Arcadia Students Present at First Annual SEPCHE Diversity Conference

By Purnell T. Cropper | November 21, 2012

On Nov. 10, Judy Dalton, Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity, toted students to Holy Family University for SEPCHE’s First Annual Diversity Conference: Valuing and Embracing Diversity. Student presenters were Jayson Flores ’14, Tanisha Thelemaque ’14 and Tanesha Waid ’13. Each of these students put together a presentation revolving around the focus of the conference, race and ethnicity.

Flores and Waid worked as a team on a roundtable discussion titled “Best of Neither World: Being Biracial.” The presentation focused on biracial identity development and case studies of President Barack Obama and actress Vanessa Williams, and it concluded with a group discussion on whether it’s really possible for one person to identify with two (or more) racial groups. Telemaque’s presentation, “The Psychological Differences Between Individualistic and Collectivist Cultures and Their Views on Psychotherapy,” focused on the idea of biculturalism in ethnic minorities and of how varying views of self from the context of culture (i.e. individualism and collectivism) may be affected, especially with regard to how people respond to psychological disorders.

When students were not presenting, they had the opportunity to attend workshops and presentations by participants from seven other SEPCHE schools. One of the day’s highlights was the heartfelt account of Lauren Shipman, a student from Neumann University, who explained what it means to live with the debilitating disease of cerebral palsy and of how people can change their negative responses toward people with this disability.

The day ended in a call to action in which students used information learned at the conference to brainstorm how to make their universities open to all types of diversity.