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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Diversity is a fact.

Equity is a choice.

Inclusion is an action.

Belonging is an outcome.

-Arthur Chan

Melvin Lamboy Ruiz, Ph.D., assistant professor of accountancy and PDEIC committee member, received the Diversity section Excellence Award from the AAA for his work as the DIV Newsletter editor. Congratulations, Melvin!

What is DEI – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

Diversity: Diversity refers to all aspects of human difference, social identities, and social group differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religion/spirituality, age, (dis)ability, military/veteran status, political perspective, and associational preferences.

Equity: Equity refers to fair and just practices and policies that ensure all campus community members can thrive. Equity is different from equality in that equality implies treating everyone as if their experiences are the same. Being equitable means acknowledging and addressing structural inequalities — historic and current — that advantage some and disadvantage others. Equal treatment results in equity only if everyone starts with equal access to opportunities.

Inclusion: Inclusion refers to a campus community where all members are and feel respected, have a sense of belonging, and can participate and achieve to their potential. While diversity is essential, it is not enough. An institution can be both diverse and non-inclusive at the same time, thus a sustained practice of creating inclusive environments is necessary for success.


Parker College Inclusive Excellence Plan

National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15–October 15, 2023

To learn about five Hispanic leaders who changed labor history, click here.

Georgia Southern Strategic Pillar 3: Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence is a strategic pillar and a core value at Georgia Southern University. We recognize that our success as an institution of higher learning depends on our ability to embrace, value, and appreciate the diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni across our campuses.  Inclusive excellence is continuous and comprehensive; intentional and dynamic; transformational and innovative and is embedded in all aspects of our culture and actions. Inclusive excellence speaks to sustaining a campus climate that honors, respects, and is inclusive of all elements of diversity that makes each of us unique: culture, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, age, (dis)ability, creed, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, class, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political philosophy, etc. We uphold that all of our individual differences enrich our university. Together, we are Georgia Southern – committed to growing ourselves to grow others. Visit the Office of Inclusive Excellence website here.

The Business Case for DEI

The impact of a heterogeneous workforce is about more than optics, and diversity benefits business through enhancing effectiveness.  But the process is not automatic, and businesses see results when the commitment to diversity progresses beyond merely diversifying hires.  It requires serious transformational goals that actively encourage learning from a team’s diverse member experiences. 

Valuing and integrating these experiences into the work environment enhances the performance of an organization by encouraging employees to re-think their work strategies and goals.  Incorporating an assortment of perspectives across race, gender, socioeconomic background, age, and other identities brings more ideas to the table during the decision-making process.

Diverse companies support a larger and deeper pool of problem-solving talent, and an organization that recruits and retains employees from a wide variety of backgrounds is more competitive, driving creativity and innovation in the workplace.

Want to learn more about the case for diversity, equity and inclusion in business?

“There is substantial research to show that diversity brings many advantages to an organization: increased profitability and creativity, stronger governance and better problem-solving abilities.”

“Companies will not reap benefits from diversity unless they build a culture that insists on equality. Treating differences as a source of knowledge and connection lays the groundwork for such a culture.”

“In the COVID-19 crisis, diversity and inclusion matter more than ever”

“DEI needs to be a goal that companies work towards in many different ways, from creating a safe corporate culture to implementing better recruitment practices, and promoting conscientiously at every level, especially the highest.”

Our Commitment to DEI

The Parker College is committed to building the sort of diverse and inclusive environment that will develop and enable leaders who can change the world for the better.  Especially in business, success depends on engaging people from all walks of life.  It depends upon drawing out and inviting in the expertise and experiences of diverse individuals, so as to better understand and serve their communities.  It relies on trust and reliability and the commitment to value others and to treat them with the sort of respect, with which we all desire to be treated.  At the Parker College, we see success as an exercise in community, shared responsibility, and commitment.  And in business, that community includes everyone.  We are committed to diversity and inclusion then, because it’s the right thing to do, the right way to teach, and the way to lead in the business world. 

Best regards,


Allen C. Amason, Dean
Parker College of Business
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA 30460

DEI Activities


  • Continued reporting PDEIC activities at the College Faculty & Staff meetings.
  • All faculty searches followed Office of Inclusive Excellence protocol; all committee members complete T3 Professional Training.
  • Utilized existing industry resources that are specifically focused on recruitment and hiring of underrepresented populations in business disciplines to ensure faculty searches are robust in attracting such candidates for consideration.
  • Compared AACSB 2022 Guiding Principles and Standards and Interpretive Guidance and the Parker College’s by-laws related to promotion and tenure to identify diversity blind- spots in our procedures.
  • Provided updates on progress/new developments on Inclusive Excellence efforts in the Parker College at Faculty Meeting
  • Created a poster presentation entitled “The Many Faces of Success,” which highlight with photos and biographies the success of eight diverse persons within each of the degree disciplines in the college.  These posters were shared at the April faculty meeting and will be available for display at such events as the Welcome Back week in the fall, the Professional Development Day on both the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses, as well as at other college and departmental events. 
  • Office of Inclusive Excellence extended the deadline for student participation in the Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey until January 15.


