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What We Do

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Inclusive Excellence Fellows In Their Own Words

"As an Inclusive Excellence Fellow, my experience has been transformative and enriching."

"With bi-weekly meetings and training, I am able to learn about how to advocate for social justice issues we care about at Swarthmore through using various campus resources."

"Planning events for my project also helps me learn how to cooperate with partners and advisors, as well as turning ideas into action. It's really inspirational to see the idea growing into something that can really make an influence in my community."

"This opportunity has allowed me to delve deeper into the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the challenges that come with achieving it in academic settings."

"One of the most fulfilling aspects of this experience was being able to contribute to a community that I am deeply connected to and care about."

"Throughout my experience as an Inclusive Excellence Fellow, I have learned many skills that will further benefit me as I explore different career opportunities and look into my future after graduation."

"The project has provided me the opportunity to practice and cement my presentation and communication skills though the general management of a project, frequent communication with faculty members, and presentations."

"Participating in the Inclusive Excellence Fellows program has been a transformative experience for me, providing valuable insights and skills that I will carry forward into future endeavors."

"Moving forward, I will apply the lessons learned from this experience by actively seeking student perspectives and involving them in decision-making processes in any future initiatives or projects. I will prioritize inclusivity and strive to create spaces where all voices are heard and valued."

"This project harnessed my dedication and creativity skills so well that I walked with this project everywhere I went, thinking how to run it successfully in a change-driven, rigorous and busy environment. It also improved my teamwork skills; I learned how to compromise my independent decisions so as to have a better understanding of where and how my project advisors and administrators wanted this projected to proceed."

Inclusive Excellence Fellows In the News

Student-led Event Dives Deep Into Swarthmore's Queer History
Kilin Tang ’25 Makes Voting More Accessible at Swarthmore and Across Pennsylvania
Advocating for Inclusive Voting Rights
From Ballerina to Actress: Lydia Churchill's '22 Deep Relationship with the Arts

Inclusive Excellence Fellows Around Campus

Welcome Class of 2027: Alumni Panel for International Students, Spring 2023 

On March 27, the Inclusive Excellence Fellows Initiative presented a virtual alumni panel of former Swarthmore international students for current and incoming 1st year students. Discussions included exploring career options during and after college, with particular attention paid to the unique circumstances of international students. The virtual event featured Q&A and breakout room sessions.

Intercultural Center "Emerging Leader Award", Spring 2023

On April 20, fellow Aashish Panta received the "Emerging Leader Award" during the 2023 annual Intercultural Center (IC) awards ceremony. Panta was selected in recognition of significant leadership potential for his work on the IEFI project "Inclusion at Work: Diversity in Careers" which helps to advance and promote the goals and beliefs of the IC. In Panta's own words, "I am thankful to the IEFI team and my project advisor Erin [Massey] for their guidance and support during the project. The award has inspired me to reflect on my role as an IEFI fellow in the past year, and to continue advocating DEI at Swarthmore."

Aashish Panta poses with his award

IE Fellow Aashish Panta displays his "Emerging Leader Award"

Photo provided by: Aashish Panta
Queer Crafting Activity at New Student Orientation Week, Fall 2022

As direct result of an IE Fellows conducted survey for the "We were always here" project, orientation week of fall 2022 featured a Queer Crafting activity with Tiffany Thomson, Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Maggie Hussar, Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center. The event gave incoming students an opportunity to meet staff and learn about LGBTQ+ programs and services while crafting queer and trans accessories. 

According to Tiffany Thomson, also an IEFI project advisor, "From [the IEFI] survey, we discovered that many students did not know how to find other LGBTQ+ students and resources during their first weeks at Swarthmore.  Students expressed wishing there was something during orientation week to help find each other. As a result, we successfully piloted a Queer Crafting event for the class of 2026 orientation week. First years and transfers gathered to create colorful bracelets, pins, origami, and collages while developing community with other LGBTQ+ in-coming students."

