MSU Diversity Council

January 20, 2022

1:30-3:00 pm



Ariel Donohue- Chair,

Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer


Alison Harmon - Interim Chair,

Academic Deans


Marianne Brough- Division of Student Success


Barbara do Amaral - Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons


Mayuri Singh – Student Diversity Representative


Nicole Divine- All Staff Council


Bridget Kevane- Academic Diversity Partner- CLS


Kyla Bush- Bobcat Athletics


Brennan Reeves- Office of International Programs


Bradford Watson- Faculty Senate


Michael Lee- Graduate Partnerships


Isabella Roccisano- Associated Students of MSU












Other Participants




Juliana Rajamohan 


Tomomi Yamaguchi


Nika Stoop



  1. Welcome and Introductions

    Introducing Barbara do Amaral – taking the helm in the DISC, looking forward to working with the Council

  2. Approval of minutes from November 18th meeting
  3. Diversity efforts in ASMSU and OSE:Marianne Brough and Juliana Rajamohan

    DEI Council – student-led group for students to share DEI issues they have experienced or heard about on campus. Council members will bring topics to Senate for action. They have selected members for this semester and will have a steering committee meeting next week to get things going for the semester. The public forum is open to anyone on campus. Students can go there to get questions answered if they are encountering any issue. They want to get more faculty and staff more involved as well.

    ASMSU/OSE is developing a community-building and connection-making project called the Diversity Cookbook. Diversity includes sharing stories/recipes that show people’s family traditions and backgrounds. The project will be featured in the library and shared widely. They have a poster they will be distributing called Pass the Plate.

    Diversity Symposium will be March 24th. Will provide more details at next meeting.

  4. Gender equity work group: Nika Stoop, Center for Faculty Excellence/Office of Diversity and Inclusion

    The President’s Commission on the Status of University Women (PCOSUW) had representatives from across campus and partnered closely with ADVANCE, focused on increasing representation of women faculty in STEM. Over 10 years, we saw an increase in female tenure track faculty, conducted annual diversity self-studies within departments, held events, reviewed policies, and gave awards recognizing accomplishments of faculty, staff, and students. Now that we have a DEI framework in the strategic plan and an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, we are exploring the most effective format for a group focused on gender equity moving forward. Nika has been the program lead for gender equity in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion since July (and is still working in the CFE as well). Held a 10-year gender equity celebration in September 2021.  

    Nika explained the process they have gone through to create a gender equity work group, ground the group in community needs, draft a mission and vision, and develop the structure and purpose of a new group. She shared the timeline for launching the new group, plans to share this information with various campus stakeholders (faculty senate, all staff council, ASMSU, Graduate School, etc.), and how to work together with the Diversity Council and other partners.

    Diversity Council discussed issues related to the work of this group, including community perceptions about childcare, work-life balance, exit surveys, cost of living, compensation levels, and tracking trends.

  5. Gendered language: Bradford Watson, Faculty Senate/Assoc. Professor, School of Architecture

    Penn State built on their chosen name efforts to pass a resolution about eliminating gendered and binary terms in course and program descriptions. The first step would be looking at language that exists in course descriptions, policies, syllabi, etc. Next would be examining issues of bias in things like how we refer to people (ie. “freshmen” or other terms that can carry a gender bias). Looking at how embedded gender binaries and norms are in our institution. Where could this go and is there a group that wants to pursue this?

    Student involvement – do they have any interest in bringing this to the Student DEI Council?

    One possibility would be offering a CFE workshop inviting faculty and staff to look a syllabi, websites, etc. and discuss impacts and how pervasive this is.

  6. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) minor: Tomomi Yamaguchi, Chair of WGSS

    WGSS is an interdisciplinary minor housed in CLS. Faculty involved in the minor range across the university. 22 faculty advisors, no TT appointments in WGSS. As of spring 2021, 33 students were actively minoring in WGSS. Not just about gender or sexuality, also focuses on intersectionality of identities. They would like to offer more courses, but are limited by budget.

    Challenges – lacking resource, no physical space, awareness/visibility, largely dependent on NTT faculty. Pushback against feminism and queer studies. Space for LGBTQ students.

    Future plans: offer more classes on queer studies, more classes about BIPOC women and feminism, more diversity of faculty and students in the program. A TT line is necessary for the program’s survival and development.

  7. Public Comment

    Question about how widely used the chosen name program has it been since its official launch last semester. How aware are people of this offering and how many people are using it? Followed up with the chosen name committee to gather information.

    A committee is currently reviewing proposals to research topics contributing to the Africana Studies certificate. CLS plans to submit the proposal for the Africana Studies certificate in February.

  8. Upcoming diversity events: see


Next meeting: Thursday, February 17th; 1:30 – 3:00 pm