From the Vice Provost
The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity continued its award-winning work of fostering a welcoming campus climate where diverse faculty, staff and students feel a sense of belonging in our vibrant academic community. One of the highlights of the past year was the selection of NC State as a winner of the “Higher Education Excellence in Diversity” (HEED) award presented annually by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine. Also noteworthy was the recognition of two NC State employees with the “Leadership in Diversity” award from the The Triangle Business Journal in September 2014.
This year also saw the completion of a four-year renovation of the Talley Student Union. With construction completed this spring, three of the campus community centers – the Women’s Center, GLBT Center and Multicultural Student Affairs – are now located in the expanded student union. We are hopeful that having the centers in close proximity to each other will create new synergies and collaboration in programming and more efficient use of resources. Being located in the hub of student activity on campus should provide opportunities for additional student engagement with increased “traffic” to the centers.
OIED sponsored nationally recognized speakers, enhanced its communications and ensured they are “on brand,” and offered hundreds of workshops and programming to the campus community during the 2014-15 academic year. These are all OIED efforts designed to make NC State “even better.”
This year also marks the end of an era for me as I end my tenure at NC State. I am humbled by the progress in equity and diversity that I’ve witnessed over the past three decades at the university and the visible support of the university’s administration to diversity and inclusion. I also want to extend sincere thanks to the staff of the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity. They’ve worked diligently over the past four years to become a high functioning team whose trust in each other and commitment to OIED’s mission have positioned the office to become a significant asset to the university in the attainment of its strategic goals.
Continue the “good fight” for equity and diversity. The best is yet to come!
Joanne G. Woodard
An Award-Winning Year for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity was a 2014 recipient of the INSIGHT Into Diversity ‘Higher Education Excellence in Diversity’ (HEED) Award, which recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The award measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. Beverly Jones Williams, director of outreach and education, coordinated NC State’s award application.
Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Joanne Woodard received a 2014 Triangle Business Journal Leader in Diversity Award. The award recognizes the “accomplishments of Triangle businesses, individuals and nonprofits as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry of our community.” The winners have demonstrated “respect or inclusive treatment of others, advocacy for underrepresented groups and multicultural marketing.”
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Serving All of NC State, One Person At a Time
The Equal Opportunity and Equity unit of OIED listens to each constituent, helping to ensure that everyone’s story is regarded with the respect we all deserve. Equal Opportunity and Equity exists to ensure that equal opportunity and affirmative action compliance obligations are met and that all employees have a fair and neutral venue in which to voice equal opportunity concerns. At NC State, we strive to deliver beyond regulatory standards. We seek to provide education and outreach opportunities to help transform the campus climate, not just mitigate liability. The number of complaints handled continues to rise in part due to the efforts to communicate to faculty, students and staff that we are here to help.
Working to Create Welcoming and Inclusive Environments
This year, we provided Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and Response, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title IX training to over 4,200 members of the campus community, doubled the number of search committee orientations since last year and conducted and led efforts to partner in programming for the celebration of the Civil Rights Act. We participate in a variety of collaborative partnerships and campus-wide committees to bolster discussions and initiatives around creating welcoming and inclusive environments. In a climate of changing regulations, diminished internal staffing, and an increase in inquiries and consultative services requested from campus constituents, we continue to deliver quality service and support to the members of the NC State community.
Read the full Equal Opportunity and Equity 2014-15 Annual Report
Building NC State’s Future Faculty
Aspiring faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines come from institutions across the nation to participate in NC State’s three-day Building Future Faculty (BFF) program. BFF helps graduate students and postdoctoral scholars understand how to prepare for a faculty career, providing information that graduate students typically don’t get in a doctoral program.
