Russ College grant helps promote diversity and inclusion in local schools

Published: April 6, 2023 Author: Chloe Musick

Professor in Engineering Technology and Management Yuqiu You collaborated with AAPI-LEAD employee affinity group to host two global fairs at The Plains Intermediate School and Athens High School. In support of this event, You was awarded the first ever Belonging Mini-Grant, a grant given to faculty, students and staff in the Russ College to support building a culture of belonging in the college and beyond.  

The Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders: Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Development (AAPI-LEAD) employee affinity group fosters networking, professional development, awareness and support for Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islanders at Ohio University. This group was the first to initiate the idea of hosting global fairs at local schools and they quickly gathered partners to support the development of the fairs. 

“The vision was to promote multicultural awareness and foster a diverse, inclusive and culturally responsive environment at P-12 schools. We also wanted to encourage the collaboration between OHIO international students and local P-12 schools to increase their sense of belonging to the local community,” said You. 

The global fairs were organized by AAPI-LEAD employee affinity group and sponsored by the Center for International Studies, the Patton College of Education and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.  

OHIO faculty at Athens Global Fair in 2023

International students collaborated with students from the Patton College of Education to create one table per country. International students served as the subject matter experts and the education students developed and conducted a corresponding learning activity designed for P-12 students. Each participating student received a passport with a world map and as they traveled from table to table, they earned a passport stamp. Students with a completed passport were awarded a certificate for global education.  

This event was a collaborative effort rooted in a collective desire to promote global awareness and diversity in the local community. For You, this event not only encouraged student involvement in the community, but it also served as an opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion in the Russ College to students who may one day become Bobcat engineers and technologists.  

“Together with our partners, we are planning the events for next year. We hope to start the preparation earlier to get more students and faculty involved in the events. Also, we want to increase the number of different countries and cultures represented,” said You. 

In support of this project, You was awarded a Belonging Mini-Grant, which aims to give Russ College students, faculty and staff the financial resources to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging (DEIAB) within the college and beyond. If an eligible student, faculty or staff member has a great idea to promote DEIAB efforts, applications for the Belonging Mini-Grant are accepted on a rolling basis.