While ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ is often used as a singular term, they are two separate pieces to the process, two sides of the same coin. As organizations and groups strive to incorporate diversity and inclusion into their work, it is valuable to recognize the long term benefits for institutions: improved problem solving skills, innovation, and expansion of the talent pool. At this fireside chat, our speakers will discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in collaborative group settings, best practices around building an inclusive culture in group environments, and what we can do as individuals to encourage our organizations to commit to diversity and inclusion not only on paper, but more importantly, in practice.
Dr. Marla Franco serves as the Assistant Vice Provost for Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Initiatives and the Executive Director of Assessment, Research & Grant Development at the University of Arizona. She led history-making endeavors at the university, which resulted in the UA becoming the first four-year university in the state of Arizona to be federally recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education in April 2018. Her leadership also resulted in the UA being among nine institutions across the nation to be awarded the inaugural Seal of Excelencia in June 2019, which serves as a marker of distinction for exhibiting excellence in serving Latinx students. She is now working across the university to develop a centralized vision for maximizing this designation in a way that truly benefits students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members from diverse backgrounds.