Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Executive Summary 2021-2022

The Division of Student Affairs is committed to developing and delivering high quality initiatives that promote and provide education to the Iowa State University community about diversity, equity, and inclusion. This programming is critically important to the advancement of Iowa State University’s strategic goal to cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where students, faculty, and staff flourish.  

In alignment with our Division of Student Affairs priorities, we continue our focus to promote and enhance the climate on campus and in the surrounding communities, so all are welcomed, included, and valued. We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide educational programs in order to best support students, staff, and faculty. 

In 2021-2022

177 diversity and inclusion initiatives were offered, resulting in over 20,000 points of contact among students, faculty, staff and community members. Each of the initiatives demonstrates the multifaceted approach the Division of Student Affairs undertakes to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Graph indicating topics of diversity programs for 2021-2022 in the division of student affairs.
Percent of all programs by audience

Co-Curricular Learning Domains

The five Co-Curricular Learning Domains (CCLDs), definitions, and related dimensions provide both a framework and a language for describing/defining the learning that occurs through the Co-Curricular programs and services offered in the Division of Student Affairs. The CCLDs also reflect the values espoused by the division and the current Iowa State University Strategic Plan.  
Of 177 diversity and inclusion initiatives submitted, 173 were identified as closely aligned to the Division of Student Affairs Co-Curricular Learning Domains. 

A donut chart showing what percentage each learning domain was focused on
A donut charge showing the percentage of the Division of Student Affairs' initiatives

Intercultural Development Inventory

The Division of Student Affairs staff continue to engage with the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) which is a comprehensive tool that can help individuals gain a better understanding of intercultural competence, defined as the capability to shift cultural perspectives and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. Over 510 staff completed the inventory in January of 2021 and many staff have received consultation on their individual survey results with a Qualified Administrator within the division or the institution. Similarly, departments have engaged in debriefs to review the collective results to make progress in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

A donut chart showing Iowa State's percentages of their principles of community

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives and the Co-Curricular Learning Domains

Civic Engagement

International Breakfast: ISU Dining, in collaboration with Campus Life DEI, the International Students and Scholars Office, and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, hosted a breakfast for all international students and advisors on Saturday, September 18, 2021. The ISU Dining culinary team created menus and recipes unique to this event and served over 225 individuals.

Gold Star Hall Ceremony: The annual Gold Star Hall Ceremony honors Iowa State students who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the freedoms of the country. Their names are carved into the limestone walls of Gold Star Hall in the Memorial Union so that all who enter the halls may both remember and honor their service to our country, which merits deep respect. Family and friends of these service members are invited to share photos, memorabilia, and personal stories of these Iowa State students with the larger Iowa State and Ames community during this ceremony. The MU Gold Star Hall Committee includes representatives from the Memorial Union, University Library, Military-Affiliated Student Center, Ames community members, and more. Over 250 people attended the Gold Star Hall Ceremony on Veteran’s Day 2021 where three World War II veterans were recognized.

Alternative Breaks: Coordinated by Memorial Union Student Engagement, the Alternative Breaks program places teams of students in various communities across the United States to engage in community service, dialogue, and reflection. Students perform short-term projects for community agencies and engage in reflection activities aimed at creating a better understanding of their own identities and the identities of others. Over 50 students participated in the fall and spring trips during 2021-22, which included trips to Chicago, and various locations within Minnesota, Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisiana. 

Intrapersonal Development

  • Learning Communities (LC) University-Wide Peer Mentor Training: Over a two-day orientation event, LC Peer Mentors learned about their roles and engaged in sessions covering topics such as working with international student populations, case studies on inclusion, Green Dot overview, and, “What we know. What we see. What we do. Exploring diversity as a Learning Community Peer Mentor.”  

  • International First-Year Experience: This one-credit course is designed to assist international students with the transition to live in the United States. 125 students participated in the International First-Year Experience course, facilitated by the International Students and Scholars Office for 2021-2022. 

  • Speaker Series: Student Counseling Services offered the session “Understanding Identity-Based Trauma,” as a part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion series hosted by Campus Life. This presentation helped participants understand identity-based trauma and strategies for people with marginalized identities and trauma.   

Justice, Equity, and Inclusion

Embedded Communication Consultants: Student staff from the Writing and Media Center were assigned to a department to become more available to students from underrepresented groups, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.  

Feminist Fridays: The Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity host regular conversation hours in the Sloss House (or virtually) dedicated to raising awareness and engaging dialogue around a broad spectrum of issues through a feminist lens. Discussion topics are chosen by presenters who facilitate the dialogue and inform the audience about their topic. Feminist Fridays are led by and open to students, staff, faculty, and community members. Topics for 2021-2022 included trans health and wellness, gender diversity within families, adoption, community engagement and small businesses started by ISU alums, community building for marginalized students and staff at ISU, and highlighting the work of ISU women in the arts.  

ISCORE to Action consists of a yearlong promotion of webinars, speakers, educational content, and programming via virtual and in-person platforms. Through this initiative, action-based outcomes can increase awareness, knowledge, and skills that can be implemented related to diversity and inclusion


  • Human Sciences 150: Dialogues on Diversity: Sorority and Fraternity Engagement hosted a required Dialogues on Diversity half-semester course specifically for sorority and fraternity leaders which enabled students to explore diversity within the context of the Iowa State University community through understanding human relations issues.  

  • Career Readiness: Over 200 second-year students who are within the TRIO-SSSP community participated in the Second Year Career Readiness Action Plans. The purpose of these plans are is to identify career preparation needs and increase career readiness through workshops, advising, and goal setting for first-generation, low-income students, and students with disabilities.  

  • Student Organization Survey: The Memorial Union Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee conducted a survey of student organization officers to better understand how well student organizations navigate processes, procedures, and resources to make them more accessible and useful for all students. The anonymous survey focused on resources related to marketing and recruitment, programming and event planning, and funding.  


Cozy Corner Pop Up: In collaboration with Directors of Multicultural Student Success in each college, the Dean of Students Office provided 600+ students with goodie bags, various essentials, and low stakes "take what you need programming" for student populations within each college.

ISU Public Health Emergency Response Plan: Members of the Student Health and Wellness unit are currently helping to update the ISU Public Health Emergency Response Plan. This new plan will be built on lessons learned from the COVID- 19 pandemic. Revision of the plan is being conducted by a core working group with representation from across the university. Oversight of the revision will be provided by a cross-sector Advisory Group with leaders from across campus and the Ames community. The new plan will address the needs of all populations and identities within the Iowa State campus community and offers response services that are accessible to all with a focus on marginalized populations.  

Group Fitness Participation Demographics Assessment: The Recreation Services fitness program analyzed data across all group fitness classes to determine the populations who were served and those that were not engaging in fitness classes. Data was organized by gender, classification, college, and housing. After analyzing the data, it was determined that outreach efforts should be focused on students living on campus, graduate students, and students in the Ivy College of Business and College of Design.