Whitman Promotes Diversity and Equity Through Inclusion Student Leader Internship

image of Diane Crawford and some of her student interns outside of the Whitman School

Whitman Promotes Diversity and Equity Through Inclusion Student Leader Internship

Syracuse University aspires to be a pre-eminent and inclusive student-focused institution, preparing engaged citizens and leaders for participation in a changing global society by promoting a culture of innovation and discovery. The Martin J. Whitman School of Management is following that lead with a number of student opportunities that will help build a resume of experience that demonstrates hands-on learning in diversity, equity and inclusion, while preparing to one day work for companies that also value rich diversity efforts.

As part of this effort, the Whitman School is creating a culture of empowering students to realize their whole potential through a new inclusion student leadership internship. This is led by Diane Crawford, executive director of institutional culture, and currently includes seven inclusion student leaders — Noble Alden ’21, Jared Byrd ’23, Connor Esposito ’21, Andrea Lan ’22, Omari Romain ’21, Jing Sun ’20 M.S. and XinYu Wang ’21 M.S. — all of whom are supporting and engaging underrepresented students and the entire Whitman community.

"When you’re doing meaningful work that touches others, it changes your Whitman experience," says Crawford. "My hope is that our inclusion student leaders can engage as many as possible to participate in our new diversity and inclusion initiatives. I hope the work that they do makes a difference in the students, and they are able to share their passion."

Inclusion student leaders have helped to facilitate conversations with the school’s community around such issues as the overall Whitman culture, building awareness, using preferred pronouns and discussing how Asian students are seen during the current pandemic.

The Whitman inclusion student leaders will help to implement a new mentorship program for first and second year students next semester. Other initiatives include the Build Local Initiative, a student volunteer program that provides an opportunity to expand students' skill sets and apply the theoretical management knowledge to help solve real-life business solutions for small minority and women-owned local businesses in Syracuse; and the EY/Whitman Young Executives of Color Initiative, which is a partnership with EY for a nine-month college pipeline program for historically underrepresented minority high school students interested in attending business school.

"As an inclusion student leader, I have an opportunity to help students learn and build awareness about many sensitive topics," says Wang. "The Whitman School provides an inclusive environment, but we aim to make it better and get more of the Whitman community with different background involved."

Crawford and the inclusion student leaders are working on creating lasting positive change to foster a welcoming and comfortable community for all students at Whitman, as the School strives to become a leader among the top business schools in the country.

Learn more about the Whitman School of Management’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives here.  

Kimmy Kimball