As I reflect on my class experience this semester, it has been nothing but positive. I remember Dr. Grimes asking everyone to share why they took this course on the first day of the class. I also remember my answer as I shared that not only this class was highly recommended by past students (masters and doctoral) from the higher education program, but I wanted to learn more about diversity and inclusion. No amount of knowledge is enough on diversity and inclusion. There is always something new to learn or something to improve.
Prior to enrolling in the master’s of the higher education program at Virginia Tech, I completed a bachelor’s degree at Stockton University which is a small-midsize public institution in southern New Jersey. At Stockton, I became involved on campus and served in various leadership roles. While training for these roles, I was introduced to diversity and inclusion in depth. Prior to training for various leadership positions, I would say that my knowledge in diversity and inclusion was very surface level that it was almost non-existent.
Since I began the master’s program, the topic of diversity and inclusion has been discussed in all of my classes as well as my graduate assistantship. Because of this, my knowledge in the area of diversity and inclusion has increased tremendously. However, as I mentioned above, the knowledge I gained is never enough. There were things that I learned in this course which I had not learned in the past and/or considered in my work.
Blog posts and class discussions helped me learned about diversity and inclusion in various functional areas which I had no knowledge about and global higher education presentations helped me understand higher education in various parts of the world. This course has helped broaden my knowledge of diversity and inclusion in higher education not only in the U.S. but countries other than U.S. which I am extremely grateful for.