The PDEIC concentrated its efforts on creating a common understanding of the meaning and impact of unconscious bias in today’s workplace through events and programming for various stakeholders. We:

  •  Sponsored a Faculty and Staff DEI Learning Event on February 21, 2022 with Guest Speaker Dr. Marcus Stewart, AVP of DEI, Bentley University. 
  • Posted information on Your Rights to a Harassment Free Workplace in all of the mailrooms in our building.
  •  Posted information on How to Report Incidents of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault at GS. These flyers will not only be posted in the mailrooms, but also on all of the bathroom doors in the building so as to reach faculty, staff and students.
  • Presented The Business Case for DEI to faculty, staff, and students on November 21, 2021.
  • The PDEIC also led a campus wide initiative, the “I Believe Week”, to highlight the struggles, the strengths, and the successes of women, trans women, and non-binary people who have paved a path for survivors of discrimination and oppression in the modern workplace.
  • Office of Inclusive Excellence extended the deadline for student participation in the Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey until January 15.
  • PDEIC hosted the 1st Group Discussion on Common Read – We Can’t Talk about That at Work! by Mary-Frances Winters on February 17.
  • Parker students and faculty attended the virtual workshop “Inclusive Leadership: Why it matters in business and in life” sponsored by the School of Accountancy, Beta Alpha Psi, and the Georgia Society of CPAs with invited speaker Ryan Kist, EY Campus Recruiting Leader – Diversity & Inclusiveness on February 25.
  • PDEIC and other campus members attended the interactive online workshop OIE Workshop – Unpacking Privilege hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows (DIFF) on February 26.
  • PDEIC hosted the 2nd Group Discussion on Common Read – We Can’t Talk about That at Work! by Mary-Frances Winters on March 24.
  • PDEIC launched the Parker DEI Website as part of the Parker College of Business site to post and share related topics, issues, articles and teaching tools. This will further facilitate courageous conversations in the Parker College of Business between faculty, staff and students in current topics related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices on university campuses and in the business environment. April.
  • PDEIC is working on the Parker College Inclusive Excellence Action Plan as part of the Georgia Southern 2020-2024 IE Action Plan to be submitted to the Office of Inclusive Excellence by April 16.
  • Parker College of Business invited Dr. Marcus M. Stewart, Associate Professor of Management at Bentley University to give a talk about DEI and Implicit Bias to the Parker College Community in Fall 2021.


  • Parker College Faculty attended the Faculty Professional Development Day – Be Excellent, Be Inclusive, Be Georgia Southern People hosted by the Georgia Southern Faculty Center for 5.5 hours (10 AM to 3:30 PM) on January 10.
  • PDEIC members participated in a professional development initiative in the area of diversity and inclusion put together by the College of Education and the Arredondo Advisory Group. The two-day Train-the-Trainer (T3) Workshops titled Creating a Sense of Community and Connection: Planning for Culturally Responsive Hiring, Advancing, and Retention Practices were held on February 27-28.

Day One: The Role of Social Identities and Context in the Interviewing and Hiring Processes

Overview: Drawing from Dr. Williams’ 2019 report, Pillar 3 in the GS strategic plan, and social psychology theories on impression formation, inclusive diversity, and identification, the workshop will engage participants in activities addressing sense of belonging, unconscious biases in the interviewing and hiring processes, and contextual factors that may affect decisions of underrepresented candidates to join the GS faculty ranks. Participants will work in pairs and small groups on specific tasks followed by whole group debriefing. Mock interviews will involve participants and facilitators. At the end of the session, participants will leave with guidelines for culturally responsive interviewing processes and identification.

Day Two: Creating a Climate to Develop and Retain Underrepresented Faculty

Overview: Creating a sense of community and connection is an intentional process that affects institutional, college and unit climate and culture respectively. How individuals are welcomed at these different levels will create their initial impression. Behaviors informed by cultural competency development and emotional intelligence theories will be discussed. Concepts of stigma, presumed incompetence, marginalization, and “fit” as these affect climate and underrepresented faculty will also be discussed. Participants will be tasked to develop plans to enhance their unit and college climate, and approaches to develop and mentor new faculty.

