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Shepherd to host diversity seminar

By Staff | Mar 23, 2012

Shepherd University will host the Diversity and Cultural Competence: Create and Cultivate with Courage and Compassion seminar and workshop on Thursday, Mar. 29.

Dr. Beverly Malone, chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing, will present the keynote address from 11 a.m. to noon at the Butcher Center. Her address is free and open to the public.

Malone is a leader in the national conversation about the nursing and nurse educator shortage, and the role of nursing in ensuring access to safe, quality, culturally competent care to diverse patient populations, domestically and globally.

This professional development opportunity is supported by a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). According to Dr. Clarise Ottley, associate professor of nursing education, the workshop is a collaboration with the Department of Nursing Education, Division of Student Affairs, Multicultural Student Affairs, and the Diversity and Equity Committee.

A goal of the HRSA grant is to address the cultural competence and diversity climate on campus. Cultural competence is typically defined as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.

Ottley said that the goal of the workshop is to create a climate of diversity and cultural competence.

“It’s more than just getting nurses in the workforce; it is developing a knowledge that they’re caring for a diverse people,” Ottley said. “By creating a culture on campus, all students understand the need for cultural sensitivity and competency and diversity.”

Community business people and health care professionals have been invited to attend the keynote in addition to the Shepherd community, Ottley said.

“The theme affects all people in all walks of life, not just in nursing or on Shepherd’s campus,” Ottley said. “We want to be the trendsetter and set the example.”

Ottley said that Shepherd sets the example for the community, and she believes that the campus has the ability to make a difference in people’s attitudes toward cultural sensitivity and diversity.

“I’m always an advocate for diversity conversations on campus,” said Christana Johnson, assistant vice president for student affairs. This is a promising and positive event. I’m happy we’re able to accomplish something like this. It shows our commitment to diversity on campus. It’s a great learning opportunity for the campus community. I really want them to be involved.”

“We believe in the people and departments and administrators here and from (this workshop), the campus will change,” Ottley said. “It’s about being aware of the need for diversity and cultural sensitivity in the classroom and everything we do. We will strengthen that which is on a strong foundation.”

A workshop for faculty and staff will be held in the Storer Ballroom, Student Center, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; a seminar for pre-nursing and nursing students will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Frank Center.

A workshop will be held with nursing faculty, the nursing advisory council, and community health care partners at 3:30 p.m. in Erma Ora Byrd Hall and a reception will following the workshop.