More than 50 students, faculty, staff and community members attended a Diversity Fair at Tusculum College on Sunday, February 28, which highlighted the cultural richness of the college campus and the East Tennessee Region.
Students in Assistant Professor of Social Science Robin Fife’s service-learning class at Tusculum coordinated and hosted the event which featured a mix of presentations, skits and displays.
The students also worked with the George Clem Multicultural Association of Greene County in hosting the event, and in some cases, in preparing their presentations. Tusculum College is proud of its diversity, with a mix of genders, races and students representing 17 countries, in addition to the United States.
According to Fife, diversity has been part of the class’ overall focus. The presentations, skits and display tables focused on a variety facets of diversity such as cultural and religious groups they may not have been exposed to prior to their research.
“We want our students and the people in our community to learn about different religions and cultures and also gain a better understanding of the uniqueness and richness of the diversity here,” said Fife.
“I think it’s great for the students to sometimes get out of their comfort zone and experience different situations and populations, “she added.
Some of the student-developed presentations focused on gender and religious differences, while others focused on cultural and race topics, such as one group’s skit about “resume whitening.”
International student Simon Holzapfel of Nuremberg, Germany, a junior and sports science/sports management major, introduced the student skit about why resume whitening is used and explained that it is designed to give black applicants the opportunity to make it to the interview process and not be “screened out” based on items in their resume that may indicate their race. He added that while not all companies do this, there are some that make it more difficult for non-white applicants.
In addition to the skits and presentations, students also showed off a variety of displays based on their research and several community groups provided information as well.