MSU Honors College holds 7th annual Diversity Research Showcase, journalism students speak on diversity challenges

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Michigan State Honors College students recently displayed projects at the 7th Annual Diversity Research Showcase, allowing the campus community to come together to learn more about student research and advance inclusion efforts at Michigan State. 

The main topic,“What is this university doing for me, and where can I find my place on this campus?” was also tied to MLK Day and Black History Month. The showcase highlighted nearly 35 presentations by 50 students. Students attended this event in person in the MSU Union or online.  

Each group was given an opportunity to speak about what they are researching and also to think about the challenges of being diverse among Michigan State students and residents.

This Diversity Research Showcase showed topics that affected the lives of student journalists as well, finding their way in the career fields of journalism as a diverse individual. 

The event started with a small introduction from Honors College Dean Christopher Long, which was bridged into the viewing of the presentations. Each student created, researched and presented their research idea with their mentors. 

“The work that our mentors are doing is such an integral part of the mission of the university,” Long said. 

The first prize winners Anum Latif, Abhinav Anand, Amaya Aten, and Christeen Mangalathet spoke about undergraduate students’ understanding of equity in residential colleges. Anum Latif, Honors College student, started the discussion about the injustices at a predominately white organization. 

 “Students of color at predominantly white institutions may be at higher risk of microaggressions,” Latif said. “Students who believe that race does not matter, that is color evasive ideology, will often find microaggressions less offensive than they really are.”

Talking about the diversity injustices at events like the Showcase informs the Michigan state community about the issues in diversity that impact their campus life. These types of discussions help move the ball forward. 

This event was held not only to show off the research of the students, but it was held to create a more welcoming environment for students and make sure all students feel welcome. 

The role of journalism in these types of events is equally important. Journalism brings awareness about important topics like diversity to all students on campus. Journalism students at Michigan State are doing their part to support the efforts of these diverse groups by sharing the message through journalistic endeavors. 

Impact 89 FM Sports Editor AJ Evans explained by being a student led station, they are working on being inclusive and bringing people together. AJ Said,

 “We are pushing people to come along, and with that you will start to get some diversity and inclusivity.”

Even journalism students are impacted by many of the diverse issues on campus. Some of these students have had issues fitting into the narrative of what it means to be a diverse Spartan. These challenges often inspire them to tell the story of others that might reflect their own struggles. 

Journalism student Deshawn Johnson, who attended the event shared he struggled to find an inclusive group, 

“ Everyone was keeping their distance.” Deshawn said. “But eventually I was able to connect with the African American studies program and the student-led State Newspaper organization to find a welcoming group of diverse people.” 

This year’s event was clearly impactful for researchers and attendees. As Michigan State moves forward to continue to cultivate an inclusive environment for all students. Faculty and students will continue to create opportunities to foster inclusion and collaborate with campus partners. 

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