Welcoming You To a New Year

Image of about 150 MSASS students outside Mandel school smiling and waving

It’s a New Year!

Having been continuously in school since I was 4, I regard the start of the new academic year as an exciting event every year. I enjoy meeting new students and greeting returning people. The opening of fall semester marks the beginning of new endeavors and represents an opportunity to solidify our commitment to our mission: To advance leadership in social work and nonprofit education, scholarship and service to build a more just world.

Already this fall, with the start of classes still a few days away, I see several reasons to be energized by the efforts I see taking place at the Mandel School and campus-wide to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

As you walk into the Mandel School, you’ll see our Black Lives Matter poster, a statement reminding us of our duty to foster inclusivity in our personal and professional space. Additionally, at orientation this weekend, new students were encouraged to wear stickers identifying their preferred pronouns. This is in line with steps the university as a whole is taking toward being a safer and comfortable place for all members of our community. The most recent update to the Student Information System includes fields for students to add personal pronouns, prefixes and gender to their university profiles.

Looking ahead this semester, events are taking place to help faculty and staff to properly pronounce the names of our international students; to welcome multicultural students to campus; to discuss queer love; to explore cultural appropriation; and so much more.

These initiatives are a step in the right direction. They are indications of our community taking concrete measures to ensure that all are welcome on our campus. I applaud such initiative.

I believe these efforts are indicative of our community taking the right steps to advance social justice. But, we know there is still work to be done.

Even as social workers and nonprofit professionals, we are not immune to microaggressions, misgendering or implicit bias. We are human after all. What sets us apart, however, is the commitment we share to exploring these topics together as well as our dedication to challenging each other, and ourselves, to always strive for better.

I look forward to continuing the journey with you all.

Best regards,

Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
Dean in Applied Social Sciences

Find a list of upcoming events here! 

Highlights Include: 

MNO Bootcamp | Aug. 22
Say My Name Workshop – International Student Services | Aug. 29
Found Families | Aug. 25 | Bringing together people in the LGBTQ+ community of many ages, religions, socioeconomic statuses, races.
Annual Multicultural Welcome Reception | Sept. 5
“Queer Love: Then and Now” Arts Installation | Week of Sept. 28
“Ethics Across Cultures: Diverse Voices, Shared Values.” | Sept. 27
Me Too: An Evening with Tarana Burke | Oct. 16
What is Global Citizenship: A Forward-Thinking Discussion | Oct. 5
I Am Evidence Movie Screening & Discussion | Oct. 24
Cultural Appropriation | Lunch and Learn | Nov. 2
International Education Week 2018 | Nov. 12-16