​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​System Success stories

The State System and its universities are committed to cultivating diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments that enable all members of the State System community to thrive, as well as honoring the history that unites us all.​

 Content Editor

Success Highlights​

The Bloomsburg University Commission for Gender and Sexuality awards two scholarships each year to provide financial support to students in the LGBTQIA+ community. The first scholarship is endowed directly by the Commission through its annual fundraiser. The second is endowed through the generous gift of friends of the Commission, Joshua Payne '89 and Randy Lyons.

California University of Pennsylvania senior Jahneek Fant has been selected to serve as a student member of Cal U’s Council of Trustees. His role was approved by the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. He currently serves as the recording secretary for Student Senate, president of the Student Association Inc., president of the Volleyball Club and works as a Community Assistant in a residence hall.

As part of the celebrations and events held throughout Black History Month, Cheyney University students had the honor of participating in The Great Debate, a forum for historically black college and university (HBCU) students to discuss current issues and social problems from the perspectives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X, and a synthesis of the points of view of the two African American political leaders.

An ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education brought Dr. Brenda Sanders Dede to Clarion University. She was in her 40s and her children were grown. She accepted a position as director of faculty research and development. Dede retired from Clarion in 2018 after serving as associate vice president for academic affairs for the previous six years. She remains active in the Clarion community, including as an elected member of Clarion Borough Council since 2010.

East Stroudsburg University’s Department of English, the College of Arts and Sciences and the ESU Women of Color Initiative will sponsor the University’s second “Writers Write/Writers Chat” virtual literary reading event with Alabama Poet Laureate Ashley M. Jones at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30. Ms. Jones is author of Reparations Now! “Writers Write, Writers Chat” is a literary series sponsored by the English Department, and select partners, to celebrate contemporary writers and their work.

Terrence Mitchell, Ph.D., did not set out to do diversity work, but his collective experience as a peer counselor for African American students while in graduate school, assistant director of minority student services at the University of Oklahoma, and director of student activities at San Francisco State University prepared him well. Mitchell has served as Edinboro University’s chief diversity and inclusion officer since January 2019.

It was a hundred-acre site just north of Indian Run, where 63 free African Americans settled in 1854, more than six years before the start of the Civil War. Many were released by Virginia physician and plantation owner Charles Everett upon his death, and they brought along others whose freedom they had purchased. Upon their arrival at the site, they found houses, gardens, orchards, and more that Everett, through his nephew, had paid nearby abolitionists to build. Had the historical marker come a decade earlier, the story may have ended there. But thanks to the efforts of two former students in Indiana University of Pennsylvania's MA in Applied Archaeology program, the story continues—on the marker and in real time—with details about the lives of the community’s settlers.

The Kutztown University Foundation is recognizing Agents of Change - members of the KU Community who are trailblazers and catalysts for social equity and justice. This February, the Foundation kicked off the initiative with the story of Bessie Reese Crenshaw '50, the first African American graduate of Kutztown University. Continue to follow social media in 2022 for more Agents of Change telling their impactful stories and highlighting accomplishments. 

Jonathan Ross is a 2021 graduate of Lock Haven University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education. During his time at The Haven, Ross was a member of the men’s Division I wrestling team. During the 2020-21 season, he represented Lock Haven at the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships. In March of 2020, Ross won the National Collegiate open, which capped a 52-win season for the Bald Eagle. Ross is now teaching middle and high school health and physical education and coaching junior high wrestling, while pursuing a Master’s Degree.

Mansfield University is hosting several on-campus events throughout February for students and employees to celebrate Black History Month. Events include cultural and historical programming such as ZUZU African Acrobats, The Jazz Experience, and The Totally Awesome Traveling Black History Show.

In the last 15 years, Lancaster County has seen an influx of immigrant and refugee families from many parts of the world. They often have K-12 school age children who receive support through 12th grade, but the college application and transition experience can be overwhelming for them. These students arrived in the U.S. as refugees and for many of them, college is a distant dream. That’s where Millersville University is helping through a project titled “Promising Scholars: Supporting, Mentoring and Advising Refugee and Immigrant Students Transitioning to College.”

Shippensburg University’s African American Organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. But the real cause for celebration comes from each student participant who succeeded, in college and in life, and has changed our world as capable leaders and bridge-builders. The organization, originally known as Afro Am, provides a vital source of social, academic, and cultural support for African American students on campus.

A new general studies requirement for students and certification for faculty is advancing Slippery Rock University's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within its curriculum. Beginning in fall 2022, all undergraduate students enrolling at SRU will be required to take a three-credit course that meets a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) designation through the Rock Integrated Studies Program, an existing general-education track that accounts for 42 of a students' 120 minimum credits to graduate.

West Chester University​ and Delaware County Community College have joined “Moon Shot for Equity,” a national student-success initiative led by Washington, D.C.-based education firm EAB. As the inaugural members of the project’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Collaborative, the two schools will work together with EAB to help more students of color, and those from other historically underserved populations in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region, graduate from college.​