SMC Interim President addresses issues of diversity, inclusion

first_imgOn Tuesday night, Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board hosted a discussion and Q&A during which students were invited to ask Interim Saint Mary’s President Nancy Nekvasil questions on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion on campus. Chair of the Board of Trustees Mary Burke, vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson, director of multicultural services Gloria Jenkins and vice president for mission Judy Fean also attended the event. Junior Jazmin Herrera, vice president of Student Diversity Board (SDB), said the Q&A was held in order to address concerns regarding the resignation of Jan Cervelli and the continuation of the College’s diversity and inclusion efforts.“We are all supporters of creating an inclusive community here at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “SDB along with other students are concerned as to where the College is now heading, with the goal of achieving a welcoming environment for all students. We ask this because [former] President [Jan] Cervelli was not only committed to achieving this goal but was also open to working with SDB to make this happen.”Nekvasil said that, going forward, the College will continue to focus on diversity, inclusion and equity. “I think that [diversity and inclusion] start with at least discussing things openly,” she said. “I will tell you that faculty, at least for several years even before President Cervelli came, were required to go to community events that dealt with diversity, inclusion and equity. We now have an interim director of diversity and inclusion, Leslie Wang, whose job this year is to help us define what this looks like so that we can actually begin to make a few more strides.”The College will continue to develop as a community that fosters diversity and inclusion as well as a community that focuses on retention as much as recruitment, Nekvasil said. “We can’t just do the recruiting part, both for students, faculty and staff, we have to form a community that welcomes people and that accepts people for who they are, where they are,” she said. “Unfortunately, you can’t change human behavior, but what we can do is try and get more and more people who believe in treating other people with respect and dignity.”Regarding diversity and inclusion, vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson said the administration has created the position of director of First Year experience and retention. The director, Shay Jolly, will report to both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and track student experience from their first consideration of the College to the first semester of their sophomore year. Johnson said the Office of Student Affairs investigates every complaint of bias and harassment brought to it, although there are many cases not reported to Johnson and her team. “Every complaint that comes through our office is investigated and handled through our code of student conduct process, which is a confidential process,” she said. “The big problem for me, though, is that very few complaints make it to my office. Students tell faculty, staff or each other about something that’s happened on campus and they never go online and file out a bias report. We can’t investigate things we don’t know about.”As the campus grows more diverse, the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion become more complex. Gender identity and transgender identities are at the forefront of this conversation, and Johnson said the College has a practice set in place for accepting transgender students. “Saint Mary’s doesn’t have a policy we have a practice,” she said. “To admit students, they must legally be women, either born as a woman or transgendered into a woman legally, but we do graduate students. So, if a student is here, comes in as a woman, starts the transition process, lives as a man, starts becoming a man, they are going to be able to finish their classes and graduate from here. The only time we would say no to a student is if they identified, legally, as a male.”Nekvasil said, especially with issues of diversity and inclusion, she will try to make things as transparent as possible for students, faculty and staff. “The vice president and I have met three or four times since this has happened, so we are really serious about making some headway, making things work, making decisions and moving ahead,” she said. “We hope that very soon there will be real action that you will see. I also want to be really transparent, so I want to meet with groups periodically, so that you know what we’re doing.”At the Q&A, several students brought issues of socioeconomic and racial disparity at the College to Nekvasil’s attention, including the disparity present in the room, as the number of those in attendance at the SDB diversity and inclusion Q&A were significantly less than those at the student assembly beforehand. Nekvasil said she will always give the same message no matter the crowd. “The message that I would give to you, I would give to that full crowd that was here before, and that’s not going to change,” she said. ”It’s not going to be a different message.”Tags: Diversity, inclusion, Nancy Nekvasil, saint mary’slast_img read more

