The 23rd annual Directions dinner and orientation for entering freshmen and diverse students took place at the African American Cultural Center on September 20, 2012. This year's theme was “Moving Diversity Consciousness Forward: What's RIGHT with this Picture?” Melvin Jenkins provided the keynote address, and President Michael Driscoll was among the honored guests and presented opening remarks.
President Driscoll with members of various student organization at the AACC. From left: Marquette Perrin, president, African Dance Ensemble; Jonathan Thompson, president, Latino Student Association; Driscoll; Toya Robertson, POIZ Modeling Troupe; Madison Nyah, Pan African Student Association; Carolyn Princes, director of the AACC; and Melkia Green, president of the Black Student League
For at least 23 years, the African American Cultural Center has sponsored Directions, the annual welcoming program for entering diverse students. The program has expanded to include not only diverse graduate and undergraduate students, but also students of the Ujamaa Living-Learning, social-justice focused floor in Delaney Hall and transfer students from the Punxsutawney campus.
The program's overall purpose is to not only welcome these students to IUP, but to provide them with further information and opportunities that can serve as a "roadmap for success," with directions that could aid them when and if needed on their journey through college.
Photo, from left: Naya McCrae, President Driscoll, and Nina Waters
Student recipients of the $500 African American Alumni Scholarship for 2012 and 2013 were among the honored guests. Driscoll spoke with both students—Naya McCrae (2012) and Nina Waters (2013)—and was highly interactive and engaging throughout his visit at the program. Special thanks are extended to all who attended and helped to make the program possible.
On September 6, 2012, Driscoll and Rhonda Luckey, vice president for Student Affairs, toured the AACC office and met with several students.
Photo, from left: President Driscoll with AACC graduate student worker Mariette Bien-Aime; Luckey; graduate student worker Cory Palek; and Princes
During his visit, Driscolll engaged in a lively, informal talk with the students, providing them with an opportunity to get to know him as a person and to address questions they may have had, including their perception of what they felt is needed but missing from the Center. For many of the students, this was probably the first time they had an opportunity to even meet and interact with a college president, especially on a level at which they could relate. Needless to say, Driscoll's visit to the Center was well received, and we are thankful for his taking time out of his buy schedule to tour the AACC and meet, greet, and interact with the students.
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