Participation Across NC State
Thirty-four future faculty participated in BFF 2015. Participants visited 30 host departments in eight of NC State’s ten academic colleges. The three-day program included skills training, interactive sessions with faculty on aspects of faculty life and a half-day department visit. The skills workshops provided practical training on presentation skills for academics, incorporating active learning into courses, and success strategies for new faculty. The future faculty participated in breakout sessions with faculty from their own disciplines on managing multiple priorities, developing a research program, writing and rejection, grant writing, types of academic positions and the application process. Each participant met one-on-one with faculty in their discipline, made a research presentation to their host department and received feedback on their presentation style and CV during their department visit.
“In three days of career workshops and networking, we built various forms of capital that we hope to parlay into full-time, tenure-track jobs. As a member of this group, I was surrounded by some of the most intelligent, engaging, motivated and accomplished young scholars from some of the world’s most elite universities. And yet I was shocked by how poorly many of us seemed to understand the faculty career. As underrepresented minorities in our fields, we brought surprisingly disparate levels of socialization to the future-faculty program.” (Squire, D. D. 2015, “Underprepared for the Profession,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2015.)- Dian Squire, a 2015 Building Future Faculty participant
“I learned that I have a lot of work to do to prepare for the market, and I was reminded that being a person of color is not going to give me a leg up.” said one participant. She had applied to the program specifically to seek mentoring “geared toward students and women of color because I want to be in an environment that is honest about the barriers that we face and provides specific advice on how to surmount these barriers.” (Squire, D. D. 2015, “Underprepared for the Profession,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2015.)- another 2015 Building Future Faculty participant
The Building Future Faculty program has become quite competitive. Over 250 applications for the 34 slots were evaluated by faculty in the host departments. Several Building Future Faculty program alumni have applied for faculty positions at NC State and received invitations for interviews this year. Three BFF alumni have been hired in 2014-15. The following departments hired or interviewed BFF alumni: Elaine Bohorquez (BFF 2012), teaching assistant professor (started August 2014), Graduate Physiology; Anne Porterfield (BFF 2011), assistant professor (started January 2015), Textile Apparel Technology and Management; Derek Ham (BFF 2014), assistant professor (to start August 2015), Graphic and Industrial Design; and the departments of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical and Biomedical Engineering also interviewed BFF alumnae for tenure track positions this year.
Sponsors and Advisors
Read the full Faculty Diversity 2014-15 Annual Report
Connect with NC State: A “Bucket List” for Staff
NC State strives to create a campus culture that values diversity and respects the inherent worth of each member of our community. The university employs over 6,000 full and part-time staff, making it the most diverse subgroup at the university. In 2014, the Staff Diversity Advisory Board, a group of about 20 staff members who advise the director of Staff Diversity, created a website designed to encourage staff involvement in the university’s cultural resources and traditions with the goal of building a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere on campus.
Data from the 2008 Staff Well-Being Survey showed that “awareness” was the most common reason for low staff participation in NC State’s diversity and/or multicultural activities, spurring an idea to develop a website that would build awareness among staff of special events and places at NC State. As the concept matured, the Board’s vision grew to include the notion of incorporating social media as a way for staff members to interact with the website, adding prizes for those who participated as a way to launch the site and encourage participation.
The Connect with NC State website presents a pictorial journey of our beautiful, culturally rich campus. It contains a continuously expanding gallery featuring vivid photography, descriptions, dates and links to all things “NC State” ranging from the annual Kwanzaa celebration in the African American Cultural Center to Chinese cooking classes at the Confucius Institute and the annual Sisterhood Dinner.
A Google Analytics snapshot at the end of three months of the program showed that there had been nearly 2,000 entrances and 6,000 page visitors on the site. Fifteen participants won prizes over the course of the contest, including NC State football game tickets, Arts NC State performance tickets and NC State Bookstore merchandise.
John Starbuck, web designer for Connect with NC State, submitted the program to contests sponsored by the Association of College Unions-International (ACUI) and the Council on the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The program won top honors in both competitions.
