Over 60 students, faculty and staff from NOVA’s six campuses participated in a day-long Student Diversity Conference on March 24 at the Annandale Campus. The conference was organized by the Student Life Offices at each campus.
The goals of the conference were to raise awareness of and explore aspects of identity, culture, ethnicity, gender identity, geographic origin, national origin, race, religion/spiritual traditions, sexual orientation and socioeconomic class. Sessions also helped participants develop skills of inclusive leadership, learn to work effectively with diverse groups, and learn how to actively impact those who are within their spheres of influence regarding issues of bias, discrimination and social justice. Sessions also provided students with skills to make a positive difference on their campuses and in their respective communities.
“We had a lot of positive feedback from the students which was encouraging for a first-year program,” said Annandale Student Life Program Manager Matt “Tank” McCarl. “The students and staff really embraced the theme and we look forward to building on this initiative for next year.”
The keynote speaker was Angie Ange from 93.9 WKYS in Washington, DC, and she also led one of the conference breakout sessions. NOVA staff also participated as breakout session facilitators including Margarita Martinez (Annandale Academic Success Counselor), Bradley Brooks (Alexandria Student Life), Amanda Morley (Extended Learning Institute Student Life), Michael McMillon (Loudoun Student Life), Joan Zanders (Financial Aid Director (College Staff), Tiffney Laing (Loudoun Student Life) and McCarl.