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Vassar to host 18th annual All-College Day Feb. 28; nationally recognized expert on implicit bias to be keynote speaker

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- “The Practice of Community” will be the theme of Vassar’s 18th Annual All College Day Wednesday, featuring events and workshops throughout the campus. Lena Tenney, a nationally recognized expert in the field of implicit racial and ethnic bias, will deliver the keynote address.

The day-long event will begin with a President’s Staff Appreciation Brunch for all campus employees, followed by a series of workshops focusing on how life on the campus can thrive. It will be the first time that all Vassar staff will be given time to take part in the event.

“The annual event began in February 2001 in response to a racial incident and subsequent campus discussions the previous spring,” said Edward Pittman, associate dean of the college for campus life and diversity. “The goal each year has been to facilitate campus engagement regarding critical matters in campus life and campus community. This year’s All College Day is being planned in collaboration with Vassar’s Engaged Pluralism Initiative.”

Tenney, coordinator of public engagement at Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, will present their lecture at 5:30 p.m. in the Villard Room, located on the second floor of Vassar’s Main Building. The event is free and open to the public.

The Kirwan Institute has conducted extensive research on implicit bias, exploring how such discrimination can seep into the work and practices of even the most well intentioned individuals and institutions. As director of the Kirwan Institute’s Race and Cognition Program, Tenney facilitates workshops on implicit bias throughout the country. The lecture at Vassar will explore how implicit bias can be discerned in various domains, including teaching methods, faculty hiring and other aspects of higher education. It will focus on how unconscious associations about race, gender, class and sexuality can influence decision-making and behavior.

For a list of All College Day events, go to

About the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity: Founded in 2003, the institute is an interdisciplinary engaged research institution at the Ohio State University. It was named after former Ohio State President William E. “Bill” Kirwan in recognition of his efforts to champion diversity at the university. For more information go to

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, February 28, 2018