September 1, 2020

WCU Receives Higher Education Excellence In Diversity Award from INSIGHT INTO DIVERSITY Magazine

WCU Receives Higher Education Excellence In Diversity Award from INSIGHT INTO DIVERSITY MagazineToday, West Chester University (WCU) received the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — West Chester University will be featured, along with 89 other recipients, in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“Receiving the HEED award for the first time in West Chester University’s history is a clear indication that we are on the right track as we strengthen and enhance our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in intentional ways,” said West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino. “This University is committed to creating an environment that celebrates and demonstrates our core values in real ways that live in our daily actions and interactions with one another. As we work to expand our cultural competencies, I am quite proud of the path that WCU has chosen to take for the benefit and enrichment of all in our community. It is indeed the right thing to do.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected West Chester University as a result of its demonstrated resolve and innovative initiatives.  Some key programs include: 

  • The Golden Rams Initiative, through the Global Engagement Office, which serves underrepresented minority, low-income, and Pell-Grant eligible students in study abroad 
  • The engagement of undergraduate students in a 2019 national racial climate survey (National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates Survey)  
  • The placement of Student Success Coordinators in each of the University’s six colleges and two schools  
  • Ram Shop, the only on-campus convenience store of its kind in the nation to provide workplace training for students on the autism spectrum to practice and master social and professional skills   
  • A Resource Pantry provides food, personal items, school supplies, and career clothing throughout the school year, summer, and winter break. The Resource Pantry also coordinates programs about financial literacy workshops and cooking demonstrations.     

“The HEED Award demonstrates engagement in an array of best practices, in addition to innovation and a collective commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said West Chester University Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tracey Ray Robinson. “We are so proud to receive this national recognition for the first time. Diversity is broadly defined and this award recognizes how the University goes the extra-mile.”  

“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.”

Please reference the following link to secure the names of all HEED Award recipients for 2020:

For more information about the 2020 HEED Award, visit

For more information about West Chester University, visit



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