Georgia State Receives Diversity Award

ATLANTA – Georgia State University has received the first Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The HEED award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Georgia State will be featured along with 47 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s December issue.

Beyond diversity, Georgia State was evaluated for inclusion initiatives related to gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

“This impressive recognition is further testimony to the fact that Georgia State is not merely distinctive for the incredible diversity of the students it enrolls,” said Timothy Renick, associate provost for academic programs at Georgia State. “We are also distinctive in providing programs and support that allow these students to succeed at levels that are setting the pace nationally.”

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, said Georgia State was selected based on the university’s commitment to diversity through programs such as the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program and the Goizueta Foundation Scholarship, created to recruit, retain and graduate Latino students and prepare them as global leaders.

“The programs for minority students funded by the Goizueta Foundation and Coca Cola exemplify the outstanding efforts that makes Georgia State University a leader in giving the opportunity to students who otherwise would not be able to receive a quality education or be able to study in another country,” Pearlstein said. “In addition, creating the position of associate provost for faculty affairs as well as developing a Distinguished Faculty Fellow program shows the commitment by the university to diversity and inclusion within their faculty.”

As Georgia State continues its work to provide a national model of academic success for diverse populations, the university has received a variety of other recognitions for diversity. Earlier this year, The Education Trust ranked Georgia State No. 1 among all public universities in the nation for the rate at which it graduates Hispanic students relative to other student populations, and No. 2 in the nation for its improvement of graduation rates for Hispanics.

The university is also ranked No. 5 in the nation for the rate at which it graduates African-American students relative to other student populations.

“We hope the HEED award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st century higher education landscape,” Pearlstein said. “Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus. Our students of today are the employees of tomorrow and the future of our country. As students begin to enter the workforce and a global society, they must first be surrounded by and supported by faculty and staff that understand the differences among cultures and their needs.”

Nov. 19, 2012