Mount Allison University embarks on equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility campus-wide project
Mount Allison University is embarking on a new project to ensure it is welcoming and inclusive for all through a cross-campus initiative focused on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA).
Recent Mount Allison graduate Emma Penton (‘22) is helping to coordinate this campus-wide project as the new EDIA post-graduate intern in the Human Resources (HR) Department. With funding from the University’s Canada Research Chairs Program EDI Grant, Penton will work with EDIA consultant San Patten and the University’s HR Department to lead a series of consultations over the fall term.
The pair will be seeking direction from community members to inform the development of a self-reflective diagnostic tool that identifies personal action for realizing EDIA principles in concrete terms and how the University’s practices and engagement can better support personal action plans.
“The focus of this internship is to create the first MtA-specific EDIA education tool and related training materials,” says Sabine Beisser, interim director of Human Resources. “We are thrilled to have Emma and San joining the University and leading this important project that will impact the entire Mount Allison University community.”
Penton graduated from Mount Allison in 2022 with a degree in psychology, minor in Canadian Studies, and a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion. During her time as a student at Mount Allison she was involved in several initiatives and activities including the University’s Indigenous Student Support Group. She earned the Chris Metallic Prize in Indigenous Leadership for her work on campus and in the community.
“As part of my internship, I will be working to complete an internal document review, literature research and consultations, promoting individual engagement with various dimensions of personal identity and how these shape our life experiences and culture,” says Penton. “I am excited to be part of this beginning process and look forward to connecting with community members throughout the project.”
Patten is an instructor at the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University, as well as an adjunct professor in Sociology at Mount Allison University, specializing in social policy and non-profit leadership. She works as a health research and evaluation consultant and is a member of the Joint MAFA-MTA Working Group on Equity Issues as well as the Equity Officer of MAFA Executive Committee.
Further to recommendations in the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion’s 2021 report related to enhancing training opportunities, Penton and Patten will lead this project for development of EDIA training options, including interviews and focus groups with students, faculty, and staff, with opportunities for consultations and community feedback.
Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to watch their Mount Allison University emails for invitations and updates on the project. Faculty and staff can also find additional information on Gateway, the University’s Intranet.
Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Mount Allison: https://mta.ca/about/diversity-and-inclusion