CSM Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Students and members of the community joined in a ceremonial dance of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Southern Maryland during a previous event sponsored by the College of Southern Maryland Institutional Equity and Diversity Office at the La Plata Campus.

The College of Southern Maryland has received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, CSM will be featured along with 91 other recipients in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“This is a great honor as we have worked hard to ensure that CSM is a welcoming place to work and get an education. We have become a leader in providing programs and services that meet the needs of our diverse community,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees – and best practices for both – continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion. We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across a campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, INSIGHT Into Diversity's publisher.

One of 11 community colleges in the nation to receive this designation, CSM was only one of four higher education institutions within Maryland awarded the HEED. CSM is a comprehensive tri-county regional community college that fosters academic excellence and enhances lives in Southern Maryland with the guiding principles of diversity, excellence, innovation, integrity, knowledge, respect and teamwork. Recognized as a leading practitioner in diversity and inclusion, CSM has previously earned the Alliance for Workplace Excellence's Diversity Champion Award for creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive culture.

The college has created initiatives and programs, for example, such as the Diversity Institute, which addresses pressing social issues that face Southern Maryland as well as modeling how a community can address diversity issues in a productive manner; a Men of Excellence mentoring initiative to improve recruitment, retention, graduation and transfer rates for African American males who enter CSM as first-time students; and Choose Civility Southern Maryland, a community-wide campaign to enhance respect, empathy, consideration and tolerance.

Diversity is about ensuring that everyone has a voice and that members of our community (students, faculty, staff and members of the administration) feel like they matter and that they belong. The college has taken a proactive approach to provide an open environment by welcoming community partnerships, being a resource to employees at CSM and creating a climate where the values of diversity and community are a reality for all,” said CSM Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Makeba Clay.

Through CSM's Institutional Equity and Diversity Office, CSM provides academic enrichment and celebrates diversity awareness through programming for Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, African-American Heritage and Women's History months, as well as other cultural celebrations.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity publication in higher education today and is known for its annual HEED Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of the magazine are available at www.insightintodiversity.com.

For information about the 2015 HEED Award, visit www.insightintodiversity.com. For more about CSM, visit www.csmd.edu.

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