Cultivating Practitioners of Diversity and Inclusion - Higher Education


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Cultivating Practitioners of Diversity and Inclusion



Founded in 1886 as a training school for teachers, Winthrop University is a public, comprehensive university that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness and civic engagement. Winthrop provides personalized and challenging undergraduate, graduate and continuing professional education programs of national caliber within a context dedicated to public service to the nation and to the state of South Carolina. Winthrop’s longtime commitment to be among the very best institutions of its kind in the nation continually guides the mission of the university.

Vice President Frank Ardaiolo leads the Division of Student Life, comprised of 98 full-time and 30 part-time staff members across various departments in the division, including the Department of Student Affairs, the Center for Career and Civic Engagement, Dining Services, Residence Life and the Campus Police, to name a few.

Student life at Winthrop is intentionally focused on developing student affairs practitioners who grasp the importance of diversity and inclusion in their practice and the experiences of students. Clarissa Elmore, residential learning coordinator and academic associate, shares, “As a current student affairs staff member and former Winthrop student, I would describe Winthrop as a home that is filled with chances for individuals to be exposed to and engaged in opportunities involving diversity and inclusiveness.”

And although diverse individuals and perspectives can create conflict and varied opinions Winthrop sees it as a benefit. Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Bethany Marlowe adds, “A diverse staff requires sustained effort to create a team. I think something we do well is to communicate that ethos of caring for our students and for each other.”

While the division prides itself on its work toward diversity and inclusion, Vice President Ardaiolo might be most proud of the professionals who started at Winthrop and moved on to impact other institutions. He says, “We have attracted a remarkable group of young student affairs professionals [over 100 who now work elsewhere] who have now finished their Ph.D.s or are in doctoral programs across the nation furthering what they first learned at Winthrop.” This commitment to developing student affairs professionals and cultivating a diverse community “championing
access and excellence” is what makes student life at Winthrop one of this year’s “30+ Promising Places to Work in
Student Affairs.”

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