Now well into its second decade, OIED’s Equal Opportunity Institute has graduated over 350 participants since its inception in 1999. The program continues to attract NC State staff, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and participants from the general public. While the core mission of the program remains the same – to educate participants about equal opportunity issues; develop participants' skill in working and learning in increasingly diverse environments; enhance professional development; and improve the overall campus climate – the program has expanded and improved every year with the addition of new workshops, topics, and tools.
During the 2012-13 academic year, EOI began offering its past graduates the opportunity to re-enroll as EOI Graduate Scholars. Graduate Scholars return to the Institute to take three or more workshops during the academic year. Both the regular EOI Certificate program and the EOI Graduate Scholars program are still free of charge to NC State faculty, staff, and students. In addition, the program now recognizes participants who have gone above and beyond program requirements; graduates who have taken ten or more two-hour elective workshops, instead of the required seven, receive special recognition at EOI Graduation. Any EOI Graduate who is also an NC State student receives an honor cord to wear at NC State Graduation.
This year’s EOI Graduation celebration, with the theme of “New Frontiers,” highlighted the Institute’s continuing efforts to evolve to meet the needs of its participants and the campus community, as well as an exhortation to EOI graduates to continue to meet new challenges. Thomas Easley, CEO of The Easley Branch, LLC and Director of Community Diversity in NC State’s College of Natural Resources, was this year’s EOI Graduation speaker. Also an NC State doctoral candidate, Mr. Easley exemplifies the recurring themes of EOI, both personally and professionally. A musician and artist, diversity professional, champion of equality and achievement, as well as an extremely dynamic speaker, his remarks caused attendees to rise from their seats.
Special thanks to the NC State Cashier's Office, Campus Police, and University Housing for sending and supporting numerous staff members to participate in EOI. To find out more about EOI for yourself and/or your unit, please see the EOI website.
For a complete list of the 2013 EOI Graduates, please see the sidebar article on the right.