“Show Me YOUR Brave” is the theme of this year’s diversity conference Saturday, March 28, presented by SUNY Cortland’s Multicultural Life and Diversity Office.
The sixth annual Student Conference on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice will explore the deeper meaning of bravery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Corey Union.
“This theme encourages participants to inspire others to truly think about the meaning of bravery and challenges one to become an advocate and ally,” said Melissa Da Costa, interim assistant director of multicultural life and diversity, and Casey Towers Hall director.
Last year’s conference attracted 150 participants from nine different colleges and universities to participate in the various lectures, panels and creative performances offered.
This year’s keynote speaker, Lyndon Huling, a student activities coordinator at University of California at Davis, exemplifies the conference’s theme.
“I believe that the free exchange of ideas is at the foundation of higher education and that challenging dialogues are crucial in the development of student leaders,” Huling said.
Huling’s journey has brought him back from California to New York and the SUNY Cortland campus again, where he served two years from 2011 to 2013 as the College's first assistant director in the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office.
He hopes to challenge thinking while creating dialogue.
“By working with students, administration and community members, I strive to create spaces where every voice can be heard. I hope to engage the community and stimulate critical thinking.”
Huling received the 2009 International Campus Citizen Award from the Department of International Programs and Services at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
With his accomplishments, Huling feels he is honoring those who helped him on his own educational journey.
Huling has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California at Davis, where he completed minors in human development and education. As a student, he gained multicultural experience in working with learning communities.
As an assistant residence community coordinator at California State University at Chico from July 2009 to 2010, he oversaw the development, programming and sustainability of seven learning communities including Honors Houses, the Sustainability/Environmental House, the Project MATH House, the Natural Sciences building and the International House. As a campus staff member, he was frequently recognized for the quality of his service to students.
He received a Master of Arts in Education Administration with a specialization in student affairs from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
His graduate fieldwork at the University of the Pacific included developing diversity-related campus initiatives, including an inter-American Spanish immersion program. He also served as a graduate residence hall director there.
Before joining SUNY Cortland, he served as a residence hall director for Onondaga Community College, where he took part in multicultural and diversity programming and training.
The conference is open to the SUNY Cortland students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as students from other higher educational institutions.
To find out more about the conference or to register, visit the SUNY Cortland Student Diversity Conference page on the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office website. For information, contact Da Costa at 607-753-4162.
Prepared by Public Relations Office intern Kathryn Monno