  • [The Covid-19 epidemic forced Georgia Southern University to move to a virtual-only learning model from March to July.] 
  • PDEIC adopted the initiative for Faculty and Staff to add their preferred gender pronouns to their email signatures. It has become quite common in diverse and inclusive environments to add your gender pronouns in your email signature. This new better practice helps minimize misgendering and is an important strategy towards inclusivity. Fall 2020.
  • All departments in the Parker College with active faculty searches were required to participate in T3 Professional Training to broaden our understanding of best practices to promote diversity and inclusion on recruiting prior to applicant screening. October 28.
  • PDEIC members attended the Safe Space Training sponsored by Georgia Southern on November 6.
  • Office of Inclusive Excellence circulated the 2020 Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey for all faculty, staff and students to complete by November 20.


  • The Campus Climate Pulse Survey was administered by The Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation in Spring 2019.
  • presented their Final Report – 3 Campuses one Heartbeat: Towards Inclusive Excellence at Georgia Southern University. June.
  • Parker College elected the first members to form the Parker Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (PDEIC). September 26.
  • PDEIC worked on the creation and adoption of the committee’s bylaws. Fall 2019.
  • Dr. Damon Williams, from The Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation, led two Inclusive Excellence open forums to address their report at Statesboro Campus on October 2 and at Armstrong Campus on October 3.


  • Georgia Southern University began a deliberate, collaborative process to ensure Georgia Southern University is a place where differences are welcomed, various perspectives are respectfully heard, and every individual feels a sense of belonging. Dubbed “Inclusive Excellence,” this commitment to creating an engaged, welcoming campus climate has been incorporated into the university’s new strategic plan as both a core value and in Strategic Pillar 3.
  • In the fall of 2018, senior leadership asked researchers from the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation to provide an objective third-party assessment of diversity and inclusion at GS as well as recommendations to help the university.

Improve your knowledge about…

Unconscious Bias

Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald. Blindspot: Hidden biases of good people. Bantam, 2016.

AICPA. Mitigating bias can result in better decisions. Awareness of your biases is the first step. Watch this Human Intelligence video to raise your awareness of your unconscious bias. Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Harvard Implicit Association Test – The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about.

Gender Bias

Beth M. Ritter, Alexsiara Bynum, Marcia Gumpertz, and Tayah Lin Butler. An instructional exercise in gender bias. Journal of Accounting Education. Volume 54, 2021.

Samantha McLaren. 2019. 15 Gender Identity Terms You Need to Know to Build an Inclusive Workplace. Linked-In Talent Blog. May 20, 2019 Available at: accessed on March 19, 2021.

Facilitate Dialogue about Race

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence book cover

Derald Wing Sue. Race talk and the conspiracy of silence: Understanding and facilitating difficult dialogues on race. John Wiley & Sons; 2016 Feb 1.

We Can't Talk About That at Work book cover

Mary-Frances Winters. We can’t talk about that at work!: How to talk about race, religion, politics, and other polarizing topics. Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2017 Apr 23.

White Fragility book cover

Robin DiAngelo. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Beacon Press; 2018 Jun 26.

Many Americans feel that they lack a true understanding of other cultures and religions from around the world.  The two links below provide guidance on things that we can do to become more culturally competent and include a series of recommended documentaries to help increase your awareness and knowledge of different others.

Ways to Increase Your Cultural Awareness

How to Increase Your Understanding of Other Religions

Inclusion in Academy

Brown-Liburd, Helen, and Jennifer R. Joe (2020) Research Initiatives in Accounting Education: Toward a More Inclusive Accounting AcademyIssues in Accounting Education. 1 November 2020. Volume 35, Issue 4: p. 87–110.

Windeler, J., Petter, S., Chudoba, K., Coleman, E., and Fox, G. (2018) 2018 AIS Community Report: Diversity and Inclusion in the AIS. Special Interest Group on Social Inclusion (SIGSI). Retrieved from: Download the report from:

Inclusive Teaching

Tools for Inclusive Teaching (USC Rossier)
“The resources on the Tools for Inclusive Teaching page help faculty provide readings for courses, and can also be used as activities and resources in class. This page is organized around different facets of diversity – gender, sexual orientation, race, social class, disabilities and the like. We hope that these resources help provide a platform to highlight the complexity of diversity in all of its various forms.” – USC Rossier

Faculty Handbook for DEIB in the Classroom
Even though some of us might wish to conceptualize our classrooms as culturally neutral or might choose to ignore the cultural dimensions, students cannot check their sociocultural identities at the door, nor can they instantly transcend their current level of development… Therefore, it is important that the pedagogical strategies we employ in the classroom reflect an understanding of social identity development so that we can anticipate the tensions that might occur in the classroom and be proactive about them/

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training – This Georgia Southern training defines the broad scope of diversity and discusses how a comprehensive understanding of diversity helps foster environments where everyone feels valued, safe, and welcome. This presentation also teaches how to develop cultural and diversity competencies, discusses microaggressions, equality, and equity, and ends with a discussion on how diversity competencies impact engagement with others. Visit the Georgia Southern University Training Site to register.

