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SCC Recognizes Individuals for Commitment to Diversity

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Above: L-R: Brother James Barleston, pastor of South Maple Street First Baptist Church in Somerset; Dr. Jo Marshall, President and CEO of Somerset Community College; Elaine Wilson, Director of Cultural Diversity for Somerset Community College.
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Above: L-R: Zhiming Xia, Associate Professor of Business and Professional Services at SCC; Elaine Wilson, Director of Cultural Diversity for Somerset Community College.

Not Shown: Winfrey Bates, SCC Russell Center Director and Assistant Director of the Upward Bound program.

Elaine Wilson, Director of Cultural Diversity for Somerset Community College, presented the 2012 SCC Diversity Awards at the Annual SCC Fall Convocation held at The Center for Rural Development on August 8.

Winners for the awards were chosen by an independent committee of college staff members. Three SCC employees and one community member were honored at the event.

Brother James Barleston was presented the award as a community member who has advanced the cause of diversity. Barleston is the pastor of South Maple Street First Baptist Church in Somerset, which hosted the 2012 Super Sunday event. Super Sunday is a KCTCS initiative created to benefit potential students, particularly African-Americans, Latinos and other minority groups, and help prepare them for college by assisting with applications, financial aid, providing information on programs and more.

In recognizing Barleston, Wilson said (Brother Barleston) embraced the whole concept of Super Sunday and provided leadership that made the day a great success. Everybody in the church was warm and welcoming, due in no small part, to the leadership of this man. This project is designed to being started by the college and supported by the community. We have made great strides this year toward that end by the actions of this man.

In addition to Barleston, the three individuals from SCC were recognized for their commitment to furthering diversity efforts within the college.

For the first time, Dr. Jo Marshall, President and CEO of SCC, was honored for her role in supporting and facilitating diversity efforts. The award, which was a surprise, was presented to recognize the strides the college has made in diversity under Marshalls leadership.

In recognizing Marshall, Wilson said, Over the years, while the enrollment of all students has increased exponentially, so has the increase of minorities and people of many different cultures. Our college reflects the community at large because we have students and employees of various diversities in our midst. We have people with disabilities, people of various colors, creeds, and beliefs, both genders, all ages, groups, ethnicities and physical qualities. All people are welcome at SCC and that, in large, is due to the leadership of Dr. Marshall and her vision for the future of this college.

In addition, one staff member and one faculty member from SCC were recognized for their contribution to these efforts.

Winfrey Bates, Director of the SCC Russell Center and Assistant Director of the Upward Bound program, was given the award for staff. Bates was nominated and chosen for the honor as a result of her welcoming nature, her coordination of the annual International Festival at the Russell Center and her work with Upward Bound.

Zhiming Xia, Associate Professor of Business and Professional Services at SCC, was given the faculty award. Xia, a native of China, is a regular presenter at the colleges International Festival and has provided students with a frame-ready hand-printed character of the individuals name written in his countrys language. Xia also regularly presents at multicultural events in the community and has consistently supported the Governor's Minority Scholars College Preparation program (GMSCPP) at SCC.