“NC State wants all our employees to feel welcome and included as valuable members of our community. The Connect with NC State program is a great way to feel more connected and to celebrate all the great places and activities we have for everyone here.”- Chancellor Randy Woodson
Read the full Staff Diversity 2014-15 Annual Report
Diversity Education Week: An Extravaganza of Educational Events
This year’s Diversity Education Week theme connected with NC State’s motto: “Think and Do.” With more high-quality programs and an increase in the number of campus partners and student organizations participating, hosting and sponsoring programs during the week, this year’s celebration was richer than ever. Many of the programs were interactive and most were student-driven. In all, nearly two dozen programs and events brought diversity at NC State front and center for one special week.
Programs included African Dance workshops, films, the I [Heart] Diversity T-Shirt Giveaway and Ally Rally, the Islam Fair, the Salsabor Hispanic/Latino celebration, academic panels and workshops, a radio broadcast and numerous other events from campus organizations. The Diversity Education Week website was used as a conduit for both program registration and publicity. Two major speakers, Dr. Shakti Butler, who headlined the fall Diversity Dialogue with her talk, “Cracking the Codes: Systems of Inequity” and Dr. Derald Wing Sue, Professor of Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, who spoke on “Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Higher Education” anchored the week.
Supporting NC State’s Diversity Efforts
Outstanding diversity efforts do not go unrecognized at NC State. The University Diversity Mini-Grants, the At Home in the World Student Group Activity Grants and the Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards provided a means for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity and its partners to support diversity work by faculty, staff and students across the university.
Among the nine proposals funded with a University Diversity Mini-Grant this year were, “Conscious/Unconscious Bias Awareness (CUBA): Improving Admission Review, Retention and Completion,” submitted by Joe Johnson and “eMentorship: Virtual Mentorship Program for Underserved Students in Rural Areas,” submitted by Cameron D. Denson and Joe Busby. Each proposal received up to $3,000 with a minimum 25% cost match from other sources and up to two years funding.
The At Home in the World Student Activity Grants, which provided $1,000 to four proposals, included “African Night: Orishas – Celebrating African Deities,” hosted by the African Student Union and the Caribbean Student Association and “Being Out as Asian American, LGBT and a Political Figure,” hosted by BLISS: Building Leaders of Integrity, Service and Sisterhood and the GLBT Community Alliance.
The 9th Annual Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards recognized an outstanding student, student organization, faculty, staff member and college/division. In 2015, twice as many nominations were received compared to 2013.
2015 Chancellor’s Creating Community Award recipients:
- Jon Rust – Outstanding Faculty
- Marian Fragola – Outstanding Staff
- Keon Pettiway – Outstanding Student
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Outstanding College/Division
- P.E.A.K. – Students Proactively Engaged towards Activism Knowledgeably – Outstanding Student Organization
Read the full Student Diversity 2014-15 Annual Report
Powerhouse Programming from the African American Cultural Center
The African American Cultural Center hosted fourteen major programs during the 2014-15 academic year, a weekly student-led dialogue series and three art gallery exhibits. Student-driven leadership and engagement of the African American Cultural Center was fueled though the AYA Ambassadors program, which included 42 student ambassadors. AYA Ambassadors (whose name is derived from the African Adinkra symbol meaning “endurance and resourcefulness”) ranged from first year students to fifth-year seniors.
Program attendance and participant engagement was high for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Campus Commemoration and the annual Blacks in Wax Museum. Through programs and initiatives recognizing the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board supreme court decision and theme, “Educational Empowerment-Replicating the Systematic Practices That Work,” awareness was brought to past and present inequities in education and drew attention to community and educational practices that historically and/or currently foster student success.
