Texas Tech University

Rawls College of Business Hosting Third Annual Diversity Symposium


The Jerry S. Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University will host its third annual Rawls Diversity Symposium Wednesday through Friday (Sept. 6-8) featuring speakers, discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions on a variety of topics related to diversity in the marketplace.

The symposium will provide those in attendance perspectives from experts both in academia and in the workforce on the positive effects diversity has both economically and socially.

"I firmly believe that organizations are stronger and more effective when their leadership and underlying team strive to be comprised of individuals that better represent the diversity of the communities and clients they serve," said John Masselli, the Haskell Taylor Professor of Taxation in the Rawls College of Business and the symposium chairman.

"This organizational structure, in conjunction with meaningful policies related to diversity and inclusion, results in a signal to the community at large that the organization is welcoming to all and truly embraces diversity in all its forms. I genuinely feel that Texas Tech University and the Rawls College of Business embody this model. I am excited about our upcoming third annual Rawls Diversity Symposium and want to remind everyone that the symposium is open to all. I hope it will be the best attended yet."

The symposium will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 6) with a plenary address and question-and-answer session moderated by Pamela Downs, a partner, chief inclusion officer and national managing partner for the Women's Initiative Program (WIN) for Deloitte Tax, LLP. That will take place in Room 105 of the Rawls College of Business.

Following Downs' speech, a student diversity panel will be held at 7 p.m. in Room 105. It will be moderated by Jody Randall, LGBTQIA administrator for the Center for Campus Life and Matthew Koehl, a student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies within the College of Human Sciences.

A reception for all symposium attendees will be held at 8 p.m. to wind up the day.

On Thursday (Sept. 7), Donald Wenzel, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Bank, will open the day's activities with a speech and question-and-answer session at 6 p.m. in Room 105, followed by a reception at 7:15 p.m. in the McCoy Atrium.

Events on Friday (Sept. 8) begin at 10 a.m. with a meet-and-greet coffee reception in the Fireplace Room of the McCoy Atrium. Then, at 11 a.m., a faculty-staff diversity panel discussion will be held, moderated by Liz Karam, an assistant professor of management in the Rawls College of Business.

Featured panelists for the event include:

The symposium will wrap up at 1:15 p.m. with a diversity research colloquium at the Fireplace Room of the McCoy Atrium. Sharp and Pichler will each deliver an academic presentation on a diversity-related topic.

"The third annual Rawls Diversity Symposium expresses the commitment the Rawls College of Business has to creating opportunities for important conversations regarding diversity and inclusion," Dean Margaret Williams said. "Employers seek out students who have the skills to navigate, create and support diverse workplaces, and the collection of activities the symposium offers elevates these skills. I am proud of this grass-roots effort on the part of Rawls faculty and staff to bring the topics of diversity and inclusion to the attention of all students, staff and faculty."

The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the symposium's website.

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