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Two Arts and Architecture Students Participate on CORED Panel

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CORED panelist at table

College of Arts and Architecture undergrads Jerrie Johnson, a theatre major, and Melanie Ray, an architecture major, participated on a student panel during the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity’s (CORED) 25th anniversary symposium on Monday, Feb. 23. The topic of the panel discussion was “Student Perspectives on Stereotype Threat and Social Identity at Penn State.” The symposium also included a keynote address by Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University.

The students discussed their first-hand experiences at Penn State and how to raise awareness about racial and ethnic diversity.

“It was interesting hearing how students of color have had different experiences dealing with racial relations at the school,” said Ray. “Some had pretty disturbing stories, but others voiced the progress that the campus has made and still has left to do.”

“The experience was relieving,” added Johnson, “I try as much as possible to get my story out, usually through poetry, so it was great to get to share, especially with the faculty and staff. I tried to be as open and honest as possible so that I could learn from others and they could see my perspective.”

Established in 1989, CORED “commits to lead and actively support University-wide diversity initiatives that foster teamwork, collaboration and communication among various racial and ethnic constituencies in order to ensure inclusion, equal opportunity and success for underrepresented/underserved communities and community members of Penn State and the surrounding areas.”

The event was co-sponsored by the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. For more on CORED, visit