Can the performing arts play a role in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at Penn State, in higher education more generally, in our communities, and in the global workplace? This is the action research focus of Dr. Tom C. Hogan, professor of practice in Human Resource Management, and his LER 460 HR Ethics class.
Dr. Hogan is leading a collaborative diversity and inclusion initiative to help Penn State become a global leader in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion through the performing arts. The initiative involves a number of organizations across the University including the College of Arts and Architecture, the Office of the Vice Provost of Educational Equity, the Penn State Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity, the Penn State Commission on LGBTQ Equity, and the Penn State Commission for Women, and the Penn State Alumni Association.
The initiative’s first program was held on September 27 and took the form of a community welcoming dinner held on the stage of the Eisenhower Auditorium for the Sphinx Virtuosi, a group of young black and Hispanic string musicians who won prizes at the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition. More on the event is available at http://news.psu.edu/gallery/428945/2016/09/29/sphinx-virtuosi-all-diversity-welcome-event.
In lieu of a final exam, students in Dr. Hogan’s LER 460 HR Ethics class are required to undertake a community service project. The projects represent engaged scholarship (i.e., out-of-classroom learning) experiences. For the fall 2016 semester, one group of students partnered with the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State to develop and deploy an assessment tool to determine the profile of students who are or could be highly engaged with the arts. The objective of the project was to identify students who could be more engaged with the Center for the Performing Arts and to develop a strategy to encourage them to become more involved.