Governor Douglas to lead EB-5 delegation to Asia

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced he will be leading a delegation of Vermont employers to Asia next month to promote investment through the EB-5 Investor Program.  The Vermont EB-5 Regional Center is run through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and has raised over $100 million in new capital for companies and projects in Vermont.“I am happy to go to the other side of the world to help great Vermont employers grow and create jobs,” said Governor Douglas.  “In this challenging economy, helping home grown Vermont businesses succeed is critical to our recovery.”Governor Douglas led a delegation to South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan last October.  As a result of that trip, Vermont employers attracted over $50 million in new capital from more than 100 investors, which will lead to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.  Additionally, the Governor helped close a deal with a South Korean biotech firm to bring a subsidiary, AnC Bio VT, to the Northeast Kingdom.“Last year’s trip was a tremendous success,” the Governor added.  “Since then, we’ve seen greater interest from Vermont employers and from foreign investors in the EB-5 program and I am looking forward to a successful trip next month.”Governor Douglas and the delegation will be travelling to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Vietnam between October 14 and October 26.  Jay Peak Resort, AnC Bio VT, Country Home Products, Seldon Technologies, SB Electronics and United Construction Corporation are among the employers represented on the trip.About the EB-5 Investor ProgramThe EB-5 program is a federal investment program run by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The goal of the program is to incent investment and create American jobs by setting aside a pool of green cards for qualified foreign investors that invest capital into approved EB-5 projects. U.S. companies are able to use this investment for projects that meet the programs eligibility criteria, such as business expansions, development, or adding capacity.  The Vermont EB-5 Regional Center is the only state-run center.Source: Douglas. 9.16.2010last_img read more

Jefferson County jailer tests positive for COVID-19

first_imgMadison, IN—According to Sheriff David Thomas, on Wednesday, April 22, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department received lab confirmation that one of our jail officers tested positive for COVID-19. The officer last reported for duty on the evening of Wednesday, April 15.During the COVID-19 screening process in our COVID-19 Checkpoint, the officer was found to meet criteria devised by the jail medical staff and based on CDC recommendations which denied him access into the facility. The officer was immediately sent home without ever entering the facility. The jail officer did not have close contact with any inmates or jail staff for more than 48 hours prior to his presentation of symptoms according to Sheriff Thomas.The Jefferson County Jail is taking extra precautions to keep staff and inmates safe.  This includes all the officers wearing gloves and masks as necessary and all areas are being cleaned often and in accordance with CDC recommendations.  They also have multiple handwashing stations available to workers and inmates and hand sanitizer.The Sheriff has also waived all medical co-pays for any inmate who may present COVID-19 symptoms.  According to Sheriff Thomas, officials are screening all new book-ins and quarantining them for 14 days prior to transferring them to the cell blocks.last_img read more

Abilene Christian Sweeps Men’s and Women’s Tennis Players of the Week

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian’s Jonathan Sheehy and Jordan Henry are the Southland Conference Men’s and Women’s Tennis Players of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank.Sheehy was a perfect 4-0 in singles play and earned two doubles wins on the Wildcats’ (5-3) Oklahoma trip, which saw wins over Oklahoma Baptist, Oral Roberts and Omaha before falling to No. 25 Tulsa to close out the weekend. Henry was the lone Wildcat to win all her singles matches, notching a trio of victories as ACU (1-4) dropped matches to New Mexico and UTSA before ending the weekend on the right foot with a win over Cameron.The ACU men return home to host Trinity and Tyler Junior College on Saturday at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, while the women are idle until a trip to Colorado Springs to face Colorado State-Pueblo, Air Force and Montana.Men’s Tennis Player of the Week – Jonathan Sheehy – Jr. – Arlington, TexasSheehy began the weekend with a top-line victory over Oklahoma Baptist’s Kevin Andrusch and dropped only one of his first six sets before allowing Tulsa’s Joshua Goodger to take the opening set 6-1. Sheehy went on to claim the final two frames 7-5 and 7-6 (7-4) to remain perfect on the week.One of his two doubles victories came against Oral Roberts alongside older brother Josh, who was honored as the Southland Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week on Jan. 23.Honorable Mention: Axel Vila Antuna, Lamar; Caleb Dyer, Incarnate Word; William Mottet, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.Women’s Tennis Player of the Week – Jordan Henry – Sr. – Oklahoma CityHenry improved to 4-3 in 2019 with three wins over the weekend. She came out on top of six of her seven sets played, needing a comeback effort against UTSA after losing the first set 6-3. She swept Cameron’s Pilar Juarena 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 5 slot to close the weekend as ACU won five of six singles competitions against the Aggies. Honorable Mention: Jasmin Buchta, Lamar; Carolina Bulatovic, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Armelle Cerdan, Stephen F. Austin.Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots.last_img read more