Personal Skills for a Diverse Campus – Web training part of MyGS Building a Better U. This is a baseline course that starts with basic diversity competencies, like defining diversity inclusively, and monitoring assumptions. Then it goes into communication skills (like using accurate identity terminology for LGBTQ and disabled people) and responding to microaggressions. The final section is about skills for reducing unconscious bias in decision making.

  • You can find the Building a Better U training on the Training tab at MyGS
    • Once you are logged into Building A Better U, click on the arrow next to your name.
    • Select Compliance.
    • Faculty and Staff: Personal Skills for a Diverse Campus should be listed under “Optional Compliance”.

Web Accessibility: Self-Paced Online Workshop Supporting Inclusive Excellence.  BADGE: Evidence-Based Teaching Learn how to meet federal guidelines for accessibility and make your online courses and digital media accessible to diverse learners. This is a self-paced workshop. Work at your own pace. Asynchronous Folio Module. Visit the Georgia Southern University Training Site to register.

Georgia Southern DEI Campus Resources

Are you or your group looking for learning opportunities or guest speakers to present on diversity, equity and inclusion topics?  If so, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has many programs available.

Georgia Southern DEI Policies 

Georgia Southern Faculty Handbook – 404.03 Affirmative Action Program

All employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to carry out their affirmative action responsibilities, to demonstrate sensitivity to and respect for all other employees, and to demonstrate commitment to the University’s affirmative action and equal opportunity objectives. The University’s goal continues to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy which addresses the imbalances in its female and minority workforce relative to the demographics of regional and national labor markets.” For more information, please visit

Georgia Southern 2020-2024 Inclusive Excellence Action Plan

“The Inclusive Excellence Action Plan is organized around four goals, calling on our learning community to:

  1. Create an equitable and inclusive environment for all.
  2. Increase the representation of diverse students, faculty, staff and community partners at all levels of the University.
  3. Facilitate access to achievement, success and recognition for underrepresented students, faculty, staff and alumni.
  4. Implement strong, genuine, and consistently communicated culturally inclusive practices that reinforce the strategic plan and the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan. Meeting our goals requires each of us to be actively engaged change agents.”

Visit to see the complete action plan.

Georgia Southern – Human Resources – Talent Acquisition

Evaluating Applicants
When evaluating applicants, hiring managers are obligated to consider the requirements indicated in the job announcement as well as the applicant’s education, work experience, and skill set.

Professional Associations’ DEI Websites


American Accounting Association

American Economic Association – Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Professional Conduct


American Economic Association – Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Economics Profession

American Economic Association – Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession

American Economic Association – Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession

Enterprise Systems & Analytics

Association for Information Systems – Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

INFORMS (The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ambassadors (DEI) Program


CFA Institute

Financial Planning Association® (FPA®)

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

American Bankers Association

RIMS (Risk Management Society)

Logistics & Supply Chain Management

INFORMS – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


Academy of Management – Gender and Diversity in Organizations – A Division of AOM

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)


American Marketing Association

Student Services

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising (National Academic Advising Association)

Parker DEI Committee

The Parker DEI Committee comprises one faculty member from each academic department/school, two staff members and two student representatives from the Parker College of Business. Our committee members serve as facilitators on the journey to achieve equity and inclusion in our College. Feel free to contact any of our members using the information provided below. Members are listed in alphabetical order by College unit/department.


Stephanie R. Sipe

Committee Chair & Faculty Fellow for DEIB

Professor of Legal Studies

Biography & Curriculum Vitae


Melvin Lamboy-Ruiz

Accounting Representative

Assistant Professor of Accounting

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

Cuiping Schiman

Economics Representative

Assistant Professor of Economics

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

Chulwan (Chris) Bang

Enterprise Systems & Analytics Representative

Assistant Professor of Enterprise Systems & Analytics

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

Katie Pham

Finance Representative

Associate Professor of Finance

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

William (Bill) Achia

Logistics & Supply Chain Management Representative

Lecturer of Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

Rachel Smith

Management Representative

Assistant Professor of Management

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

William (Billy) Jones

Marketing Representative

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

Danielle Smith

Staff Representative

Director, Experiential Learning & Student Engagement

Biography & Curriculum Vitae

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Last updated: 9/17/2021