Framingham State University Recognized with Award for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Framingham State University Recognized with Award for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Sep 18, 2019

Framingham State University has again been recognized for its efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today. Framingham State will be featured along with 92 other recipients nationwide in the magazine’s November 2019 issue. This is the fifth time Framingham State University has been honored with the award since 2014, and FSU is the only public college in Massachusetts included on this year’s list.

“Being a five-time recipient of the HEED award has helped Framingham State University demonstrate to the community that diversity, equity, and inclusion aren’t just issues we pay lip service to, but core values that are at the very heart of who we are as an institution,” says FSU President F. Javier Cevallos.

Earlier this year, Framingham State hired Dr. Constanza Cabello to serve as the University’s first Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. In that role, she provides broad vision, management, counsel, and strategic planning to enhance the learning, living, and working community of all campus members. The University also recently hired Patricia Birch to serve as the Director of Inclusive Excellence Initiatives on campus.

FSU has seen a sharp increase in students of color in recent years and has undertaken a broad range of efforts to engage the community around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These efforts include the creation of the Mary Miles Bibb Teaching Fellowship program, designed to attract top quality faculty candidates. The Bibb fellowship is named after the first African-American teacher to graduate from Framingham State University. The Widening the Circle Faculty Institute was also created to assist with advancing Inclusive Excellence at Framingham State University through the focus area of Diversity in the Curriculum.

At the student level, several clubs are designed to engage students in diversity issues, including the Black Student Union (BSU); Brother2Brother, which is a support group aimed at addressing the low retention rates among men of color in college; and M.I.S.S., which was established to support and inspire the educational, professional and social success of female students of color.

The University offers several professional development opportunities each semester to faculty and staff on different topics related to diversity and inclusion. Example topics being offered in Fall 2019 include: Out on Campus: Supporting LGBTQ+ Students; The Language of Inclusion: Working with First-Generation Students; and To be or not to be: Implicit Bias and You.

The University has also launched several employee affinity groups in recent years, including: Faculty and Staff of Color; Faculty and Staff with Disabilities; Women Empowerment; Faculty and Staff with Small Children; and LGBTQ Faculty and Staff. Faculty are recognized and are encouraged to include diversity-related programming as service in tenure and promotion processes. DICE honors faculty who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion through the Beacon Award.

The HEED award is a national recognition honoring colleges and universities that exhibit outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion throughout their campuses.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2019 HEED award, visit

About INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.