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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Guiding Principles on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Statement from President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.

President Trainor and studentsDiversity, equity and inclusion excellence at Mount St. Mary’s University is a commitment the entire community makes to improve and sustain a culture of dignity and respect for everyone and where everyone knows they are a valued member of the team. When we truly embody the Catholic vision of the person, inclusion naturally follows. Catholic faith affirms that every human is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family, and that each and every person has inherent dignity and a right to a life consistent with that dignity.

All of us are called to live out the Mount value of inclusion: The Mount must harness the energy created by diversity of thought and engendered by a richly diverse staff, faculty and student body to ensure that all feel welcome and included. A diverse, equitable and inclusive Mount culture benefits our students, employees and faculty not only during their time here, but also after they leave the Mount as they will be prepared for success in an increasingly multicultural world. Our university mission, our promise to students, is to graduate ethical leaders who are inspired by a passion for learning and lead lives of significance in service to God and others. Diversity, equity and inclusion is about who we are and what we do.

Office of Equity and Success

Statement from Vice President for Equity and Success Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D.

Mount St. Mary's University graduatesThe Office of Equity and Success promotes an institutional climate in which all members in the community understand their value and feel welcomed and respected. We seek a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of humanity with the full participation of people who represent the breadth of human differences. To guide us in such endeavors, the bishops of the United States wrote Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, which outlines seven principles of social justice in Catholic teaching. By following these principles, we have committed to live as people for others.

One way the Mount has made this commitment is through these underlying principles that guide Mount’s five-year Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic plan developed by Mount’s Inclusive Excellence Committee (MIEC). We are committed to providing a diverse, equitable and inclusive learning and working environment because it enhances the educational experience for all.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) Making Excellence Inclusive framework guides our institutional diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Specific definitions for these terms are:

  • Diversity: Individual differences and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, religion, class, gender, country of origin and ability as well as cultural, political, religious or other affiliations).
  • Inclusion: The active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum and in communities in ways that increase students’ awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
  • Equity: The creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion.

Making Excellence Inclusive is an active process at the Mount designed to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, personal development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities.

The Mount promotes a spirit of diversity, equity and inclusion through academic inquiry, and programs and opportunities that reflect our foundational belief in the dignity of all.

It is clear that during the next two decades the American population will witness extraordinary changes in its racial and ethnic composition. We are experiencing those changes at the Mount. When university demographics at all levels reflect the society in which we live, students graduate with role models, mentors and first-hand experiences that prepare them for successful futures.

Undergraduate Students of Color at the Mount

During the past decade, Mount St. Mary's University has taken steps to become more inclusive, welcoming an increasingly diverse undergraduate student body.







Overall percentage of Students of Color.

DEI Strategic Plan

Following an intense, collaborative planning process, the Mount launched a second iteration of a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan aligned with the university’s goals articulated in the 2018-23 University Strategic Plan. This five-year plan shows our renewed pledge for developing a diverse university community while creating an inclusive and equitable campus climate. Contributions from all campus constituencies has been essential in helping guide the DEI process toward creative and successful outcomes. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the website for diversity, equity and inclusion at Mount St. Mary’s University.

For questions on diversity, equity and inclusion at the Mount, please contact:

Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D.
Vice President for Equity and Success

Email Dr. Whetsel-Ribeau

On this page

Celebrating Diversity at the Mount

SPARC Mosaic Festival

A celebration showcasing African American, Caribbean, Hispanic and Asian cultures through food, music and dance, held in April during the annual Scholarship, Performance, Art, Research and Creativity (SPARC) academic festival.

Learn more about SPARC

students at sparc mosaic festival
Social Justice Teach-In

Faculty devote a class session to a racial and social justice topic related to their discipline, and students participate in service trips.

2020 Theme: Intolerance

Teach In at the Mount
Fair Trade Week

A series of events promoting the principles and products of fair trade.

coffee beans for fair trade week
Intercollegiate and External Events

Conferences with other collegiate chapters of various multicultural groups.

MSMU P.E.A.C.E. Leaders

Heritage Celebrations

  • January: Martin Luther King Jr. observance week. Read about a 2019 event.
  • February: African American History Month.
  • March: Women’s History Month.
  • May: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
  • Mid-September-October: Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • November: Native American Heritage Month.

