Diversity education ambassadors spread values

Front (left to right): Patricia Fernandez, Jeanette Gaudio. Back: David Gordon, Janice Hamlet, Daniel Albers.

Front (left to right): Patricia Fernandez, Jeanette Gaudio.
Back: David Gordon, Janice Hamlet, Daniel Albers.

Diversity education ambassadors are entering classrooms this semester to promote academic diversity programs and the value of being culturally competent.

“What better way to promote the importance of diversity in education than to allow students who believe in its importance to communicate this to other students?” asks Janice Hamlet, coordinator of Academic Diversity Programs at NIU.

By enrolling this fall in the COMS 407 practicum, which allows communication majors to earn from one to three credit hours for performing service work with professors, students are putting their public speaking skills to good use by promoting cultural diversity.

“There are many reasons why I wanted to become a diversity education ambassador,” said David Gordon, a senior communication major. “Having the experience of learning about different cultures will help me in the future.”

“I signed up to be a diversity education ambassador because it is a chance to get involved in something different to get the credit for COMS 407,” said Daniel Albers, also a senior communication major. “It’s a fun program and really spreads useful information that has a positive influence on the students at NIU.”

Mykah Marsalis, another senior communication major, said she thinks diversity is very important in today’s society.

“We are living in a very multicultural world,” Marsalis said, “and it is important to me to be able to interact and relate to people of different ethnic backgrounds and walks of life.”

Hamlet, who is also an associate professor of communication, said she hopes that the diversity education promotion program will grow to the extent that any student, regardless of his or her major, will volunteer to promote diversity education and cultural competency in classes and student organizations.

Students interested in participating next semster can contact Hamlet at jhamlet@niu.edu.

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