A Word from Dr. Ande Diaz, Chief Diversity Officer

Andy Diaz

2024 promises change. From climate change to ethnic warfare to election politics, the issues of our times loom large. We are called to integrate our Anselmian spirit, empathy, and action to live our mission. 

We recently observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and we look forward to the theme of “Good Trouble: Dream Big, Act Bigger.” on campus this winter. To echo the words of our colleague “Let us redefine what it means to be Anselmian, so that it can mean, to work every day through our words and through our actions to open more doors.” – Wayne Currie, Director of the Fr. Jonathan Center for Intercultural Learning and Development. 

This issue of the bulletin, spotlights several of our Monks Making A Difference and gives us insights as to how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are ways to express our mission and identity. This issue also highlights the DEIB Status Report this winter. Lastly, don’t forget to check out the upcoming Campus Climate Survey where your views help shape our campus community. Read on!


Spotlight on Diversity: Monks Making a Difference

Here on the Hilltop, our monastic community is involved in the life of the campus - including our life-long learning and creating a culture of belonging in small ways every day. We invited a few to provide us with reflections on their campus roles and how they see the DEIB work on campus as an expression of our mission. 

Fr. Aloysius Sarasin, O.S.B.'17 

Where did you grow up? Your major? A fun fact or “hidden hobby”? 

Fr. Aloysius Sarasin

My hometown is Leominster, MA and I majored in theology with a minor in philosophy. A fun fact about me is that in college I became a certified EMT, was a lieutenant for SAC EMS, and am still a licensed EMT in the state of New Hampshire. 

Can you share a little about your involvement in advancing inclusion here? What is/was your role? 

As the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL), part of my role is to oversee the Emerging Leaders Program. One of the sessions is dedicated to teaching our new leaders about DEI and how it is played out here at the College. Our office also supports clubs and organizations that have DEI at the foundation of their constitutions. Past programs include the “Free Hugs'' speaker we hosted and this semester we will be hosting part of the annual MLK celebration. Lastly, I helped the office to apply for and receive a DIIF (Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Fund) grant for an upcoming program this coming semester. Stay tuned! 

How do you see DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) as an expression of our mission and identity? 

The Catholic Church teaches that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. With this foundational understanding of the dignity of all human beings, the Catholic Church inherently calls for the inclusion of all peoples. 

Any ideas you can share on how to strengthen a culture of belonging at the college? Or something related that you are personally looking forward to in the coming year? 

The best way we as human beings can strengthen a culture of belonging on campus is by loving our neighbor as ourselves. Just think, if all of us lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no division and no separation in life, but rather harmony, unity, and peace.


Fr. Francis McCarty, O.S.B. ’10 

Fr. Francis McCarty

Where did you grow up? Your major? A fun fact or “hidden hobby”? 

My hometown is in Northern Rhode Island and I’m a history major and Catholic Studies minor. A fun fact about me is that I like reading about technological innovations. I’ll also read anything written by Tom Clancy. 

Can you share a little about your involvement in advancing inclusion here? What is/was your role? 

I am the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry and a frequent collaborator with the Intercultural Center and other campus partners’ initiatives related to inclusion. I served as a student member of an early version of the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI). I am currently a member of the DIIF (Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Fund) Grant Review Committee and have served for the past 3 years. 

How do you see DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) as an expression of our mission and identity? 

DEIB is connected to our Catholic and Benedictine mission and identity because the principle of solidarity is at the heart of the Gospel message. The message of the Gospel is for everyone regardless of demographic category. The Kingdom of God is open to all. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for the coming of the Kingdom and for the will of God to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” We are part of bringing the Kingdom here to our little corner of the Lord’s vineyard and so we must then create an atmosphere where all are known, valued, and treasured. 

Any ideas you can share on how to strengthen a culture of belonging at the college? Or something related that you are personally looking forward to in the coming year? 

I think the best way to advance the culture of belonging is to speak with someone in person(!) and then actively listen to them…when we engage with others on a personal level, the perceived chasms that divide often become small puddles.


Br. Titus Michael Phelan, O.S.B. ‘12 

Titus Phelan

Where did you grow up? Your major? A fun fact or “hidden hobby”? 

My hometown is Swampscott, MA and I majored in political science. A fun fact about me is that I was a sailing instructor in my hometown, teaching children and adults how to sail small crafts. 

Can you share a little about your involvement in advancing inclusion here? What is/was your role? 

I recently started graduate school. I’ve worked in the Academic Resource Center and the Office of International Programs. In addition, I’m a member of the DEI Action Plan Committee and presented the DEI action plan and status to Student Government members. 

How do you see DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) as an expression of our mission and identity? 

To be Catholic is to be inclusive. The Gospel is for all people at all times so it is necessary to come into contact and embrace people at all stages of their lives. The virtues of justice and charity demand that we work to eliminate systemic barriers and social sin in our communities, whether that be poverty, racism, sexism, or lack of opportunities. 

Any ideas you can share on how to strengthen a culture of belonging at the college? Or something related that you are personally looking forward to in the coming year? 

For our students, it can often take a while for the sense of “belonging” to develop, and it looks different for each student. Each student needs to find his or her own niche in this community and understand that there is something for everyone here. It starts small, with one friend or one organization, one professor or one staff member, but that sense and culture of belonging grows each time a new friendship or relationship develops.


Did You Know?

Topic: Campus Climate Survey 

This month President Favazza invites students, faculty, and staff to share their thoughts about the campus culture around diversity and equity through an anonymous survey.

Get the facts: 

  • The college conducts a campus climate survey only once every four years. Don’t miss this chance!
  • It will take 15-20 minutes - you can do it in your pajamas!
  • This is a chance for your voice to be heard! Your voice matters! 

 

“As the Chief Diversity Officer I am confident that the administration truly cares and will pay attention to what you say on this survey.” – Dr. Ande Diaz 

As a result of the last Campus Climate Survey, scholarships were funded, staff were added in the Intercultural Center and training was provided to faculty, staff, and students, among many other things. Please watch your email inbox on January 30 for this opportunity to have your voice heard!


Happenings

  • Thursday, January 25 from 3:30 - 6 PM. Anger & Hope: African Diaspora Women’s Political Speech & Poetry Day. Goulet Science Reading Room.
  • Tuesday, January 30 at 4:30 PM. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner. NHIOP. Speaker: Ronelle Tshiela, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Manchester and NH.
  • Wednesday, February 7 at 8:15PM. MLK Jr. Vigil & March. Abbey Church.
  • Friday, February 9-10 Unity Retreat. Grotonwood Meeting & Retreat Center. 
  • Wednesday, February 14 at 12:30. African American Music Concert. Koonz Theatre.
  • Saturday, February 17 at 8:30PM. The Baltimore Slam Team: Spoken Word & Poetry Night. Coffee Shop.
  • Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00PM. Film: The Loving Story. Perini Lecture Hall.
  • Wednesday, February 21 at 5:00PM. Film + Discussion: John Lewis: Good Trouble. Dana 1D.
  • Thursday, February 22 at 6:00PM. Student Panel: “Good Trouble: Then and Now. Event Space.