Diversity and Inclusion; Keys to Nailing your College Application Essay

I remember when I was writing my essays to apply for colleges, an English teacher at my high school frequently said something along the lines of, “Be sure to include the words diversity and inclusion as much as possible” to better your chances of acceptance.  Aside from not being the best approach, I feel that that really speaks to how our culture currently faces diversity and inclusion/exclusion.  We simply find a few buzz words that stereotype the situation and we try to include them in as many mission statements, objectives, official documents, and facebook statuses as we can.  In the words of the great poet of our time, “Don’t talk about it, be about it” – Rick Ross.

I am really appreciating how eye-opening all of the literature is assigned to us.  I don’t know if anyone else is experiencing this, but it has been wonderful reading all of this and discussing with future educators.  I found what Vendantam had to say in ‘The Hidden brain’ was very interesting.  I feel that discussing issues with children at a young age is a much better approach than building a metaphorical box around them until they experience life outside the home.  I found the article titled ‘Workplace Diversity Pays’ to be very interesting.  I have never really seen any numbers on anything like that, and it was very interesting having diversity spelled out in a way that is very intuitive to my engineering mind.  I don’t know if it was part of the reading or if anyone else read it, but the section at the bottom of the page from the hidden brain which was an excerpt from the book was incredibly disturbing.  It is all too common for news stories similar to the one presented there, to come across the internet and the television, but I still cannot necessarily fathom sitting there and doing nothing.  I have a few more thoughts about this post, but I will wait to see the discussion in class on Wednesday.

The Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces excerpt was awesome!  I really appreciated how all of the ‘rules’ were laid out and discussed.  I remember doing the one step forward one step back activity when I went through Freshmen orientation at Tech.  I don’t want to bash Tech’s orientation program, but I will just say that it was incredibly obvious what stereotypes were called out during this activity and the discussion that would could have had after the activity was non-existent which I feel was a huge shortcoming of the activity itself.  Simply highlighting the background that everyone comes from while throwing the blanket statement “But we’re all Hokies” doesn’t necessarily remove all racial stereotypes or thoughts.

I haven’t had a chance to read ‘Whistling Vivaldi’ but whenever I do, I will update this post.



  1. Ken Black · October 13, 2015

    While this might seem like a cop-out: I agree.

    The joke aside, we have the opportunity to move past simply saying we agree and then doing something about it. Note that this does not mean that we all need to go out a save the world from itself, but that we can simply live in a manner that can help others to not feel isolated. However, at the same time you cannot cater to every different view all the time. Putting yourself in a position where you walk on eggshells all day does you no good either.

    Sometimes it is a simple as including others in a conversation.

    Also Read the Whistling Vivaldi one it is absolutely worth it.


  2. George Qiao · October 14, 2015

    Including diversity is a good point for application essay but not necessarily. It really depends on what you want to do in your application. For example, if your advantage is very focusing on some special field, you just highlight your advantages which help reviewers to know your uniqueness.


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