Dean Weaver opened the Inaugural Julie & Mark Zerwic Diversity Award celebration to honor Ms. Charese Jackson; in her words “for being a champion of diversity, equity, & inclusion”. Charese has worked closely with leadership to help identify ways that the College could be more effective in its DEI efforts. There were also remarks from Julie & Mark Zerwic to thank Charese for being a kind, caring ambassador and first-time award recipient. Her connection to the university extends over 17 years and her dedication to the College of Nursing has been 10 years.
The room was filled with happy guests celebrating Charese, and included a host of her family members, church members, OAP team, faculty, staff, and students.
During Ms. Jackson’s speech, she discussed her vision for DEI, future endeavors, and dreams for the College of Nursing. Charese accredits her faith as the driving force behind her work and it has caused her to consider culturally appropriate programming that addresses the needs of a changing society. Here are a few highlights of her future work:
- Work closely with the Associate Dean for DEI
- Present culturally relevant topics
- Integrate the Fall Cultural workshop into an ongoing class
- Propose that UHP becomes a part of the faculty orientation & Faculty & Staff retreats
- Establish a comprehensive nursing pipeline program for Highschool to BSN, or LPN to DNP for minorities
In closing, Charese discussed her dreams that the CON becomes intentional with hospitality. She says a good place to start is to meet someone you don’t know, check bias & stereotypes, and be open-minded. Professionally we can all look at interruptions & inconveniences as opportunities to grow & serve.
Mesi Anpil! (Thank you in Haitian Creole).