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Office of Diversity and Equity

Committee(s) and/or Working Group(s)

Last updated: August 2, 2021


UPDATE: The WCSU Diversity Council will reconvene in the 2021-2022 academic year to make recommendations on how best to support our university community during these challenging times with community trauma and healing.  The Office of Diversity and Equity will continue to workly to bring initiatives to engage the campus community. 


The Office of Diversity and Equity, in partnership with the Office of the Provost/Vice President for the Division of Academic Affairs, launched the first Diversity Council in December 2017.  The Western Connecticut State University (“WCSU” or “University”) Diversity Council (“the Council”) will be comprised of representation from Management/Confidential staff, AAUP, Clerical, Police, Maintenance and Student representatives to utilize their experience and expertise to develop and support methods for advancing the presence of diversity and inclusion of underrepresented minority groups within the university community.


The  Council will function as advisors in developing initiatives to recruit and retain underrepresented minority groups in the identified community groups of the WCSU community.  Council members will also identify partnership opportunities between WCSU and the business community for the purposes of: promoting mutual gain through activities like student/employee recruiting, mentoring, consulting arrangements, internship opportunities, and involving faculty members in practical business problems, solutions, arranging for guest speakers from industry, supporting University-wide outreach operations, and bringing students and employees into direct contact with members of the Danbury community. The Council will assist the Office of Diversity and Equity on key trends, changes, and developments so that Western Connecticut State University can more readily integrate “real world” matters into curriculum and other university activities

Key Priorities for the Council completed in the 2021-2022 academic year:

  1. Dissemination of information for WCSU Diversity Council membership and interest.
  2. Creating virtual and in-person university engagements for diversity and equity practices.
  3. Re-examining the creation and implementation of a WCSU Diversity Action Plan.
  4. Re-examining strategies and resolutions to promote racial trauma and healing for our university community.

As of January 1, 2021, the members of the Diversity Council are as follows:

  • Hasan Arslan, Associate Professor, Justice and Law Administration
  • Ethan Balk, Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Exercise Sciences (Extended appointment to 2023)
  • Michelle Brown, Dean, Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences
  • Michael Ercoli, Qualified Craft Worker – Locksmith, WestConnect Card Office (Extended appointment to 2023)
  • Jennifer Cunningham, CSU Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Eden Edwards-Harris, Resident Director, Office of Housing and Residence Life
  • Carol Huang, Associate Professor, Finance
  • Truman Keys, Professor, Communications and Media Arts (Extended appointment to 2023)
  • George Marasco, Storekeeper, Office of Property Management
  • Lorri-Ann Monte, Assistant Professor, Education and Education Psychology
  • Elisabeth Morel, Director, Office of AccessAbility Services
  • April Moreira, Assistant Professor, Social Work
  • Robert Pote, Director, Pre-Collegiate and Access Department (Extended appointment to 2023)
  • Paul Steinmetz, Director, University and Community Relations (Extended appointment to 2023)
  • Daryle Dennis, Assistant Dean, Division of Student Affairs (Ex-officio member)
  • Jesenia Minier, Chief Diversity Officer (Ex-officio member)
  • Brianna Woodson, Sophomore, BA Biology
  • Sara Risko, Sophomore, BS Health Promotion Studies
  • [Vacancy – Student representative – Freshman Year]
  • [Vacancy – Student representative – Junior/Senior Year]


WCSU Diversity Council Form(s):

2021-2022 Academic Year Meeting Schedule (posted August 2, 2021)

WCSU Diversity Council Nomination Form/Membership Information (posted August 2, 2021)

WCSU Diversity Council By-Laws (posted August 26, 2019)