Project Outcome Highlights

Initiative Development / Assessment and Current Events Project

Beginning in 2020, IE Fellow Laura Hirai '22 created the assessment infrastructure for IEFI that is still in use today. This rubric embeds DEI measurables into project management and assessment tools.

Excellence in NSE: Peer Inspired Support Tools for Academic Success Project

IE Fellow Hannah Holt '22 created an NSE Student Success toolkit for students in Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE) that continues to be accessible on the college's academic success website.

Anti-Racism Project

IE Fellow Destiny Rosulme '24 developed and implemented a series of community conversations with students, faculty, and staff on anti-racism.

We’ve Always Been Here: History of LGBTQ+

This project has documented the history of the LGBTQ+ population at Swarthmore in order to plan for future support and resources for LGBTQ+ students. Building upon data collected by IE Fellows Toan Cao '22 and Michelle Schremp '25, fellow Julie Stern '26 brought in  alumni to build upon prior research and give perspective on ways to continue to support students at and beyond Swarthmore.

Belonging and Mental Health

Led by Prince Tardeh '25, the college celebrated its first annual World Mental Health Day event on October 20, 2022 and continues to be held annually. The event featured a discussion on mental health with keynote speakers L. Simone Collins, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Josh Ellow, Alcohol & Other Drugs Counselor and Educator, and Allison Shan '23. Also included were wellness activities, healthy snacks, and a dog-friendly Walk for Health. 

The event, along with a separate Orientation Week brochure for FLI (First Generation and Low Income) and international students, were the result of focus groups held with FLI and international students to gain an understanding of what the college can offer to create a greater sense of belonging and community for students. 

IE Fellow Nzana Thillot '25, expanded upon the project research to identify student preferences for alternative counseling methods, including open discussion and activities. This led to "Hearts & Crafts" a partnership with CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) 

Flyers for 1st and 2nd Annual "World Mental Health Day" and "Hearts & Crafts"
Intersectional Sustainability

In 2022, Pedro Cruz '25 assisted the college's Office of Sustainability with Earth Day activities and raising awareness of campus environmental issues.

Power the Narrative Through Art (P9)

Since IEFI's inaugural year, the P9 "Book Club" has highlighted underrepresented artists on campus via regular, pop-up visual and performative arts programming and exhibitions for students, faculty, and staff. 

Voting and Inclusion at Swarthmore

Initiated by Kilin Tang '25, this project created a process for Swarthmore students using a preferred name to acquire an alternate college issued OneCard ID that is accepted at Pennsylvania polling places. Tang also increased inclusivity on Pennsylvania polling forms by advocating for a non-binary option on voter registration forms.

Inclusion at Work: Diversity in Careers

After interviewing underrepresented Swarthmore students to learn how Career Services could be more accessible, IE Fellow Aashish Panta '26 partnered with Career Services to form regular student trips to The Wardrobe (formerly Career Wardrobe) in Philadelphia to obtain free and low cost work attire. Panta also worked to provide additional support with resume writing and workshops for underrepresented students.

Good Trouble & Good Eats

In the 2022 - 2023 cohort, Heidi Berger '25 gathered students, faculty, and staff for a five session progressive dinner to discuss and develop DEI skills in facilitation and dialogue. 

Radical Practice of Care

With the ultimate goal of providing a toolkit of support for students, this project looks at causes of burnout associated with student activism and potential avenues for the college's health and wellness teams to offer relevant support.

Inclusion at the Core: A Toolkit for SWAT Student Social Life

IE Fellow Mya Chuluundorj '26 interviewed 100+ students to learn what makes them feel included in social events and student organizations in order to develop a toolkit for Swarthmore student social life.

Community at the Commons

In advance of the opening of the college's new Sharples Community Commons, Romina Quinn '25 worked with the Office of Student Engagement to gain insight on how to make the new campus social space more inclusive for student use.