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Amway Employees Complete Amway Leadership Certification Program

In November, nearly 70 employees from the Amway Corporation completed The Amway Leadership Certification Program (ALCP).  This 8-month program, led by IPEx facilitators, offers 6 Graduate Level credits to those that complete the program.  A Graduation Ceremony will be held on December 16.  The ALCP course has run annually since 2009 with over 450 Amway employees completing the program.

How DU Defines Diversity

Numerous U. S. organizations representing different sectors, sizes and geographic locations profess their commitment to diversity. However, depending on the company and how it defines diversity, the demonstration of any dedication can range from lip-service to identified organizational outcomes for which leaders and all employees are held accountable.

What is diversity?  This seemingly simple question belies complex, historically and institutionally situated responses. Within higher education, definitions of diversity have gradually expanded in scope to reflect human differences on a variety of identity characteristics, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, national and geographic origin, language use, socioeconomic status, first-generation college status, veteran and military status and political ideology (Cuyjet, Howard-Hamilton, & Cooper, 2001; Smith, 2009; Stulberg & Weinberg, 2011; Worthington, 2012).

To ensure an appropriate understanding and approach to diversity at DU, during 2013-2015 a research project was undertaken by Drs. Keri Dutkiewicz and Rhae-Ann Booker, and they are working on publishing an article detailing their results. In this case study, the researchers considered qualitative survey results of employee diversity definitions submitted during our all-employee DEI level 1 training held 2012-2013.  From the 626 training participants, 454 definitions were received and coded. Significant themes emerging from the definitions of diversity include perceptions of diversity as:

  • action or non-actionable “fact” of existence,
    • “Valuing differences/building understanding and accepting many people”
  • respect,
    •  “Respect of the fact that all are created equal and that no one is more important or superior to another”
  • a workplace initiative, which may or may not be part of an individuals’ perspective outside of work,
    • “Acknowledging the workforce includes others very different than oneself and to be productive we must explore those differences and embrace them with regard and respect”
  • something apart from me, and/or
    • “Understanding the experience of other groups. I.E. race, gender, sex, etc.”
  • common, learned metaphors—salad bowl, melting pot.
    • “A melting pot of everyone’s backgrounds, characteristics, behaviors, cultures, etc.”

Overall, the results reveal largely positive attitudes towards diversity within broad, inclusive definitions referencing multiple diversity dimensions.  Significantly, most of our definitions do not directly mention race, ethnicity, gender and/or sexual orientation. Researchers question the extent to which broad individual and institutional definitions of diversity may enable a culture of inaction around historical, systemic inequities.  Broad definitions of diversity may be a necessary first step in building a culture of inclusion; however, additional work is required to ensure that these definitions do not overshadow the investment needed to create inclusion.

If our goal at DU is action, then our focus on definitions matters not for the precise terminology chosen. What matters is the individual attitude towards diversity. What do you think can be done to inspire everyone to do their part to build inclusion within and beyond their DU workplace, which will allow us to more effectively leverage the diversity that exists?

Cuyjet, M. J., Howard-Hamilton, M. F., & Cooper, D. L. (2011). Introduction. In M. J. Cuyjet, M. F. Howard-Hamilton,
& D. L. Cooper (Eds.), Multiculturalism on campus: Theory, models, and practices for understanding diversity and creating inclusion. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Smith, D. (2009). Diversity’s promise for higher education: Making it work. Baltimore, MD: John’s Hopkins University Press.

Stulberg, L. and Weinberg S.  Eds. (2011). Diversity in American higher education: Toward a more comprehensive approach. New York: NY: Routledge.

Worthington, R. L. (2012). Advancing scholarship for the diversity imperative in higher education: An editorial. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5(1), 1-7.

DU Attends Michigan Sport Business Conference

On November 4th, Internship Manager Brandi Melkild and DU students attended the University of Michigan’s nationally recognized, 5th annual Michigan Sport Business Conference (MSBC).  It was our first year, and certainly won’t be our last!  Read below for reflections from your fellow students, and keep a look out on PantherJobs/Events/Workshops to be sure you don’t miss important opportunities like this.

Warm Clothing Drive!

The Black Student Union is collecting gently used warm clothing for those in need around Grand Rapids. If you have items to donate, you can drop off items at the W.A. Lettinga Campus Welcome Desk, the Center for Campus Life (CCL), the Broadmoor and Kraft Lake Offices, or the front desk of South Hall. Items will be collected until the end of December. 

Davenport University Testing Services Among Top 100 in the Nation for CLEP Exam Administration

Davenport University Testing Services is among the top 100 in the nation that administers the most CLEP (College Level Exam Program) exams.  Becoming a top 100 CLEP test center is no easy feat and has great benefits to the students and community we serve. Learn more about the benefits of the CLEP exams here.

Library Website Usability Study

The Library needs your help! On Wednesday, January 18, the W.A. Lettinga Campus library will conduct a website study to find ways to improve the library website. Participants will only need to donate 30 minutes of their time, and will receive a gift in return! You will need to sign up for the study and be approved before choosing a session. Sign up for this study is available here.

12 Days of FREE SHIPPING starts Monday!

December 5 – 16 take advantage of FREE ground or smartpost shipping only at

The bookstore is offering 12 days of deals from December 5 – 20 in store only. Stop in to see a new deal posted each day. Each deal only last for one day and then it’s gone so stop in early and often for the best selection.

Alumni Success Story: Ellen Garrison ’00 & ’05

As the CFO of Accroseal, Ellen Garrison ‘05 is responsible for all aspects of accounting, human resources and operations. Ellen credits her human resources certificate from DU as the foundation for her success. “More doors have been opened for me thanks to the technical skills and knowledge I received while earning my HR certificate at DU.” Learn more about Ellen and her success in the manufacturing industry on the alumni blog.

LETTINGA: Adopt a Family for the Holidays

Help to make the holidays special this year for a local family in need. Students, faculty, and staff at the Lettinga Campus are encouraged to stop by the Center for Campus Life to select a gift request tag from their giving wall. Donations should be turned in by December 16th. If you don’t have the time to purchase a gift, you can also support the cause by donating money towards a Meijer gift card for the family.

Let’s #DUgood! If you have any questions or are looking for more information, please contact Alexa Girouard in the Center for Campus life at

MLK Day Essay Contest

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, all Davenport students enrolled for the winter 2017 semester are eligible to submit an essay of up to 500 words for a chance at a $1,500 scholarship! The essay should respond to the following:

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