Conversations With Sheila: Graduation

  • Conversations with Sheila

This is the last issue of Diversity Today for this academic year. I’m proud of our Publications Team including, Catherine Dyer (Publications), Jake Dyer (LDC), Dominick Butts-Gonzalez (LDC), Chukwuderah Egbuna (LDC). The team worked hard to produce a quality publication. Dominick, our graphic design specialist is leaving the team because he graduates in a few weeks. 

The LDC staff wants Dominick and all of our graduates to know how proud we are of you. Whether we had the pleasure of working with you directly or seeing you from afar, we are confident that as a Luther grad, you are prepared for graduate school and/or a career in your chosen fields. The LDC staff is proud to have encouraged you by writing letters on your behalf or exploring with you to help you achieve your goals, or praying with you or listening to you. Thank you all for the privilege of serving. Not only do you have an education that will help secure your future but you are also equipped to appreciate and adapt to cultures around the world. Your contributions to humanity will be significant and compelling.

We say farewell to Emily Browning who worked with us for two years and Marissa Satern, a four-year veteran of the Luther Diversity Center. They join a host of amazingly talented Luther graduates who spent part of their college careers working in the LDC. Ivy Throng will leave us at the end of the year for a new position elsewhere on campus. 

We welcome mentors: Emily Alcock, Rachel Class, Melody Elele, Halle Haedtke, William Hatungimana, Chansouda Lor, Philani Mkhwanazi, Lindsey Skubitz, and Christian Wiessler. We also welcome Ervin Liz, as our Marketing and Social Media Assistant, and Agenda Nawa and Mavis Phiri as our new Outreach Assistants. Spencer Hackler and Marlon Henriquez will continue as Outreach Assistants. Chukwuderah is our summer worker again this year and she will remain on the Publications Team. Masha Statkevich will continue as our Events Coordinator.    

For those who are returning next year, follow the many examples in the class of 2013 and seek the kind of learning that profoundly changes your perspective and even your point of view. Remember, the story of a small campus in Northeast Iowa that students from many different backgrounds attend is big news in your lives. The Diversity Center’s mission is to help Luther students feel welcome no matter what their backgrounds are. As part of Luther’s climate of inclusion; we are fully engaged in helping students have amazing college experiences.

In fact, each year, our small but dedicated staff and our exceptional work study students adopt a theme to guide us throughout the year. The theme for 2014-15 is: (drumroll, please) MAKE A DIFFERENCE THAT COUNTS! As we create diversity-related programming, sponsor events, work with student organizations, serve as academic advisers, teach classes, and organize group activities, the LDC increases cultural competency. When we appreciate cultural differences, we are better equipped to work together to make a difference that counts!