-track program to entering STEM careers.

Award applicants provided answers to questions that measured their commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus. Questions focused on recruitment and retention of underrepresented students and employees, support for diversity among university leaders, and other programs that focus on diversity and inclusion. Northeastern will be featured along with the other 95 award recipients in the November 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity, which is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

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