The Equal Opportunity Institute, an NC State institution that has provided award-winning diversity and equity education to the community for 17 years, hosted Shaw University President Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy as the keynote speaker of its annual graduation celebration on April 27, 2016. Chancellor Randy Woodson provided an introduction for Dr. Dubroy, who earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at NC State just eight years ago.
Dr. Dubroy’s remarks were timely and on-point, reflecting on her experiences as a scholar in a STEM field, an entrepreneur, a black woman, mother of a young daughter, and an academic leader. Dubroy spoke on a wide range of topics, from troubling current events and how we can respond, to the challenges they represent. She emphasized the need to capitalize on the strengths of individuals based on the different experiences, knowledge, and perspectives they bring to the table, citing as an example NASA’s costly 1999 mistake of losing a $125 million Mars orbiter due to an all-American team of scientists overlooking the fact that English units of measure were used for a critical calculation when metric units should have been used. Watch the video of her entire remarks on the OIED YouTube channel.
This year’s EOI class, comprised of NC State undergraduates, graduate students, staff and faculty as well as community participants not affiliated with NC State, numbered nearly 90. The group included new graduates as well as EOI Graduate Scholars, who are EOI graduates who return to take additional workshops in a subsequent year(s). Because the Institute adds and improves its workshop offerings every year, the Institute welcomes participants to return for continued education year after year.
Opening remarks at this year’s EOI Graduation were given by OIED Interim Vice Provost Amy Circosta. Circosta delighted the audience of graduates and their supervisors and friends by sharing her story of finding the Equal Opportunity Institute online as a recent law school graduate in California, relocating to Raleigh, graduating from EOI and going on to obtain employment at NC State as an equal opportunity officer ten years ago. Now serving in OIED’s top leadership position, Circosta is proof of the positive connections gained from EOI, both for individuals and their institutions.