Annual MLK Day Commemoration Speaker: Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry
Highlights for the year included Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry’s timely talk, “We Can’t Breathe: The Continuing Consequences of Structural Inequality Fifty Years After King” as it related to events in the national news that ignited national demonstrations such as the “die-in” initiated by students at NC State and on college campuses around the nation. In addition, programs presented information or evoked conversations on a span of contemporary African American scholars including Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Manning Marable, Alex Haley, Angela Davis, Dr. Maya Angelou, Misty Copeland, Patricia Bath, Dr. Dudley Flood, Nikki Giovanni and Dr. John Henrik Clarke. The Black Alumni Society celebrated its 35th anniversary at the university’s annual homecoming in November 2014. In conjunction with this celebration, three events hosted by the African American Cultural Center featured distinguished alumni.
From a cultural perspective, the span of programs during the 2014-15 academic year presented information on historical figures such as Kunta Kinteh, Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Obama, Ella Baker, Mary McLeod Bethune, Bayard Rustin, Septima Clark, Ruby Bridges, Carter G. Woodson, Hattie McDaniel, Nina Simone, Zora Neale Hurston, Lewis Latimer, George Washington Carver, Irwin Holmes and Marcus Garvey, to name a few.
The 2014-15 academic year also gave breath to one significant new and student-led initiative, “What’s On The Table.” This weekly opportunity for students allowed them to gather in a safe environment for student-led passionate conversations about a wide variety of topics that mattered to them.
Sponsors and Partners
Read the full African American Cultural Center 2014-15 Annual Report
The GLBT Center: Past, Present and Future
The 2014-2015 academic year was a transitional year for the GLBT Center, with the founding director Justine Hollingshead transitioning to a new role in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs and Renee Wells joining NC State to take over the position. Much of the work done this year involved reflection, discussion, revision, and strategic planning related to where the Center plans to go in the future and how it plans to get there. One thing that emerged from this process was a new mission, vision and goals. The academic year was characterized by ongoing efforts to ensure the work the Center is doing fulfills those goals. Of those efforts, much of the focus has been on foregrounding intersectionality as an integral part of the Center’s work.
One of the key goals of the Center is to not only “affirm the identities of GLBT and questioning students, staff, faculty, and alumni” but to do so while also “acknowledging and helping raise awareness about the way the lived experiences of GLBT individuals vary and are influenced by their race, religion, ethnicity, age, ability status, social class and other social characteristics.” The GLBT Center engaged in a number of intentional efforts during the year to create a context for critical conversations about the intersections of identity to occur, the most impactful of which was a collaborative event co-hosted by the GLBT Center, the Women’s Center, Multicultural Student Affairs, and the African American Cultural Center. This event, which featured an intergenerational panel of social justice advocates, brought to the forefront the ways that social justice issues impact all underrepresented communities and the fact that the greatest injustice is experienced by the individuals at the intersections of these communities; i.e., the individuals who have multiple underrepresented identities, such as transgender women of color.
The conversation began with the panelists sharing their narratives and the advocacy work that they do but transitioned to a dialogue with the audience about the intersections with other social justice issues and how identity, power, and privilege play in role in what we experience and are able to do. One of the key takeaways of the conversation was that coalition building and collaboration are crucial parts of the process of advocating for change.
One participant comment that “the collaboration displayed in this panel was unparalleled,” another participant observing that what was most impactful was “not what was said, but how this was done…[the] process [of] creating [a] comfortable/safe environment for people that model[s] collaborative advocacy,” and a third participant expressing their gratitude: “I saw a model of advocates/activists working to band [together] and express pts of collaboration. Thank you.” Other participants noted the degree to which the discussion inspired them to take action, with one person admitting, “I have been trying to get into impactful social work, but facing time issues with my schooling. This conversation has really hardened my resolve to seek out a way to affect systemic improvements,” and another revealing, “I have been more empowered to change injustices on campus.”
Making an Impact
Overall, 95% of the participants reported that attending the panel discussion increased their desire to engage in conversations about contemporary social justice issues and 96% indicated that it increased their commitment to get involved in collaborative social justice work. Both the experience and the feedback will serve as inspiration for the GLBT Center to continue to focus on collaborative, intersectional social justice work, not only to fulfill the mission, vision and goals of the Center but to inspire others to engage in this work as well.