Organizations and Clubs That Celebrate Diversity

Center for Student Diversity

The mission of the Center for Student Diversity is to meet the needs of underrepresented and historically marginalized students by providing support, advocacy, guidance and training services for the greater Mount community. We develop students, faculty, staff and administrators who are more culturally aware and accepting of others who may be different from themselves to produce a socially justice minded environment for all.

Learn more about the Center for Student Diversity

African Student Association

The purpose of the African Student Association is to educate the Mount community on African culture, issues and accomplishments while enriching the diversity on campus. To provide an environment rich with cultural experiences for African students and make available this cultural experience for the Mount community. We are friends of Africa and Africans coming together to celebrate and raise awareness on Africa’s diversity and heritage. The African Student Association is an organization geared towards bringing light to the issues that Africa faces by not only stating the problems but also trying to solve them. As an organization, we strive to unify the Mount community. We promote awareness through dance, music, social events, discussion forums and community service.

Contact the African Student Association

Asian Culture Club (ACC)

The Asian Culture Club seeks to promote the unity, culture and heritage of Asian students which participates in the wider efforts to encourage and promote multicultural awareness. The purpose of the Asian Culture Club is to learn about and engage with a multitude of Asian cultures in a social, open and friendly environment. The Asian Culture Club serves as a liaison between cultures to help foster community within the Mount.

Contact the Asian Culture Club

Follow the Asian Culture Club on Instagram >

Black Student Union (BSU)

The Black Student Union is in effect to realize the purpose to educate its members in multiple aspects of the black community, to help acclimate black students into the wider student body of the Mount, to provide a locale where issues and concerns of the black community can be discussed in open conversational dialogue amongst students in order to discover solutions for community development, to provide a networking system, and promote group unity amongst its members.

Contact the Black Student Union

Follow the Black Student Union on Instagram >

Caribbean Culture Club (Tri-C)

The purpose of Caribbean Culture Club is to promote awareness and unity about the Caribbean culture to the Mount community through programming and social outings.

Contact the Caribbean Culture Club

Follow the Caribbean Culture Club on Instagram >

Integrated Learning Living Communities

As an enhancement to living in one of our residence halls students can choose to participate in Integrated Learning Living Communities (ILLCs). In ILLCs your floormates are also your classmates. You share the same faculty adviser and take at least one course each semester with other members of your community. The ILLCs are designed for you to explore mutual connections, and interact with peers and faculty around topics related to your common academic interests.

Learn more about the Mount's ILLCs

P.E.A.C.E. Leaders

The Peer Educators and Advocates for Campus Equality (P.E.A.C.E.) strive to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment by offering programs that educate and enlighten the Mount community on identity, power and oppression, and cultural difference. The Leaders host monthly Courageous Conversations, serve on university-wide diversity and inclusion boards, and are the Center’s premiere leadership group.

Learn more about the P.E.A.C.E. Leaders

Student Organization of Latinos (SOL)

The primary purpose of the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) is to celebrate and promote an awareness of Latin American culture on campus.

Contact the Student Organization of Latinos

Follow the Student Organization of Latinos on Instagram >

The V.O.I.C.E.

The V.O.I.C.E. is a student-run organization who strives to unify the voices of those who have been marginalized and ostracized at the Mount and advocate for the equal treatment and inclusiveness of all identities through whatever means necessary.

Contact the V.O.I.C.E.

Follow the V.O.I.C.E. on Instagram >

Women in STEM

Women in STEM (WSTEM) provides opportunities to support undergraduate women in science and mathematics while they find faith in themselves through their vocation in science and the values instilled in them at Mount St. Mary's University. An emphasis is placed on providing mentorship: students are paired with working professionals as well as peer to peer mentorship, both of which demonstrate proven effectiveness in promoting success for women pursuing scientific careers. The group hosts events throughout the year to support career development, academic success and community. Activities include invited speakers and networking opportunities, social events, study groups and community outreach activities.

Contact the WSTEM advisor, Abigail Kula, Ph.D.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee (MIEC) has long been committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and laid the groundwork for inclusion as an objective in the 2018-23 Strategic Plan under the goal of having a culture of teamwork. The objective states: “Ensure our campus environment is welcoming to all who seek to live, learn, and worship.” MIEC has created action plans for both 2018-19 and 2019-20 designed to lead to accomplishment of the objective.

The Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee (MIEC) is responsible for developing the university diversity, equity and inclusion plan. It was first formed in 2013. It is chaired by Vice President for Equity and Success Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D. It is comprised of representatives from all campus constituencies.

The MIEC is currently at work developing a five year Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan to support Goal 6.2 of the 2018-23 University Strategic Plan.

Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee Charter

I. Purpose

The Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee (MIEC) is responsible for developing the university diversity, equity and inclusion plan. MIEC will support the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of administrative units of the university. The committee aims to improve and sustain a culture where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and feels like a valued member of the university community.

II. Authority

MIEC is a standing committee that reports to Mount Council. MIEC also serves in an advisory capacity to the president on matters related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

III. Specific Functions

MIEC advises the president in addressing the following objectives. These are the ends we will advance toward as we seek diversity, equity and inclusive excellence.

  1. The Mount will continue to diversify its student body and students will achieve equitable outcomes and success.
  2. The Mount will be a welcoming climate and a more inclusive learning community, workplace and campus environment through intergroup relations.
  3. The Mount will define and advance diversity, equity and inclusion through education and scholarship.
  4. The Mount will have institutional viability and vitality through comprehensive development, continuous improvement, and active, intentional involvement with diversity, equity and inclusion.

IV. Membership

Members are appointed by the vice presidents / provost and include representatives from: Office of Admissions, Student Life (four), faculty (one from each school / college / division), University Marketing & Communications, Public Safety, Learning Services, Department of Athletics, an administrative assistant and two students.

V. Leadership

MIEC is chaired by the vice president for equity and success.

VI. Meetings

During the academic year, MIEC holds two 90-minute meetings each month depending on faculty schedules. Minutes of meetings, once approved, are posted on the shared governance site. Some materials reviewed will remain confidential at the discretion of the committee.

VII. Decision-making

Official actions taken by the committee are decided upon a vote. Voting is typically conducted in-person during our meetings. In the event that a vote is time-sensitive and needed prior to the next meeting, a special vote will be held via email with the members of the committee. The chair will pose and clearly explain the subject of the vote and seek questions. The results of the vote will be shared with committee members upon the completion of the vote.

VIII. Facilitate Shared Understanding

  1. Committee will report out to Mount Council and the president, at least, annually.
  2. Each meeting's minutes are posted to SharePoint so that the community is able to access them.

IX. Continuous Improvement

The MIEC reviews its charter each year at the first meeting of the year. The MIEC will evaluate its efforts very five years.

X. Amendments

A majority vote of members may revise or amend the MIEC Charter.

Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee Members

President’s Advisory Council for DEI

The President’s Advisory Council for DEI, established and appointed by the president in the academic school year 2018-19 is comprised of students, faculty and administrators. It is a forum for active participation of representative campus constituencies to ensure a welcoming and inclusive community related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The Council is charged to:

  • Advise the president and other university leaders on critical issues.
  • Recommend initiatives, policies and practices to enhance the Mount’s inclusion efforts.
  • Evaluate and track campus climate.


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Achievements 2018-19

Access & Success

Textbook loan and library reserve enhancements.

Revised billing and collection procedures to assist with financial holds.

Laptop loaner program.

Test-optional admissions.

Admissions two diverse hires.

Admissions microstrategies.

Advancement continued exploration microgrants funding.

Alumni of Color panel.

Climate & Intergroup Relations

Six Integrated Learning & Living Communities.

Programming ideas with Catholic Identity Committee.

Campus Climate Survey.

Men of Color support group.

Women of Color support group.

Weekly interfaith services.

Fr. Tolton play-community event.

Mass in Spanish.

Intergroup discussions on race.

Education & Scholarship

Expanded Social Justice Teach-In.

Expanded Summer Bridge Program.

DEI content in curriculum assesed.

Culturally Responsible Teaching Symposium faculty.

CEA accreditation for ESL Program in Seminary.

U.S. Culture Course in Seminary.

Institution Viability & Vitality

5-year DEI Plan development.

MIEC charter approved.

President's Advisory Council for DEI formed.

Tailored training sessions for employees.

Revised recruiting procedures to support DEI.

HR DEI dashboard reporting-Mount employees.

Athletic Department training-all coaches and administrators.

VP for Equity and Success.