The first grant, which totaled $66,325, is a three-year program enhancement grant that will be used to enhance CSCC’s annual multicultural fair held during the spring semester. This grant will enable more educational programs and displays to be presented on various cultures.
It will also involve expanding the fair to include more exhibits, guest presentations, additional food, and more interactive educational presentations with audience participation.
Last year’s multicultural fair hosted storytellers, dancers, culturally based food and exhibits highlighting different cultures, and various musicians, including a bagpiper, a bluegrass band, and other soloists.
It attracted some 300 people, and this year is expected to have an even greater number of participants because it is going to be more of a communitywide event. The event will also be on a Saturday this year so as to accommodate working adults and schoolchildren.
“The cultural festival has been a very successful spring event at Cleveland State for the past three years,” said Jana Pankey, assistant professor, human services/social work.
“The TBR Access and Diversity Grant will provide us the opportunity to expand and enhance our festival to allow the entire community to participate. Cleveland is becoming more diverse, and this is a great way to learn about different cultures and celebrate diversity.”
Dr. Jerry Faulkner, vice president of Academic Affairs, said, “Mrs. Pankey and those that assist her do an excellent job of organizing the cultural festival and we are pleased that it has grown every year. Prejudice can only exist in a climate of ignorance. At Cleveland State, we are dedicated to using education about other cultures to overcome misperceptions and the resulting biases. The cultural festival is a valuable tool in that process.”
Cleveland State also received a Program Enhancement Project Grant for $8,000 to expand the college’s ACCESS Mentoring program, which was funded by this same grant in 2008 and 2009.
The AMP invites students who are receiving the Diversity Scholarship to participate in the mentoring program. Each student is assigned a mentor in the ACCESS Center, as well as other staff volunteers throughout the Student Services Department.
This grant will allow the ACCESS Center to offer more services to the AMP students through speaker workshops, leadership training, trips to other college mentoring programs and trips to historical sites. The program will continue to increase student retention through offering academic support and positive campus experiences to students from diverse backgrounds such as first-generation college students and economically disadvantaged students.
“Facilitating student progress through their first semester is a very important aspect of a student’s college career,” said Natalia Williams, coordinator of Diversity Student Programs.
“The purpose of the Access Mentoring Program is to develop a supportive environment for students through positive, mentoring relationships with our Access Center Staff, provide increased access to counseling, career planning, and advising services and to also provide programs and activities that facilitate adjusting to campus life and involvement. Our roles, as mentors, are to provide services that, overall, help the mentees become accustomed to the academic and social community of CSCC.”