Tag Archive for 'Inclusive Excellence'

Movers and Shakers: Former SOL President on Inclusive Excellence and Career Services

By Emily Colon

Last semester, Luis Barrios served as the president of the Student Organization of Latinos. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in December 2011 as a supply chain and operations management major.

Barrios has been the president of SOL for two and half years, taking one year off. He first ran during his sophomore year, and then his junior year. He decided not to run his senior year, but came back in 2011 for his fifth year and decided to run again and won. His motivation to run for president was to include more diversity and involvement into the organization.

He worked closely with the English and Spanish departments as well as admissions. His biggest struggles were recruitment and retention, Barrios said. His favorite part of being president was his personal development and the connections he made.

Barrios said that inclusive excellence is “a hard one” to define. When he thinks of inclusive excellence, he thinks of diversity. Barrios believes SOL represents inclusive excellence.

When asked about his experiences as a diverse student on campus, he said that in the end he “learned how to manage.” Barrios said he was culture shocked when he first arrived at University. He overcame this struggle by joining organizations such as SOL, Omega Delta Phi, and accounting club and by making new friends

As a student in the College of Business, Barrios was required to use the resources offered by Career Services, but he used it for personal reasons as well. Barrios said he drafted his first resume with the help of Career Services. Career Services has been beneficial to him and he will continue to use Career Services in the future, Barrios said.

Barrios especially enjoyed the photo shoot he helped out with for Career Services. He said he would highly recommend Career Services to friends. Barrios believes that some of the information he acquired from Career Services will help him in his future.

While in school, Barrios interned at Miles Kimball. Through his internship, he received a job offer for a management position in Madison, his hometown.

Barrios said that he has used social media, such as LinkedIn, in his job search. A valuable tip Barrios learned in college that will stick with him for the rest of his life is “not to put the napkin on the chair when you get up,” he said.

Movers and Shakers: Meet Career Adviser Rich Marshall and learn about Inclusive Excellence

Rich Marshall, Career Advisor  – Thoughts on Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive excellence is a term that has received a lot of recent visibility around the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. The Department of Student Affairs, in addition to a number of other departments on campus, established committees to focus on implementing inclusive excellence programs within their divisions. Through my role in Career Services, I have served on the Student Affairs’ Inclusive Excellence Committee for the past several years. Despite the increasing visibility of the inclusive excellence term, it appears that uncertainty exists as to the definition and ways to incorporate inclusive excellence into our personal and professional development.

Inclusive excellence stems from a more familiar term, diversity. The reality is that we all come from unique backgrounds and cultural perspectives. From the definition offered by the UW System, diversity is a term that reflects the ability to include individual differences (i.e. personality, learning styles and life experiences) and group/social differences (i.e. race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability and political, religious, cultural and other affiliations) in the process of learning. Inclusion is the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity in ways to increase one’s awareness, knowledge and compassion for those with different perspectives and cultural backgrounds.

In simpler terms, diversity acknowledges and embraces the fact that differences exist in our personal and cultural backgrounds, values and perspectives. Inclusive excellence begins with the belief that these differences bring value to the greater community (educational, social and professional). It solidifies itself with a personal plan to increase one’s awareness and understanding of the cultural experiences and perspectives of others. These personal plans require stepping outside of one’s own reality and comfort zones.

I grew up in a rather non-diverse environment that embraced a very white and middle class perspective. I did not discover the existence of different cultures and perspectives until I entered college. I did not truly start to embrace and appreciate the differences in others until I started to step outside of my reality and comfort zone. College provided an excellent avenue to increase my experience and awareness. I attended speakers, events and student organizational meetings to interact with people from different backgrounds.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers an avenue to put inclusive excellence into action. Many student organizations and campus departments host multi-cultural events and speakers. OrgSync and university announcements are great ways to stay connected to the plethora of opportunities that exist right here within our university community. In fact, the InterTribal Student Organization is hosting Ariel Luckey, a nationally-known speaker who merges storytelling, spoken word poetry, dance and hip hop music into narratives of personal and political transformation, next Friday, November 18, at 6 P.M. More information will come out via university announcements next week.

I encourage each of you to look within yourselves, embrace diversity and put inclusive excellence into action.

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