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Swarthmore Honored for Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Swarthmore Summer Scholars on stairs in Parrish Hall

The Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program, which expands access to low-income, underrepresented, or first-generation students interested in STEM, is one of several initiatives that demonstrate the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

For the second consecutive year, Swarthmore College has been honored with INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only national recognition for colleges and universities demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Swarthmore is one of 96 schools to receive the honor this year.

“This award allows Swarthmore to examine our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and pause and celebrate moving the needle on making effective change in our community,” says T. Shá Duncan Smith, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development.

INSIGHT Into Diversity considers initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff when selecting HEED Award recipients. The application process is intended to help schools judge their diversity efforts and determine areas where they can improve.

Examples cited in the College’s nomination are efforts to recruit historically underrepresented and first-generation students, such as Discover Swarthmore and our undocumented student policy; the Summer Scholars Program and the Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program; and new initiatives such as the College Access Summit and Inclusive Leadership Conference.

Also cited in the nominations are the Diversity Peer Advisor Program, First-in-Family Programming, the Sager Series, the Community Development Fund, and numerous programs through the Black Cultural Center, Interfaith Center, Intercultural Center (which includes LGBTQ+ programming), and International Student Services, among others.

“This award also reminds us that we are in a process of continuous improvement," Smith says, "by providing us with an opportunity to reflect on areas where we can make enhancements as we continue to work to build a more inclusive community."

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