California State University, Northridge has received the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing United States colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — CSUN will be featured, along with 95 other recipients, in the November 2018 issue of the magazine. This is the third year in a row that CSUN has been named a HEED Award recipient.
“To receive the award for three years in row demonstrates that CSUN is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive educational environment,” said Natalie Mason-Kinsey, the university’s chief diversity officer. “It’s easy to say you are committed to inclusion and diversity, but CSUN demonstrates every day, in programs across the campus, that its faculty and staff are doing all they can to ensure that all our students succeed.”
Mason-Kinsey pointed to a number of programs that demonstrate the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, from CSUN’s nearly 30-year-old Maximizing Access to Research Careers Undergrad Science Training and Academic Research (MARC U-STAR) program, which provides support to underrepresented undergraduate students who are interested in the biomedical sciences; to more recent programs such as Bridge to the Future, which provides a four-year, tuition-free education to 25 students from Canoga Park High School annually; and BUILD PODER (Building Infrastructure to Diversity and Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research), which aims to increase diversity in biomedical research fields and prepare participants for Ph.D. programs.
“There are dozens of other programs across the campus that also provide support and encouragement to students from diverse backgrounds to ensure that the students are on the path to success,” Mason-Kinsey said. “What’s important is that not only does CSUN have these programs, but it gives the programs the support and flexibility they need to respond to the ever-changing needs of our students. This institution, to its very core, is committed to diversity and inclusion.”
The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.
“We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campuses.”