A Chat with Diane Crawford: Newly Appointed Executive Director for Institutional Culture
Diane Crawford was recently appointed to the new position of executive director for institutional culture at the Whitman School. Crawford came to Whitman after serving as president of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals of Central Pennsylvania, providing professional development and networking for diversity and inclusion practitioners throughout the region. Her previous roles include diversity and inclusion global manager for the Hershey Company, where her responsibilities included establishing Hershey’s first employee Business Resource Groups: Women, LGBTQ, African American, Latino, Asian American, Veterans, Abilities First and Young Professional. While at Hershey, she was also responsible for developing community partnerships between the company and nationwide community organizations. In addition, she has served as a career advisor for a skills-to-work program under the Harrisburg Area Community College Workforce Development Department. Crawford holds a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science and a master’s of education, both from Pennsylvania State University. Whitman Magazine sat down with her to learn more about her new role and what the Whitman community can expect in the months and years to come.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE WHITMAN SCHOOL AND SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY?
In addition to the Whitman School’s stellar reputation for educational excellence, I saw great potential in the opportunity to be a part of enhancing and building a culture of inclusion for every member of the Whitman community. I am excited about the opportunity to help distinguish Whitman as an inclusive business school that cultivates global leaders ready to make contributions to the world of business and society.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS YOUR PRIMARY ROLE?
My primary role is to provide leadership in shaping and creating the school’s diversity and inclusion initiatives that will continue to advance the school’s core values for the students, alumni, faculty, staff and volunteers. I want to ensure that every member of the Whitman community truly feels a sense of belonging and they have the tools and space to learn, grow and authentically contribute. I welcome the opportunity to serve as a resource and mentor for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION?
I once heard diversity and inclusion described as “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Too often, we think having diverse representation is the answer, and we miss the importance; it is about inclusion and equity. Diversity and inclusion are multidimensional concepts that include, but are not limited to, diversity of thought, race/ethnicity, religion, gender expression/identity, socio-economics, veterans, sexual orientation and generations.
WHAT CAN THE WHITMAN SCHOOL COMMUNITY EXPECT?
Building the stage for enhancing an inclusive culture, we can expect to see intentional upfront engagement and communication, driven by Whitman’s core values of Inclusion, Collaboration, Innovation, Integrity and Excellence. Whitman’s core values will be a part of our processes, including talent acquisition, onboarding, professional training and development, performance management, reward and recognition.
Faculty, staff and students can look forward to learning opportunities in diversity and inclusion education and cultural competencies. Students and faculty can participate in formal mentoring programs. Student and faculty organizations will be designed to enhance engagement and belonging at Whitman.
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