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Diversity Speaker Series bringing enrichment to UNG

Diversity Speaker Series 2015
Deon Clark, left, is coming to UNG's Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses to talk about the benefits of diversity and how to build it.

In four presentations centered on "Inclusive Excellence," Deon Clark, CEO of TCI Solutions, LLC, will talk to students, faculty and staff at the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses about the cultivation and value of diversity.

"The Diversity Speaker Series will focus on fostering a culture that enriches the experiences and lives of UNG students, faculty, and staff by promoting understanding, appreciation and respect for individuals and groups who possess unique experiences," said Sheila Caldwell, advisor to the president on diversity at UNG.

Clark is the owner and CEO of a consulting firm that provides consultation in three areas: workforce talent pipeline development, corporate diversity and inclusion strategies, and educational development services for teachers and students. He is also chairman of the board for The Legacy Initiative, a nonprofit organization guiding student development programs that have assisted more than 5,000 students across five states in building personal and academic excellence.

UNG's diversity series includes four events:

  • Oct. 6, for students: Gainesville Campus, Robinson Ballroom, 10-11 a.m., "The Art of Being Me While Accepting You."
  • Oct. 6, for faculty and staff: Gainesville Campus, Robinson Ballroom, 12:30-1:30 p.m.,   "Inclusive Excellence: The Business of People in the Language of Business." Refreshments and reception will follow event.
  • Oct. 7, for human resources: Dahlonega Campus, Hoag Student Center Auditorium, 9-10:30 a.m., "Inclusive Excellence in the Workplace."
  • Oct. 7, for faculty and staff: Dahlonega Campus, Hoag Student Center Auditorium, 12:30-1:30 p.m., "Inclusive Excellence: The Business of People in the Language of Business." Refreshments and reception will follow event.

"These interactive and engaging workshops support UNG's mission to prepare students to lead in a global and diverse society," Caldwell said. "Students will have the opportunity to understand the benefits of embracing diversity and inclusive excellence in a rapidly changing society. Faculty and staff will be equipped with high-impact strategies to increase cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, and diversity and inclusion in the classroom. All stakeholders are invited to invest in their personal and professional growth by learning how to create an environment that ensures a better and stronger UNG." 

Clark spent more than eight years in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear plant operator, mechanic and instructor. He then obtained certification as a senior nuclear reactor operator instructor and is one of only a few African-Americans in the nation qualified to teach nuclear power operations to licensed nuclear reactor operators. Using his knowledge and experience in the energy industry, Clark created "STEMS of Success," a youth conference designed to get students interested and excited about fields of study in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

After serving as the director of energy programs at Estrella Mountain Community College, Clark continues to work with high schools, colleges, community organizations and businesses to establish sustainable programs and pipelines to help students obtain careers in STEM. He has facilitated diversity workshops at several universities. He earned his Bachelor of Science in human resource management from the New School University in New York and earned his senior nuclear reactor operator instructor certification from the LaSalle Generating Station in Illinois.

UNG also is offering a new graduate-level special topics course for faculty and staff this fall centered on diversity. Titled "Studies in Diversity Issues," the course will focus on issues involving diversity and multiculturalism from a variety of perspectives and academic disciplines. The application deadline for the course has been extended to Sept. 30 and slots are still available.

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