Q&A with Stephanie Jung
Stephanie Jung, a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department, was named a faculty fellow in the college Dean’s Office in August 2018. Jung, who earned a doctorate in agricultural and food science from the National School for Engineers in Nancy, France, specializes in converting agricultural and food waste into feed, food, fuel and pharmaceutical applications. She joined Cal Poly in 2014.
Q: What did your role as a faculty fellow involve this past year?
A: This past year, I had the opportunity to bring increased focus to the college’s ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as advance the onboarding program for new faculty. I worked closely with leadership across campus who are developing and implementing strategies to make Cal Poly a more inclusive and diverse environment. As a result, I have a broader view of Cal Poly as an institution and the key role the college plays in our campus. I also worked closely with the college’s reinvigorated Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, on a number of initiatives concerning diversity and inclusion. This year the college hosted several events aimed at encouraging conversations and learning around diversity and inclusion, including the Aspire to Grow Conference, several panel discussions, and a multi-day training workshop.
Q: Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important?
A: When students graduate, they will work in an ever-broader world and they need to be aware of the benefits diversity of thought and experience brings to an organization, and have exceptional skills to make them the most competitive for jobs and to prepare them for their career and life success. Certainly, it’s about making Cal Poly a better place, but for Cal Poly to continue to be an important player in higher education, equity, diversity and inclusion are some of the most important tools we need to rely upon, embrace and support.
Q: How can it be enhanced in the college?
A: Equity, diversity and inclusion is about all of us – we each have a role to play at Cal Poly and in the larger world. I believe in a world where there is a meaningful place for everyone, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, orientation, social status or nationality. Supporting each other and being open minded, showing kindness and empathy, having the courage to challenge ourselves, and reflect on our experiences and thoughts are starting places that can benefit every single person on campus. Providing and exposing faculty, staff and students to a variety of events, activities and platforms to reflect on their personal journey is one powerful but simple way that we can contribute to increasing diversity and inclusion in the college.
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