Diversity talk to inspire Kent

Cassandra Beck

Two speakers will use research, common sense and humor to create a new definition of diversity from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday in University Library Room 1018.

The presentation labeled “Innovation, Adaptation, Diversity” will discuss the Kirton’s adaptation-innovation theory of how a group of people works together. The Kirton theory approaches diversity not by gender or skin color but from the perspective of thought process.

“The presentation is about how a company has two types of people,” said Roman Panchyshyn, assistant professor in University Libraries and catalog librarian. “You have the adapters, people who think inside the box and are adapted to their surrounding, and you have the innovators, people who think outside of the box and question structure.”

The speakers are Lee Gill, chief diversity officer and associate vice president for inclusion and equity at The University of Akron, and A.G. Monaco, associate vice chancellor of Louisiana State University.

Gill and Monaco worked together at The University of Akron to develop the presentation and present the topic throughout northeast Ohio.

Panchyshyn said the presentation will proceed to a hands-on activity where the audience members will find out if they are adapters or innovators.

“The whole idea of this is to see that in order to have an effective committee or company, you need people who think both inside and outside the box,” Panchyshyn said.

The “Innovation, Adaptation, Diversity” presentation is a part of the 100 Commitments program that Kent State developed last year. The program promotes and encourages diversity through speakers and events. 100 Commitments helps faculty, staff and students aspire to learn about diversity in different ways and to move the university forward.

“The dynamic between the two presenters is humorous, and they feed off each other,” said Peter Lisius, music and media catalog librarian. “It will be a very hands-on presentation and enjoyable.”

According to the press release, “This is not your grandpa’s idea of diversity.”

Contact Cassandra Beck at [email protected]