“I have been trying to get into impactful social work, but facing time issues with my schooling. This conversation has really hardened my resolve to seek out a way to affect systemic improvements…”- student participant, intersectionality panel
Read the full GLBT Center 2014-15 Annual Report
Do You See What I See
During the 2014-15 academic year, Multicultural Student Affairs hosted over 30 programs and events. While many programs have been longstanding annual offerings, the new “Do You See What I See? Establishing a Common Ground” program series was responsive to current events. This new initiative provided a platform for students, faculty and staff to have candid campus community dialogues with the NC State Police Department and provide participants with a safe space to reflect, analyze and discuss positive strategies for change, both locally and globally. “Do You See What I See? Part I” was held on Thursday, January 15, 2015. The program consisted of a panel of three NC State campus police officers and one from the Raleigh Police Department. On Wednesday, April 1, 2015, the “Do You See What I See? Part II” event included a small-group discussion format that created a safe, respectful and supportive environment for attendees to share their thoughts and feelings, helped establish common ground ns developed positive outcomes to promote change and enhance current relationships and partnerships with NC State law enforcement.
The newly relaunched Academic Success Assistance Program (ASAP) was designed to empower first-year students with a 2.5 or lower grade-point average with the necessary skills, resources and strategies needed to effectively work toward academic success at NC State. Multicultural Student Affairs collaborated with the Counselor Education and Higher Education Administration Programs in developing an 8-week program that assisted students with developing confidence in themselves and their capacity for academic success, establishing and clarifying their academic and career goals, discovering strengths and learning styles to improve their success in the classroom, enhancing leadership development skills and enhancing their academic resilience and ‘grit.’
Participants met individually with an academic coach and participated in one weekly group session. Although the program began with 21 participants, 14 students completed the program. Feedback from the participants suggests that the Academic Success Assistance Program was very beneficial; 89% of the participants felt that they had developed strategies to effectively achieve academic success at NC State. The top three topics covered in the groups, as voted by participants, were: resiliency, self-confidence, long-term goals, ‘grit’ and self-appraisal. When asked if they would participate if ASAP were offered again, 13 students reported “yes.”
Experience the Tunnel!
The newly revitalized Tunnel of Oppression, an annual educational program consisting of dramatized oppressive interactions, was held during the first week of February 2015. This year’s program included sections on food security, race/ethnic identity, body image and transgender issues. The program was held in the Talley Student Union Coastal Ballroom, which brought a record number of over 600 participants to the program. During the interactive experience, participants got an opportunity to walk through rooms designed to showcase different oppressive actions and reactions to the topics of intersection of classism and size-ism, sexism, transphobia/trans-ism and racism.
Sponsors and Participants
When asked what about the Tunnel of Oppression experience was the most impactful and why, participants reported the following:
- “Sexism Room – Because I never really looked at sizeism and class as connected things but people who have lower income can’t afford to buy healthier foods even if they want to eat healthily because fresh produce is expensive.”
- “The Sexism Room really helped me realize some things about myself that I have yet to even admit to myself – I think since I Identified so strongly with it that it’s pretty clear that I am a feminist, and that’s a word that I should stand by and believe in.”
- “Intro Room – I think actually attempting to fill out the form in the first room immediately showed me my privilege even as an African American woman. I kind of knew what to expect in the actual tunnel but that part definitely caught me off guard.”
- “Sexism Room – Being a female, I have been oppressed in many situations. As a child, being told I act like a boy too much because I wanted to go out and play and even now being told that my decision to become an engineer may not be a good one because it’s a male-dominated field. It really resonated with me in that I’m not the only one going through it and change is possible.”
- “Racism Room – Because I knew about racism but had never thought about how hard it is for black people until now. It is really sad to imagine that people can’t do anything when a cop is being racist, for example.”
