Inclusion and Diversity Action Council

The College of IST’s Inclusion and Diversity Action Council strives to positively impact the college’s climate and provide opportunities for Council members to work on their area of interest. Through our work, we aim to:

  • recommend, review and create policies and practices that build equity into the climate so college stakeholders matriculate in a physically, emotionally, and socially safe place
  • create and sustain positive, supportive, and creative classroom environments where students can successfully, creatively, and confidently gain and demonstrate their knowledge and beliefs about the subject matter at hand
  • create, support, and implement programming that demonstrates, highlights, and supports awareness, respect, understanding, and acceptance of the diversity in the college
  • be responsive to issues and challenges in and between constituent groups in the college
  • determine the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion integration in the college
  • ensure the college is aligned with the University's charge for inclusion and diversity

P.A.C.E. Pillars

Programming Pillar committee members:

  • Host college-wide events that reinforce a commitment to inclusion and diversity in line with IST’s overall strategy.
  • Provide service opportunities for IST community members.
  • Provide educative opportunities that enhance IST’s collective learning and advancement of inclusion and diversity themes and concepts.
  • Work in conjunction with the Assessment Pillar to acquire feedback on IDAC programming efforts.

Potential projects include:

  • Case Studies
  • Lecture Series/Speakers
  • Films
  • IST Based I & D in Tech Conference
  • Workshops/Training (e.g. Safe Zone, Racial Battle Fatigue)
  • Faculty/Staff/Student Recognition

Assessment Pillar committee members:

  • Provide college-wide assessment of current inclusion and diversity levels and practices.
  • Provide recommendations to leadership for how to implement changes to improve potentially problematic areas.
  • Work in conjunction with the Programming Pillar committee to create surveys and tools that will generate feedback from IDAC event participants.
  • Work with both the Climate and Equity Pillar committees to establish assessment tools to measure their respective efforts.

Potential initiatives include:

  • Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education
  • Surveys and evaluations of events
  • General metrics (e.g. faculty/staff composition, graduate/undergraduate numbers, etc.)

Climate Pillar committee members:

  • Conduct an environmental scan of the physical space and IST marketing materials to assess the level of diverse representation and cues for inclusion.
  • Work in conjunction with the Assessment Pillar committee to ascertain climate issues among and between faculty, staff, and students.
  • Provide IST leadership with real-time information on escalating climate issues that require formal or informal action.
  • Review relevant data (e.g. exit interviews, attrition rates, etc.) to determine what, if any, factors impact the overall desire to be a part of the college.

Potential focus areas include:

  • Environmental cues (e.g. representation in Westgate Building)
  • Inclusive Practices (e.g. interactions between senior and junior faculty, staff band equity, etc.)
  • Desirability (metrics for all constituents)

Equity Pillar committee members:

  • Ensure that current hiring and promotion practices and efforts for faculty and staff in regards to diversity and inclusion adherence align with University-wide and college-level policies.
  • Align the college with University-wide efforts to create equitable practices between and among faculty and staff relations.
  • Benchmark against equity efforts at other colleges and universities (iSchools).
  • Work in conjunction with the Penn State Office for Educational Equity to ensure the college is incompliance with University-wide expectations, and communicate policy changes to the IST community.

Potential focus areas include:

  • Hiring practices
  • Retention practices
  • Undergraduate and graduate student recruiting
  • Promotion and tenure practices

Ways to Get Involved

  • Book Club – Members of the IST community are invited to read and join facilitated discussions about a common book
  • Common Hour – Common Hour is a facilitator-led open forum for the IST community to examine an idea or respond to an event that has captured widespread attention. Topics may include diversity and inclusion in technology, current social trends, and national and international events that change how we think, live, and work.
  • Open TABLE (Talking About Backgrounds and Lived Experiences) – Open TABLE is an opportunity for IST faculty and staff to come together as a community for an open-minded conversation that honors all viewpoints and perspectives. Lunch is provided.


IDAC is comprised of a diverse group of tenure and tenure-track faculty, non-tenure line faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, academic services staff, administrative operations staff, and representatives from the college’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity Engagement.

Current members include:

  • Kristina Bryan
  • Megan Costello
  • Michael Hills
  • Madhavi Kari
  • Sharon Lazarow
  • Meggan MacDonald
  • Kali McKeehan
  • Sarah Rajtmajer
  • Sarah Stager
  • Kevin Sylvester
  • Cindy Titsler