Welcoming and Inclusive Community

An overarching goal for RPI is to be the most accessible, welcoming, and inclusive community we can be.  This is a goal that we share as a community. So many people on the president's listening tour said they wanted to see a much greater focus on this at RPI.

That means being thoughtful about the challenges faced by anyone in the minority here and making sure that RPI’s warm and supportive culture extends to everyone.

We strive to propose and develop mutually agreed upon aspirational goals, strategies, actions, and initiatives to be taken by the Institute which nurture and sustain a diverse and inclusive living, learning, and working environment at Rensselaer that ultimately help us make real progress in strengthening Rensselaer’s efforts to become the most accessible, warm, welcoming, supportive, and inclusive community we can be.


It is time to consider ways to… 

  • make navigating a hilly campus with limited accessible buildings much easier for our disabled students
  • lift any sense of isolation felt by our international students
  • make sure our underrepresented minority students feel fully included in every aspect of life at Rensselaer
  • support women students and faculty in departments where they are severely out-numbered—and even the playing field for them in their careers
  • instill a sense of safety and belonging in the LGBTQ+ members of our community.

Beyond that, we need to be one Rensselaer in spirit and practice. We may have vastly different backgrounds and experiences, but we cannot allow this to divide us when there is so much potential ahead.

Chair: Peter Konwerski, Vice President, Student Life   
Vice Chair: Nishtha Langer, Associate Professor, Lally

  • Sibel Adali, Associate Dean of Science for Research and Graduate Studies
  • Darlene Alvarado, Director of DRC and Campaign Operations, Institute Advancement
  • Travis Apgar, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Student Life
  • Zach Barringer, Graduate Student
  • Kevin Beattie, Associate Director, Athletics
  • Victoria Bennett, Associate Professor, C&EE
  • Anne Bilynsky, Director of Compensation and Employment, HRO
  • Latasha Brown, Director of Multicultural Programs, Student Life
  • Vic Brooks, Associate Director, EMPAC
  • Emilie Buse, Assistant Director, International Services for Students and Scholars
  • Ulysses deArmas, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Enrollment Management
  • Evan Douglis, Dean, School of Architecture
  • Will Fahey, Manager of Employee Relations and Professional Development, HRO
  • Shekhar Garde, Dean, School of Engineering
  • Mark Gilbride, Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Athletics
  • Claire Gonyo, Institutional Research Analyst, Office of the Provost
  • Lydie Kengne, Assistant Dean of Student Success, Student Life
  • Lee Ligon, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Biological Science
  • Marimar Lopez, Director of CBIS Research Cores, Office of Research
  • Antoinette Maniatty, Professor and Acting Department Head, MANE
  • Lydia Manikonda, Assistant Professor, Lally
  • Mike Radzyminski, Bursar, Finance
  • Leslie Norton, Director of Environmental and Site Services, Administration
  • Katie Paradise, Athletics Compliance Specialist, Athletics
  • Philip Patterson, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2025
  • Travis Rhone, Assistant Professor, Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Ethan Stubbs, Associate Dean, Fraternity and Sorority Commons, Student Life
  • Alicia Walf, Senior Lecturer, Cognitive Science
  • Jonathan Wexler, Vice President, Enrollment Management
  • Amy Youmans, Associate Director of Student Success, Student Life

  • What is our history around issues of inclusion, welcome and community?
  • What are our current activities at RPI?
  • What are best practices at other (peer) institutions?
  • What are our aspirations?
  • What should we measure?
  • What is the overall framework for an Institute-wide plan?
  • What are the needed resources (e.g., Staff, Space, Programs, Operations)?
  • How do we embrace the lived experience of our faculty, staff, and students?
  • How do we foster the Undergraduate and Graduate Student experience and sense of community?
  • How do we improve Access; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Belonging?

Some Big Questions

  • What should the Gender Diversity of RPI (Students, Staff, and Faculty) be in 10 years?
  • How do we better retain, nurture, and support diverse members of our community to achieve 95%+ retention among staff, faculty, and students?
  • How do we ensure we imbue multicultural sophistication and a global view in our students, staff, and faculty?
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