Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at the Mount

With the Dominican Pillars of study, spirituality, service, and community as our guide, Mount Saint Mary College is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on our campus and in our local communities. Everyone who works, studies at, or visits our campus deserves respect and the opportunity to be seen and heard. We strive to do what is right, just, and best for all.

The benefits of DEI are far-ranging, allowing our community to be fully engaged, to understand some of the challenges that exist, and to become aware of our own personal blindspots.

Goals & Priorities for the Office of DEI

To create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution, the Mount community must be united, connected, and able to have the difficult conversations that often surround the advancement of DEI initiatives. This will take the collective work of the entire campus community, in addition to patience, grace, and trust.

Campus policies, programs, and initiatives should be based on the most current information available about campus DEI needs. In addition, it’s important for members of the campus community to learn about DEI to better identify their own needs and what resources may be needed to do so.

An important part of the work for the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational experience. To accomplish this, the college’s academic programs must be reflective of new and emerging fields of study, while also ensuring that current program offerings are in keeping with the most up-to-date approaches and use inclusive pedagogy.

The demographics of our country - and the Mount - are becoming more diverse with each passing year. With this in mind, it’s important for community members from historically underrepresented groups to have persons on campus who understand their lived experiences. In addition, a more diverse faculty and student body will lead to more diverse course and program offerings that benefit the entire college community.

Creating a more inclusive environment increases the likelihood of traditionally underrepresented groups continuing to work and study at the Mount. Improving retention will result in a more dynamic, enriching, creative, and welcoming environment for all members of the college community.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ways to think about how Mount Saint Mary College can be the best version of itself. If we truly want to move closer to what is right, just, and best for society, we must do the work that is demanded by DEI, be honest, and move forward together, as a community.

Jenifer Lee-Gonyea, PhD Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Jenifer Lee-Gonyea, PhD Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

From the president

Education has the power to inform, enlighten, and transform our society. Since it was founded more than 60 years ago, it has been Mount Saint Mary College’s goal to do just that, creating compassionate leaders for a better tomorrow.

As we examine what’s happening in the world today, it’s clear that there is much more work to be done in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In Newburgh, we see firsthand the impact of structural inequality and the need for equality of outcome. Our home is a microcosm of our country and our world, where historically underrepresented groups continue to face hardships and challenges not experienced by their counterparts.  

That’s why one of the biggest focus points of the college’s 2020 – 2025 strategic plan is DEI. In July of 2022, the Mount appointed Criminology professor Jenifer Lee-Gonyea to the role of assistant vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer. She has greatly elevated our ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse community on campus.

As a community, we are committed to making the Mount a safe, welcoming, and equitable place for all students, faculty, and staff.

Jason N. Adsit
President, Mount Saint Mary College

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Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

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Email Address
dei@msmc.edu

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