April 24, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Brianne Thompson, leadership development coach at the
Mount; Olivia Bogle, a senior psychology major from Pine Bush,
N.Y.; and Alberto Gilman, a sophomore public relations major from
New Windsor, N.Y. discuss race and diversity at the Mount’s recent
“Race 101: How to Get the Conversation Started”
Mount Saint Mary College students recently discussed diversity
on campus and in the community during a panel discussion titled
“Race 101: How to Get the Conversation Started.”
The talk was the final installment in this semester’s “The Mount
Speaks Out” diversity roundtable series, which focuses on
hard-hitting issues facing today’s college students. The event was
sponsored by the college’s Office of Student Success.
“Race 101” examined diversity on the Mount campus, what students
should know about the many cultures represented at the college, and
The panel consisted of Brianne Thompson, Leadership Development
Coach at the Mount, who has a German, Scottish, and Irish ethnic
background; Olivia Bogle, a senior psychology major from Pine Bush,
N.Y., with family roots in Jamaica; and Alberto Gilman, a sophomore
public relations major from New Windsor, N.Y., who traces his
family lines to Puerto Rico. The panel was moderated by Megan
Rossi, resident director for Sakac Hall.
Bogle explained that since she first came to the Mount in 2013,
has seen “lots of growth” from conversations about diversity such
as the “Race 101” panel.
Gilman noted that he sees diversity beyond race at the Mount –
in different majors, interests, hometowns, walks of life, and
“It doesn’t matter where they came from…difference has made us
strong,” he said, reflecting on his friendships at the college.
Bogle encouraged the students in attendance to take advantage of
the diversity that the Mount has to offer. She pointed out that
being able to learn and work with others is an important skill that
can be translated into situations outside of college. Similarly,
being aware of one’s own culture and background is important too,
“Knowing who you are will help you to succeed in the workforce,”
When asked what they wished the college community knew about
their culture, the panelists responded in a variety of ways.
“As a black female,” Bogle noted, “I move through the world a
little differently.” She told audience members to ignore harmful
stereotypes and that she does not “put (herself) in a box.” Neither
should anyone else, she added.
Gilman gave the audience a peek into life in Puerto Rico, which
he explained had three main pillars: tradition (including strong
faith), family, and good food.
“We are in a climate of change when it comes to race and issues
of diversity,” noted Thompson. She encouraged the students to be
active in that change by not making cultural assumptions and by
always being open to learning about other cultures and ways of
“We should be part of the change,” added Bogle.