Multicultural Graduate Student Orientation Set to Launch

Students at orientation

This week, Multicultural Student Affairs will host its inaugural Multicultural Graduate Student Orientation (MGSO). The event serves to familiarize students from historically underserved groups with the resources and support infrastructure available to them across NC State’s campus. Orientation is part of a new initiative rolled out by MSA to provide intentional services and programming for multicultural graduate students.

During the orientation, students will receive information about opportunities that enhance graduate students’ academic experience, campus resources and strategies for success. The orientation will foster a sense of community and provide a foundation to ensure that students can maximize their experience on campus.

Throughout the day, attendees will attend concurrent sessions with guest facilitators on topics ranging from respectability politics, major keys to success and ‘finding your people.’ In addition, students will have opportunities to learn about financial resources available to them. The orientation will conclude with an organization and resource fair.


Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Nashia Whittenburg states, “As an office, this is our first year intentionally providing programming support and resources to underrepresented graduate students. Support systems and a welcome orientation as a need were identified by our graduate assistant Erin Elliot during her first year as a graduate student. I am excited to embark upon creating this new PACK Strong tradition because it was identified, initiated and implemented by a student. It is my hope that we will persist in identifying student needs and meeting those needs as we have with MGSO.”


Multicultural Graduate Student Orientation will be held on August 25, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Talley Student Union’s Coastal Ballroom. Registration is required. For additional information and/or to register, visit Registration will close on August 21, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. or when capacity is reached.

Erin Elliot is a second-year graduate student in educational psychology and a graduate assistant in Multicultural Student Affairs.

About Erin Elliot

Erin Elliot presenting at a conferenceIn July 2018, Erin Elliot attended the fifth biennial American Psychological Association Division 45 Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race Research Conference in Austin, Texas. During the conference, Elliot presented a paper with NC State Assistant Professor of Psychology Elan Hope entitled, “A Meta-Analysis on Racial Identity and Academic Outcomes for Black Students,” wherein they reviewed 59 studies of Black students’ racial identity and academic experiences. They found that, for Black students, positive feelings about being Black and a strong sense of connection to the Black community correlated to more adaptive academic attitudes. When analyzing academic performance, Black students who were aware of the negative feelings others hold against Black people tended to have higher grades and test scores.