Lehigh’s Faculty and Staff of Color Network recently hosted its second annual reception for new faculty and staff in the lobby of the STEPS building.
More than 50 people enjoyed food, drinks and singing by soloist Tina Okoye ’13 and Lehigh’s male a cappella group A Whole Step Up.
Each new faculty or staff member received a gift—a brown Lehigh umbrella. The reception also included remarks from Henry Odi, vice provost for academic diversity; Provost Pat Farrell, and President Alice P. Gast.
“Lehigh is at a very special point in its history; you will find a lot of energy and new ideas here,” said Gast. “I hope that, as new staff and faculty, you will feel welcomed and engaged. We are excited about our mission, and we know that your work is critically important to our students.”
The Faculty and Staff of Color Network is co-chaired by Jennifer Swann, professor of biological sciences, and Leon Washington, dean of admissions and financial aid. Founded in spring 2011, it seeks to foster a greater sense of community by offering support and resources, providing professional development, forging connections with other LVAIC institutions and hosting social events and receptions.
The network’s steering committee includes faculty and staff from departments and offices across campus, as well as members of Lehigh’s Black and Latino Alumni Network for Community and Equity (BALANCE), and a member of the diversity subcommittee of the university’s board of trustees.
“Our sense of community is getting better and better each year,” said Odi, who was appointed vice provost for academic diversity in May 2011. “It’s a distinct pleasure to be here and to celebrate Lehigh’s successes.”
Photos by John Kish IV