Swarthmore has been awarded 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. This is the seventh consecutive year that the College has been honored.
“Swarthmore and the Inclusive Excellence team are passionately committed to creating a space where all identities can feel that they belong,” says Tiffany Thompson, associate dean of inclusive excellence. “This award is just another reminder that our work is producing positive results."
The HEED Award assesses on-campus initiatives, programs, outreach, student recruitment, retention, and hiring practices for faculty and staff in the nomination process. It is the only national award that honors individual institutions for being outstanding examples of colleges and universities committed to making diversity and inclusion a top priority across their campuses.
The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requires the entire College community, says Thompson, which is why Swarthmore weaves that work throughout campus.
Among new initiatives are a pilot program offering computers to students in need; the BIPOC Student Group started by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), in which students of color have a non-judgmental space to share their experiences; and additional resources for identity and affinity groups through Career Services.
These DEI efforts will only grow with the hiring of the College's inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion S. Brooke Vick. Vick assumed the role on Jan. 8 and will collaborate with members of the campus community to lead the development of a comprehensive, cohesive strategy that defines and advances the College’s DEI priorities and goals.
A selection of the College's commitments and programs include the Textbook Affordability Program; Chester Community Fellows program; Philip Evans Scholars Program; veterans initiatives; Discover Swarthmore, Swarthmore Summer Scholars; Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program; Employee Resource Groups; and the food pantry partnership between the First-Generation, Low-Income (FLI) Student Council, the Our Food Garden, the Office of Sustainability, and the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) that provides fresh produce to FLI students.
Also applauded by the publication were College admissions policies and programs designed to recruit first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students, including Swarthmore's undocumented student policy, need-blind admissions, enrollment fee waivers, and partnerships.