2022 State of Diversity Address

Welcome to the 2022 State of Diversity at Oregon State Address

The State of Diversity at Oregon State Address is an annual opportunity to highlight initiatives undertaken by OSU community members across the university to advance equity and justice.

This year's State of Diversity address features interviews with students, faculty, staff and community partners engaged in innovative teaching, research and engagement efforts. 

In 2018, the Office of Institutional Diversity launched Oregon State’s first comprehensive diversity strategic plan, Innovate & Integrate: Plan for Inclusive Excellence. Designed around five key goals, these interviews reflect the university’s progress in each area.

Welcome from the Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Scott A. Vignos, J.D. introduces the 2022 State of Diversity at Oregon State Address.



Goal 1: Integrate and advance inclusive excellence within all aspects of the university. 

OSU Foundation and Alumni Association DEI Initiatives


The OSU Foundation and Alumni Association recently launched a comprehensive DEI fundraising initiative to support the university’s inclusive excellence priorities and provide financial support for other OSU diversity and equity programs. 

The OSU Foundation are Alumni Association are committed to building a more equitable and diverse university by raising external funds to support critical institutional diversity initiatives that propel Oregon State University to its highest aspirations of an inclusive campus. In the last year, they have successfully supported fundraising efforts to address food insecurity, faculty recruitment, affinity graduations for students with marginalized identities, diversity in STEM, emergency scholarships and various efforts that address barriers to access.   

Kristin Watkins 
Vice President, Donor Engagement and Chief Marketing Officer 
Center for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business 


The Center for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business works with business leaders in the community to promote workplace cultures that foster inclusion and belonging. The pandemic, shortage of service delivery workers, attrition cost and the national racial awakening has shown us that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is not only a wise business strategy to remain relevant in today’s market, but as responsible community members and leaders, it is also an ethical imperative. 

Dr. Audrey Iffert-Saleem
Director, Center for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business

Goal 2: Improve recruitment of students and employees from underrepresented communities. 



Juntos Para Una Mejor Educación Program (Together for a Better Education) improves access to higher education by empowering K-12 Latinx families, engaging the entire family and school partners in the students’ educational goals. 

Juntos launched as a small pilot in late 2009 in to address unmet needs in communities. Their impact on the state of Oregon has continued to grow. They now serve 34 communities over 20 counties, have touched over 5,500 student and family participants, and bolstered a 90% graduation rate of those who participated in their 125 cohorts in over 100 schools.   

José R. García 
OSU Open Campus Juntos Coordinator 
Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program


The Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program, launched in summer 2021, creates a pathway to OSU academic faculty committed to advancing equity by providing opportunities for scholars to engage with OSU faculty and build relationships to foster the successful future recruitment of participants to the university. 

The program is designed to enhance and recognize the scholarship of pre-doctoral (ABD) scholars from all disciplines who are committed to inclusive excellence.  

Dr. Regan A.R. Gurung 
Associate Vice President and Executive Director, Center for Teaching and Learning 
Professor, Psychological Science 
Aundrea Collins 
2021 Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program participant 
Morgan State University 

Goal 3: Create an inclusive university climate to support the retention and success of all students and employees. 



Hosted by the Hattie Redmond Women and Gender Center, AYA facilitates long-lasting and dynamic support for women of color in all endeavors, making space for learning, growth and healing, and leading to long-term success. 

AYA launched in 2014 as a result of #ITooAmOSU, a student ­led action, and in response to bias related incidents targeting women and people of color at Oregon State University. AYA envisions and actively works towards creating an Oregon State University where women of color feel whole, nurtured, supported and loved.  

Shaina Khan 
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Hattie Redmond Women & Gender Center 
Maija Linh Pham 
AYA Leadership Liaison, Hattie Redmond Women & Gender Center 
Jada Dickerson 
AYA Community Relations Representative, Hattie Redmond Women & Gender Center 
Benajza Jones 
Leadership Liaison, Hattie Redmond Women & Gender Center 
Applied Humanities Bachelor’s Degree Program


Launching in fall 2022, this new online degree program emphasizes supporting adult learners who have accumulated college credits to complete their path to a degree to support their career success. 

