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Otterbein Receives NCAA DIII Diversity Spotlight Initiative

November 04, 2015
Otterbein

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Otterbein University Office of Diversity, in conjunction with Athletics and Health and Sport Sciences, has received the NCAA Division III Spotlight Initiative award for October.

The Diversity Spotlight Initiative is an NCAA affiliated program that recognizes and promotes outstanding diversity related projects, programs and initiatives occurring on Division III campuses and in conference offices across the country.

Each month, the program recognizes one institution in regard to a diversity related project or program that is helping students make a connection between athletics and diversity related subjects that are prevalent in today's world. Nominations are submitted monthly to the NCAA Office of Inclusion where they are reviewed with one recipient earning $500 towards their next diversity related initiative.

Otterbein's Office of Diversity earned the award as a result of its Under the Lights series initiated on campus, which helps connect curricular and co-curricular diversity education. Under the Lights is an education series at Otterbein that explores areas of diversity through the field of sports.

The goal of each program is to encourage genuine conversation and further develop insight through the stories that occur "under the lights." Programs include guest speakers, workshops and lunch conversations that extract numerous areas of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, community, and sexuality.

In order to lay the foundation for discussion, the Office of Diversity uses excerpts from ESPN 30 for 30 films. By dissecting areas of each film, students are then able to more comfortably make those connections to their own community. Once those connections are made, participants develop action items of how they can positively impact Otterbein's campus climate. 

In years past, Under the Lights has featured guest speakers such as Otterbein Director of Athletics, Dawn Stewart, who presented an engaging session on Title IX's coverage in athletics. This year, the Office of Diversity has connected with faculty members in Otterbein's Health and Sports Sciences Department to make it an extension of what is taught in the classroom.

Participation in these programs has propelled students to be knowledgeable, multi-literate, responsible, engaged, and inquisitive within the world around them. It has also helped increase the Office of Diversity's participation rate in diversity-based student organizations and programming. 

Otterbein students who attended at least three of the six events this year have earned a trip this month to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, free of charge. Students will take the opportunity to experience and explore the Hall of Fame, learning about other stories that have impacted diversity in sports. 

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Jenny Hill
Director of Marketing and Communications
p/ 614.823.1284
e/ jhill@otterbein.edu

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