Diversity & Intercultural Life
The kind of leadership we're building knows no bounds.
At Culver, we believe that belonging is an essential element in building a community in which each individual can bring their full potential. People can only invest in a community when they feel encouraged to engage the core of their identity and values. We serve our students, faculty and staff by facilitating discussions, hosting celebrations, and striving to cultivate a culture of respect where inclusion is imperative. This is our guiding philosophy in fostering belonging for everyone who calls Culver home.
Our community is expected to abide by our diversity statement:
"I will promote the well-being of others by respecting difference with kindness and open-mindedness."
We commit to community-wide education surrounding anti-bias practices in order to improve sense of belonging and care for marginalized students, and to help community members appropriately respond to bias and injustice at Culver and beyond.
Jessica HardingDirector of Diversity and Intercultural Life
Jessica Harding joined the Culver community as an Instructor of Chinese in 2015. She is excited to make the transition to full-time Director of Diversity and Intercultural Life. Harding began her educational career as a Resident Director at Marietta College, where she also served as a Coordinator in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Davidson College in 2008.
In 2015, Harding received her Master’s Degree in Chinese Language from Indiana University Bloomington. She is committed to improving whole-person education for students of marginalized backgrounds and identities. She co-facilitates the Cultural Competence and Equity Committee, and supports student leadership by co-sponsoring the Black Student Union, Chinese Culture Club, and Diversity Council. She also looks forward to arranging international exchange between Culver and Shanghai Foreign Language School in Shanghai, China.
Senior administration at Culver is committing to the following steps as a school:
- DEI workshops and institutional professional development for senior administrators (continuous throughout the year).
- External review of campus-wide DEI initiatives –recommendations from this review process will guide a new institution-wide DEI Strategic Plan.
- Regular, structured community time for adults to learn about anti-racist practices.
- Adapting institutional response to bias incidents and bullying around identity (race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, etc).
- Affinity group feedback process for underrepresented adult and student groups to share their experiences with campus leaders and senior administrators.
- Intentional community review of past and present student experiences shared via survey and social media. This will help all in our community understand more about the experiences of students from marginalized and underrepresented populations.
- Enhanced onboarding process and support network for BlPOC students and families (getting new students and families connected with adults, students, and alumni in the Culver community).
- Continuing and expanding commitment to targeted recruitment of BIPOC professionals.
- Building and strengthening connections with schools and community organizations that expand access to college preparatory education to BIPOC students.
A Global Perspective
The best whole person education takes place in a culturally rich environment, which affords opportunities for growth and holistic belonging to a diverse population of students. Culver has welcomed international students as an important part of our community since 1903. Effective leadership requires inclusive and global engagement; a student body with global representatives allows for diverse viewpoints, robust discussion, and innovative thinking that is foundational to the Culver experience.
A Culver education provides opportunities for students to share, establish relationships, and collaborate with students from across the country and around the world. Culver offers special programming that facilitates character growth, promotes balanced participation in a wide range of activities, and ensures that international students achieve at the highest levels to prepare them to be responsible global citizens who make positive change in the world.
Just as it nurtures the mind through rigorous academics, and fosters the development of a strong body through athletics and recreation, Culver also prioritizes a student's spiritual maturation. The Spiritual Life Department offers a variety of integrated programs, traditional worship services, and contemplative practices that permit students to develop their spirit, define, their values, and demonstrate character and self understanding.