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Fully vaccinated members of our University community will be able to immerse themselves in work and learning environments featuring pre-pandemics norms for class formats, student life, and other staples of the Charger experience.
Graduate Student Hopes to Foster Change as a JEDI Ambassador
As a member of the University of New Haven’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) student ambassador program, I am helping to foster an environment at the University in which all Chargers feel safe and heard. I plan to continue this important work in my career.
Why did you want to get involved with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the University?
I have a personal commitment to making a positive impact on the world and to promoting diversity, inclusion, and shared prosperity. Before enrolling in the business analytics graduate program at the University of New Haven, I worked as a consultant in the international development industry. I worked with a team that implemented an economic inclusion project and created job opportunities for 10,000 people in Nigeria, West Africa.
This experience taught me that the importance of inclusion is in fostering sustainable development. When I came across the opportunity to serve as a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) ambassador, I knew I could positively impact the University here as well. I will summarize with a quote from Julie Foudy, "I believe it's our responsibility to show our communities the value of all people, to celebrate differences, and to take a stand for acceptance and inclusion."
Why is the JEDI program so important to the University? What impact do you hope it makes?
I believe any university's critical function is to provide an environment in which students from different cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities come together to learn, share, and collaborate to achieve a common goal. I believe there is strength in diversity and that diverse perspectives among students and faculty make for more robust class discussions.
As an international student, I am always happy to contribute to class discussions by leveraging my experience because I believe my voice will be heard. Therefore, I believe justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to the University because they foster a healthy learning environment where everyone, especially underrepresented students, feels safe and confident that their voice matters.
What current projects are you working on with JEDI program?
I will reference Verna Myers's words that "diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance." This quote has been a reference point whenever I think about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a JEDI ambassador, I promote diversity, accessibility, and inclusion within the University, specifically within the Pompea College of Business. Also, I administer surveys to identify areas for improvement, document progress/lessons learned, and leverage support across the University to ensure that all students' DEI concerns within the Pompea College of Business are addressed. I intend to leverage my experience and to use my voice at the University while remaining true to the JEDI program's values and principles. I am optimistic that this experience will provide significant insights beyond the duration of my participation in the JEDI program.
What about your role as a JEDI student ambassador are you most excited about?
One of the most exciting parts of the JEDI ambassador program is the opportunity to hear from undergraduate and graduate students in the Pompea College of Business about their diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns, relaying those concerns to the University's leadership, and following through to ensure that those concerns are addressed.
Also, I enjoy the opportunity to hear and collaborate with my fellow JEDI ambassadors across the University’s other colleges and schools. Beyond the program, I will continue to promote diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion within the business environment and apply the skills I have gained from my work in the master's in business analytics program to provide more insights to multilateral agencies across the world on how data analytics can be used allocate resources geared toward promoting diversity and economic inclusion in developing countries.
Is there anything else about you that you’d like to mention?
In my spare time, I enjoy reading about new technology developments, photography, experiencing different cultures through food, and connecting with friends and family virtually or physically distanced. Beyond my graduate program, I will continue to strive to promote diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion within the business environment and apply the skills I have gained from my master's in business analytics program.
Chinedu Ibeme ’22 M.S. is a candidate in the graduate program in business analytics at the University of New Haven.