Center for Diversity, Pluralism & Inclusion

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"Diversity Through Film" Student Testimonials

Heidi Hanover  Alumni  Major: English

"I originally signed up to take this course because I needed to fulfill a general education credit and felt a class based around film would be easy and fun. Much of what I read, watched, and discussed during the course made me reevaluate my actions and beliefs. I became more analytical of the way my friends, family, and co-workers acted, and also got in many heated arguments with people who I used to see eye-to-eye with. I have never taken a course before, and do not believe I will ever take one again, that has so thoroughly made me desire to change myself for the better. After watching nearly a hundred students virtually change before my eyes in their mindsets and views of diversity, I had a renewed sense of hope and gladly recognized that my transformation was not unique."

Neisha Lestrade  Alumni  Major: Economics (Finance)

"I had always been told that the ultimate goal of a college education is to enlighten and to prepare oneself for the realities of life. I hadn't been told however, when and how I could achieve it. I didn't achieve this goal until I completed INT 303 - Examining Diversity Thru Film in my graduating semester. Examining Diversity Thru Film gave me the opportunity to evaluate myself on many levels.  As a class, not only did we examine diversity, we examined our thoughts, our opinions, and ourselves. We learned to effectively communicate with others who had firm opposing views. Most importantly, we challenged ourselves to embrace differences."

Matej Kollar  Senior  Major: Accounting & Business

"INT 303 Examining Diversity through film has certainly left an impact on me. It was one of the courses you take for the wrong reason and end up learning more than you anticipated. Like many others, I thought watching movies for credit would be awesome. At that point, I viewed discussions of diversity and related issues as close to redundant, submitting to the general belief that we have overcome issues of discrimination. It literally took less than a week for me to realize how completely wrong I was. I learned to observe my environment from a different perspective, noticing discrimination in its various forms - most of which I had been conditioned to ignore and overlook prior to experiencing diversity in INT303. I would go as far as to require such training to increase people's awareness of issues we have not, contrary to popular belief, overcome yet."

Alicia McNitt  Alumni  Major: Nursing

"This course has taught me to challenge the meaning of life. The most enlightening topics for me were class and privilege. When I saw the topics on the syllabus I remember being disappointed, wondering what there could possibly be to talk about. That's just the thing; in many ways I didn't realize or understand my own class or privilege. Many people do not have to choose what to eat, where to sleep, and what to wear because there is only one choice. I can say that overall the course made me feel guilty. However, it was guilty in a good way because I knew that the past was in fact the past, and that the present and the future were more important. I can only learn from the past and teach others about the future."

April Rodriguez  Alumni  Major: English (Literature)

"When I first enrolled in Examining Diversity Through Film, I did so because I had taken classes from JW prior to this one. I think of myself as a fairly open minded person, but when I took the class, I realized I had more bias' than I had originally thought. It's interesting because this class makes you examine yourself first then the material at hand.  I recommend this class to everyone who is willing to do the same. I enjoyed this class because the students make the class what it is by the discussions, interactions, and perspectives. Out of all the classes I have taken in college this is one I will remember the most!"

Nick Temeles  Alumni  Major: Latin American Studies

"I took Examining Diversity Through Film in the fall of 2006. It was by far one of the most educational experiences of my life. I mean almost no where else can you take a class that teaches you things that you can use in every aspect of your life; in your career, your personal life, your family life, you can use the knowledge everywhere. My favorite part of the class was the fact that I, and the rest of the class, were not learning, but we were teaching ourselves; through discussion and visual representations we taught ourselves enlightenment. JW and Deb were simply our cosmic guides, leading us through this universe of diversity and complexity, but still letting us reach our own destinations and form our own unique opinions about all that we were experiencing."

Raquel Matthews  Alumni  Major: Psychology

"I found taking this class removed the fog that was clouding my judgment. It was a period in my life when I found I had to "check myself." From the starting topic I was blown away, but what hit home was definitely Sexual Orientation. I proved to myself that I was a walking hypocrite. Before this class I had a very negative attitude towards the homosexual lifestyle. However, I have members of my family that are homosexual and I was willing to accept them because we are related. So basically I was condemning others but refused to condemn those in my family BECAUSE they are family. Thanks to having taken this class I was able to call myself out on the nonsense that I was feeding on. I can say that I do falter at times and a word slips that's in poor taste or I have an ignorant thought, but then I get to get inside my head and figure out why I had this thought - and there is nothing more fun and scary at the same time than this. I can definitely say that this was a great experience in my life and I just have to say thank-you for it."

Krystle Furioso  Alumni  Major: Business

"Examining Diversity Through Film was recommended to me by a faculty member and a few other students from the university. I did not know what the material of the course was going to be and had little interest because as far as I was concerned, I was only taking the course to satisfy a general education requirement.  In the beginning of the course I did not like the materials covered because they were uncomfortable to me. I did not like discussing race, gender, sexual orientation, ableism, or class because I had already formed my own opinions regarding these topics.  Throughout the semester I found myself becoming more annoyed with the course material, workload, and the professor.  I made myself dislike J.W. at the time because his course was indirectly calling me out on my racism and homophobia.  We did not share the same opinions and would argue during class.  As the semester continued I started to realize a change in my response papers.  I found myself reading more than what was assigned to have a better understanding of the topics and to improve my papers.  I did not realize while doing this I discovered the process of self-enlightenment. I realized it was impossible to live in a diverse world with such narrow-minded opinions.  I now consider how my words and actions could potentially harm an individual, the friend or relative of an individual, or an entire portion of society.  I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to take EDTF because it honestly changed my life."

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

If you have any questions about the Center for Diversity (CDPI), or are interested in learning more about promoting diversity at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

CDPI LogoDr. J.W. Wiley, Chief Diversity Officer
Office Location: Kehoe 610
Phone: (518) 564-5410