Read the full Multicultural Student Affairs 2014-15 Annual Report
Learn. Engage. Ask. Do.
In the Women’s Center’s Read to L.E.A.D. (Learn. Engage. Ask. Do.) program, NC State students are paired with low-income Wake County students who are often behind grade level in reading. Together, they read, discuss, and engage in hands-on activities that explore issues of diversity and equity. Mentors (who themselves are engaged in formal training related to positive youth development, diversity competence, literacy and mentoring) provide literacy training and exposure to social justice issues in different communities and serve as an encouraging and consistent presence in the lives of their mentees. The children also provide the mentors the opportunity to reflect on their own perspectives.
In addition, mentors are provided the opportunity to engage in monthly “edu-socials” and mentor lunches as well as campus visit days and service projects each semester. Approximately one hundred mentors work in partnership with four partner sites, including the Washington Elementary Boys and Girls Club, Neighbor to Neighbor at Glenbrook Crossing, East Cary Middle School and the Alexander Family YMCA Middle School Afterschool Program.
Campus Visit Days
Read to L.E.A.D. volunteers participated in 26 weeks of mentoring and hosted annual fall and spring campus visit days for their mentees. At the annual fall campus visit day, mentees aged 5-15 and their NC State student mentors participated in mini-workshops pairing technology and the arts with social justice themes in the College of Education’s media center and classrooms. The Movement Peer Educators facilitated a workshop on healthy relationships with the middle school youth. SAY Village, an NC State residential living and learning community, welcomed the Read to L.E.A.D. group for a tour and residence hall visit. The students ate lunch at Fountain or Clark Hall. After lunch, students participated in two service projects; younger children worked with the African American Cultural center to create thank you cards for veterans and art projects to benefit the nonprofit Wags 4 Tags, while older youth made yellow ribbons for students and painted an American flag in the Freedom of Expression Tunnel.
Read to L.E.A.D. continues to be one of the Women’s Center’s most successful and impactful programs. One hundred percent of the NC State student mentors surveyed said that Read to L.E.A.D. provided them an opportunity to develop leadership skills to help others meet their goals and confidence to encourage commitment and action in others. Qualitative data enhances these statistics.
Read the full Women's Center 2014-15 Annual Report
Record Number Applied for Equal Opportunity Institute
At a time when university campuses are experiencing racial and other tensions, the EOI has provided faculty, staff and students a deeper understanding and dialogue around issues such as affirmative action, racism, sexism, religious diversity and oppression. While taking twenty hours of voluntary diversity and equity workshops may seem daunting to some, many NC State community members – staff, faculty and students – are plunging right in. The popular Equal Opportunity Institute (EOI) received a record number of applications in its 15th anniversary year.
EOI is a lively and engaging program that offers an ever-increasing number of workshops on a wide array of diversity and equity topics. Workshops such as “Equal Opportunity Jeopardy, “Exploring Oppression” and “Title IX” enlighten interactively while educating about equal opportunity issues. The program is free for NC State community members, but external participants are also welcome to enroll for a small fee.
This year, EOI graduated over 50 participants, including those who received special recognition for completing workshops beyond the requirements or returning after graduating to continue their training under the “EOI Scholar” designation. Retiring Dean of the College of Sciences Dr. Daniel Solomon gave the keynote address at EOI Graduation. Retiring Vice Provost Joanne Woodard, under whose leadership the program began, was also recognized.
Over 35 free diversity and equity workshops, such as “The EEOC,” “Leading a Diverse Workforce,” “ Fair Housing” and an entire “Protected Class” series were also offered on an individual, open enrollment basis for the entire campus community. Two new workshops were added this year: “The Crosswalk of Identity: Exploring Intersectionality in a Socio-Legal Context” and “Class Inequality and the Quest for Equal Opportunity.”
