Woven Together through Diversity and Inclusion

Updated May 28, 2015

Founded in 1871, Shepherd University is located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Only an hour from Washington, D.C., this liberal arts college prides itself on providing an affordable and high-quality education that prepares students for an increasingly diverse world.

In 2009 the university was granted admission to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a select group of liberal arts institutions. Currently COPLAC consists of 27 member institutions.

Thomas Segar
Vice President Thomas C. Segar leads the Division of Student Affairs, comprised of 67 full-time and 35 part-time staff members across many departments, including Residence Life, the Student Center, Greek Affairs, and the Office of
Multicultural Student Affairs.

According to Segar, the Division of Student Affairs has engaged in a number of meaningful partnerships across the university to promote diversity and inclusion.

Segar explains, “Our division values diversity and inclusion, not just in some of what we do, but in all that we do. Diversity and inclusion is the very thread and fabric in which our division is woven, and it covers all that we do in practice.”

Segar says he feels that the division’s focus on diversity and inclusion was one guiding force as staff members made
decisions to partner with campus units, such as the division’s partnership with the Department of Nursing on a federal nursing workforce diversity grant, which seeks to foster campus wide conversations about diversity and cultural competency.

Another example of the Division of Student Affairs commitment to actively engaging diversity and inclusion is the
universitywide mentoring program for at-risk students.

In this initiative, division staff members serve as both personal and academic mentors. Roughly 20 professional staff
members participate in the mentoring program.

According to Annie Bremer, program assistant for student success and a program mentor, the mentoring initiative
provides a great way for staff members to give back to students who often struggle with a sense of belonging on
campus.

Bremer notes, “It is a great way to give back. It does take time, but you get to use your skills in a more personal way.”

The commitment made to diversity and inclusion is evident to even the newest members of the division. Jose
Luis Moreno, assistant dean of students and a first-generation college student, has found the division particularly
attentive to and proactive about issues of diversity and staff composition.

He shares that the division is intentional in its efforts to diversify faculty and staff because “the university understands the impact of its members with different backgrounds, circumstances, culture, abilities and lifestyles can have on developmental, social and academic growth of a student.”

Their intentional efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion is, in part, what makes Shepherd University’s Division of Student Affairs one of this year’s “30+ Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.”