The program was designed for learners with some college experience but who have not yet earned a degree, and includes many learners who are first-generation college students, parents and students of color. By helping students build a strong foundation in the liberal arts with a focus on cultural responsiveness and communication, this innovative program will also help students get to the finish line by providing free tuition for their final 12 Ecampus credits.  

Dr. Nicole von Germeten 
Director, School of History, Philosophy and Religion 
Professor, History 
Educational Opportunities Program Expansion 


The Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) provides wraparound support services and classroom instruction for students who have historically been denied equal access to higher education. In the fall, EOP increased their incoming cohort by 66% and launched the Dr. Lawrence Griggs Office of Black & Indigenous Student Success

For over 50 years, EOP has supported the academic success and retention of students who have traditionally been denied equal access to higher education. 

Dr. Janet Nishihara 
Executive Director, Educational Opportunities Program 
Dorian Smith 
Director, Dr. Lawrence Griggs Office of Black & Indigenous Student Success 

Goal 4: Provide innovative and transformative learning experiences enabling all students and employees to advance inclusive excellence. 

Inclusive Teaching Workshops


The Inclusive Teaching Workshops are a series of workshops providing faculty with knowledge and tools to create a welcoming and inclusive classroom, where all learners can thrive and achieve their highest levels of learning.    

Participants work towards a greater understanding of the how and the why of inclusive teaching, but even more importantly, they are encouraged to find their own unique place in Oregon State's effort toward inclusive excellence leveraging their own expertise and lived experience.

Dr. Inara Scott 
Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning Excellence 
Gomo Family Professor, College of Business 
Brenna Gomez 
Director, Career Integration, Career Development Center 
OSU-Cascades Doctor of Physical Therapy Program


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will prepare diverse health care professionals to adequately address diverse populations in a changing healthcare environment. 

In its inaugural year, more than a third of the incoming class for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program identifies as a person of color. The diverse representation of the cohort is the result of culturally-responsive admission practices and a commitment to creating access to students by removing typical barriers to success.

Dr. Christine Pollard 
Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program 
Director, Functional Orthopedic Resource Center of Excellence (FORCE) Laboratory 
Professor, Kinesiology 
Confronting Systemic Whiteness in Higher Education Seminar 


The Confronting Systemic Whiteness in Higher Education Seminar focuses on raising the consciousness of faculty about the systemic and institutional discrimination that Black students, faculty and staff face in higher education. 

Offered in 2020 and 2021, seminar participants experienced active daily curriculum of mini-lectures, readings, documentary films, in-class break out activities and reflection posts focused on understanding how whiteness has come to shape the dominant American consciousness, values, beliefs, perspectives and imaginations. Upon completion of the seminar, alumni are expected to organize and lead communities of practice in their home unit or college to bring about structural changes within their spheres of influence to create a more racially just institution.  

Dr. Dwaine Plaza 
Professor, Sociology 
Dr. Tenisha Tevis 
Assistant Professor, Education 

Goal 5: Communicate Oregon State's accomplishments, initiatives and innovations as the university advances inclusive excellence. 

The annual State of Diversity at Oregon State Address allows us to shine the spotlight on partners across OSU and our greater community, acknowledging their achievements and advancements in inclusive excellence. We encourage you share these interviews in your community networks. 

Also check out Taking Action, the biannual magazine of the Office of Institutional Diversity. View full issues, read featured stories and sign up to receive future editions on our website.


Read Taking Action


Office of Institutional Diversity team members contributing to the State of Diversity

  • Dawn Marie Alapisco, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation (NAGPRA) Coordinator
  • Teresita Alvarez-Cortez, Acting Assistant Vice President, Strategic Diversity Initiatives
  • Miguel Arellano Sanchez, Assistant Director, Outreach
  • Pamela Johnson, Executive Assistant to the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Jeff Kenney, Director, Institutional Education for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Scott Vignos, Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer


Special Thanks

Video production: Julian McFadden, Julian K Designs

OSU-Cascades video footage: Wahoo Films

Additional footage provided by:

  • University Housing & Dining Services
  • Dr. Lawrence Griggs Office of Black & Indigenous Student Success
  • OSU Extension Open Campus and Juntos
  • Oregon State Productions