Laughter and the smell of delicious lasagna filled the air as faculty and staff from the three departments within the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines filtered into the Gorecki Alumni Center on Friday, October 3rd for the All College Retreat. About 75 faculty and staff members were in attendance for the three hour program which featured a keynote speech and discussion by UND’s Associate Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, Sandra Mitchell.
The crowd was fully engaged in Sandra’s keynote presentation as she discussed ways in which faculty and staff can create an inclusive campus environment for all members of the UND community. She explained that inclusion is an ongoing process and one that all of us can work at every day by being open-minded, being aware, and learning more about diverse populations and cultures. After her keynote, Sandra led a dialogue and attendees discussed ways in which faculty and staff can make UND, and more specifically the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines, a more inclusive and welcoming environment that is supportive of all people. Finally, Sandra challenged the CNPD faculty and staff to continue the conversation about inclusiveness and to learn more about other cultures by attending events, engaging in dialogue about diversity, and keeping an open mind.
The retreat wrapped with the awarding of door prizes for a Starbucks gift card, gift cards to Old Main Marketplace that were donated by UND Dining, and a pair of beautifully knit mittens which were created by Undergraduate Chair, Stephanie Christian. Dr. Dawn Denny, a first year faculty member, will have all she needs for her first North Dakota winter as she won both the mittens and the Starbucks gift card. The grand prize from the Dean’s Wellness Walks, a gift card for a pair of shoes from Scheels Sporting Goods, was also drawn at the event and was won by Stacie Olson. Faculty and staff members who participated in the twice weekly Dean’s Wellness Walks were eligible to win the tennis shoe gift card.
The retreat provided an excellent opportunity for CNPD faculty and staff to gather, learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion, and have meaningful conversations. We would like to extend a special thank you to the Retreat Planning Committee members; Dr. Ken Flanagan, Stephanie Christian, and Lisa Brown as they worked hard to plan this successful event. We look forward to continuing the conversation about diversity and inclusion.