One of the most dynamic groups affiliated with the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity is the NC State University NCBI Team, which conducted prejudice reduction workshops utilizing the ground-breaking NCBI model for over 1,000 participants at NC State this year. The team also facilitated the Spring Diversity Dialogue sponsored by OIED, the “Do You See What I See” program sponsored by Multicultural Students Affairs and presented at OIED’s annual Conference on Leadership and Diversity. NC State’s NCBI Team is an active member of the Carolina Coalition, a partnership of NCBI teams in the Carolinas. Two NC State Team members, Beverly Williams and Valerie Ball, will serve as associate director and treasurer next year. NC State will also host the Fall 2015 NCBI Train-the-Trainer event.
The 32-member volunteer team is comprised of staff members from many different NC State offices and divisions. Members go through NCBI training to become facilitators of the NCBI workshop models. An NC State undergraduate course was also developed based on the NCBI model. The course was approved as a permanent course meeting the US Diversity GEP in summer 2014.
“As I have gained confidence from this program, I feel more comfortable in addressing offensive and demoralizing jokes and statements that I hear on campus. By addressing them and empowering others to do so, we can work together to create an inclusive culture on campus.”
“I will take more time to listen during my interactions and really hear what someone is saying – not interpret what I *feel* they are saying based on my own assumptions. So often, I realize that I listen through the lens of assumptions, and by doing so may miss important facts, details and lessons in what is being taught.”- 2014-15 EOI participant comments
Read the full OIED Training and Education 2014-15 Annual Report
Expanding with Branding
Sitting in the newly renovated Coastal Ballroom in Talley Student Union last April, OIED Communications team members prepared for another State Communicators meeting, wondering what the day’s topics would bring. Little did they know that they were about to receive news that would change the course of their work for the next nine months and beyond.
NC State Chief Communications Officer Brad Bohlander stepped up to the podium and unveiled the new NC State brand website (brand.ncsu.edu), an ambitious and comprehensive brand strategy covering all aspects of brand and messaging for the university. His team then outlined details for the different platforms, including web, print, merchandising and other areas, with the promise that more information would follow regarding deployment and compliance.
The team soon realized that unlike previous brand campaigns, this one would soon be a mandate. We could do nothing or be proactive. We could be a followers or leaders. We chose the latter, and it proved to be a defining moment of the 2014-15 academic year.
The timing of this development was interesting. Two years earlier, we had begun converting all of our office websites from a variety of legacy platforms to WordPress, an easy-to-use and nimble web interface and content management system that was clearly the direction many web developers were taking. By this time, we were in the process of converting our last website over to WordPress. Because of this, we were well positioned to quickly convert all 14 of our sites to a common theme that we selected, piloted and sent to University Communications for approval. Just nine months later, all of our sites were on brand, including a newly redesigned main OIED website. We also began designing all of our other print and electronic publications in the new brand style, consulting University Communications as needed.
Tell Me a Story
Videos are everywhere these days. Who hasn’t watched videos on YouTube, Facebook, or even Twitter? With the prevalence of this medium, it is not surprising that NC State students enjoy learning and communicating through video. They have even come to prefer and expect it.
Since its inception 2011, OIED Communications has used video in its popular online training modules and as a communication and teaching tool for various audiences. Many of these videos were created in a somewhat rudimentary instructional or interview style, but as the line between education and entertainment has blended, so has our video presentation style.
In January, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs and OIED jointly sponsored a video workshop presented by Storydriven Media Group (link to www.wearestorydriven.com). Storydriven’s philosophy and method is to create video “stories” that focus on narrative, with a clear story arc and live action as the most important elements of a video. The method emphasizes a multiple-camera setup and the use of B-roll, or secondary video, to propel the narrative.
Armed with enthusiasm about these concepts, we approached our spring video projects with new techniques as well as new equipment provided by Vice Provost Joanne Woodard.
You can see some of the resulting work on our YouTube channel under NCStateOIED.