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Celebrations of Diversity

April 14, 2010

Celebrations of diversity seemed to abound at Saint Joseph College in recent weeks, beginning with the signing of a dual enrollment agreement with the State of Connecticut’s community colleges.

SJC Board Chair Jeanne Merola and Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell join me in celebrating the Dual Admission Nursing Program agreement.

We were excited to welcome Governor M. Jodi Rell and Chancellor Marc Herzog, along with the presidents and faculty of several area community colleges. They came to campus to sign and celebrate our new program allowing students to move seamlessly from an RN degree program at the community colleges to a BSN program at Saint Joseph College. The unique focus of this program will be on multicultural health and preparing students to understand and address the cultural needs of our increasingly diverse population.

The diversity of religious expression enjoyed by students at Saint Joseph College was also in evidence at a joyous evening of gospel music on March 31.

Voices of Praise performs at the Gospel Festival.

Organized by Saint Joseph College students for the college and Greater Hartford communities, the Gospel Festival brought together performers from six other institutions, including a university in Massachusetts. Our own Voices of Praise choir comprised nineteen student singers ranging from first-year students through seniors. It was inspiring to see the performers celebrate their faith and spirituality through music, dance, and song. The entire evening was an affirmation of students’ commitment to their religious beliefs as they combined their talents and enthusiasm to “make a joyful noise.”

Diversity of heritage, country of origin and family background were in the forefront of The World in Saint Joseph College, sponsored by the International Studies Program. Cultures from around the world were represented at informational presentations that featured delicious foods, beautiful crafts, and a variety of musical instruments.

Students enjoy the food and exhibits at The World in Saint Joseph College.

I was able to sample the Cuban flan, Irish soda bread, Indian and Caribbean dishes, Greek meatballs, and much more. The College-wide fair, which was made particularly festive with the performance of Mariachi musicians, also had a more serious side. Students presented their research on a host of international issues, from the history of Armenian genocide to the impact of the International Monetary Fund on developing nations. Once again this annual event was successful in bringing together students, staff, and faculty for education, food, and fellowship.

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