Multicultural Recruiter Reinforces Rollins' Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

May 17, 2011

Shaniqua-9Being a global institution that accurately reflects the world’s diversity isn’t just a capricious concept at Rollins–it’s a mission that roots itself in the daily operations of the College. Our dedication to attracting students that represent the way our world truly looks can be seen in a variety of thoughtful initiatives, including the work of the College’s multicultural recruiter. This unique position, currently held by Admission Counselor Shaniqua Bangura (Class of 2007), is charged with planning events for prospective students, meeting with prospective students and families and assisting them through the admission process, and reading application files.

A graduate of Rollins College, Bangura began working in the Office of Admission in 2009. As an admissions counselor, she oversees the communication between the Office of Admission and prospective students while working closely with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to ensure that Rollins is expressing the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Why do you think having a multicultural recruiter is important for the mission of the College?
Shaniqua Bangura (SB): We strive for excellence in all that we do as an institution. As a part of aiding in the development of global citizens and responsible leaders, Rollins must voice the importance of diversity and inclusion within our campus community. It’s not enough to quote the statistics–we have to show that we believe in what we say and a part of that includes being able to visibly see diversity on campus.

Making diversity visible shows our prospective students and families that we value differences, which assist in cultivating discussions centered around social justice issues and inclusion once they arrive as admitted students. It is important for the Office of Admission to be the voice of the College and send the message of inclusion, so students can feel comfortable to be who they are and not be afraid to embrace those with differences, regardless of their background, when they arrive.

Are you focused on international or domestic students?
SB: We value the importance of both domestic and international students becoming members of the Rollins community. We have a wonderful Director of International Student Admissions Ed Bustos, who is responsible for the recruitment of our international students.

Do most schools have someone in a similar role or is having a multicultural recruiter unique to Rollins?
SB: I’m completing my second year in the Office of Admission and I’m still learning lots.  I believe most schools have someone dedicated to multicultural recruitment.  I think it’s important to many colleges to value diversity and inclusion and make that known to prospective students and families looking at their colleges.

What are multicultural students looking for in a college?
SB: As a former multicultural student that graduated from Rollins in 2007, I was looking for a place where I could relate to other students on campus. I grew up five minutes from the Rollins campus, and I was familiar with the reputation and had my own perception of what type of institution Rollins was. Diversity was of great importance to me during my college search process. Once I arrived as an accepted student, I grew passionate about sharing the importance of inclusion with other students on the Rollins campus. I think it’s important to multicultural students to be in a place where they feel comfortable to be who they are.

Why do you think these students choose Rollins?
SB: Rollins has incredible opportunities ranging from studying abroad to incredible student leadership opportunities. I was able to do things at Rollins that I would have never dreamed of being able to do and I think that lots of multicultural students are afraid to find out all that Rollins has to offer due to the perception of what type of institution Rollins is. Rollins is a great place to grow, engage and learn.

What does a day in the life of your position look like?
SB: My colleagues and I work extremely hard on a daily basis. We meet with prospective students and families visiting campus, answer emails and phone calls, read application files, and host programs for prospective students. The Office of Admission is a team and we each play an important role that guides prospective students and families through the admission process. We value service excellence and incorporate that in all we do.

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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