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Signature Programs

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Signature Programs encourage and maintain an inclusive, diverse environment at CALS and NC State.

We invite you to attend our lunch-and-learn series, Conversations that Matter. Consider our three-day Opening Doors retreat for a deeper dive for you, your staff, and your colleagues.

CALS Community Conversations

CALS Community Conversations is a monthly series that aims to provide a safe-to-be-brave discussion space. The series seeks to clarify to all groups within CALS that diversity and inclusion are among our college’s most cherished and passionately guarded values.

Discussion topics include:

  • Coping with the Challenges of Injustice
  • Coronavirus Victims
  • Government Elections and Community Unrest

Who should attend: students, faculty and staff

Conversations That Matter

Conversations that Matter is a bi-monthly series that enhances diversity awareness and builds cultural competencies for faculty, staff and students in CALS and university-wide. These shared lunches provide a safe space for the college community to:

  • Explore different dimensions of diversity
  • Gain skills they can use in the workplace and classroom
  • Foster a more inclusive environment

Each interactive session highlights a different area of diversity using speakers, panel sessions, video clips, and other methods. An engaging discussion follows where participants ask questions, share examples and provide insights related to the topic.

Who should attend: students, faculty and staff

Opening Doors

Photo of trees and flowers through a door way.

Opening Doors is a three-day overnight retreat that lays the foundation for personal and organizational growth. Participants deepen their awareness of diversity and enhance their ability to create inclusive organizations. The workshop addresses personal and professional change as part of understanding different initiatives of multicultural organizational development.

In Opening Doors, participants will:

  • Increase understanding of diversity by identifying and learning more about our identity groups
  • Identify personal feelings and experiences related to cultural and other differences among people
  • Identify practical strategies for implementing and supporting change
  • Examine how practices of institutions and our private practices maintain inequalities among people and prevent us all from reaching our potential
  • Develop a framework and common language to facilitate change collectively
  • Build alliances and networks

Who can participate?

Opening Doors is beneficial to all employees, including faculty members, paraprofessionals, team leaders, support personnel and administrators. Workshop participants represent a mixture of our organization. This combination of professionals adds a dimension of diversity that brings much richness to the process.


Brenda Alston-Mills serves as the associate dean and director of the Office of Diversity and Pluralism in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University. Her primary responsibilities are to work with the college’s graduate students, faculty, and staff to improve workplace climate and professional development and increase the pool of underserved populations in graduate education. Her outreach has included working with adult non-readers in Wake County, NC, and Prince George’s County, MD. Her early experience with diverse populations was as director of the Comprehensive Education and Training program in New Jersey for Camden’s city and county. She is frequently asked to give lectures and seminars on women and underrepresented groups in science and has published in the area. Through all of these activities, she has witnessed the pain of exclusion and the triumphs of empowerment. She holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology from Michigan State University and is a professor of animal science.

Harvey L. Lineberry II is the associate dean of the School of Medicine Human Resources at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Harvey formerly served as the assistant dean of personnel at NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Through his work as a personnel officer, he has learned first-hand from individuals who have felt the sting of exclusion and hostility. He is committed to the work of diversity and the processes necessary to understand our sense of responsibility to the organizational change process around diversity and inclusion. He holds a B.S. in business, an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in leadership studies, focusing on diversity as a leadership development tool within the ranks of CEO-level administrators. Harvey has also assisted the Center for Creative Leadership in assessing changes to their Leadership Development Program in Europe.

Although Bill Swallow is retired, he hasn’t gotten the hang of retirement yet and continues to be active in teaching and diversity work at the university as a professor emeritus. He has long been an ally and advocate for women and people of color. For many years, he was the director of undergraduate programs and the director of graduate programs in the Department of Statistics, positions that afforded him opportunities to promote the recruitment, retention and graduation of students from underrepresented groups. Bill serves on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Subcommittee of the University Diversity Advisory Committee (UDAC). He wrote a proposal to the university to create a GLBT Center on campus and shepherded that proposal through UDAC and the Student and Faculty Senates. University administration agreed to establish the GLBT Center, and Bill now co-chairs its advisory committee. Bill is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and in 2007 he received the university’s highest teaching award, the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Mu Sigma Rho (national honor society for Statistics) Award for Statistics Education. Bill has an A.B. in social relations (a combination of psychology and sociology) from Harvard, an M.S. in fishery biology from Cornell and a Ph.D. in biological statistics from Cornell.

North Carolina State University has participated in the “training of trainers” program provided by the New York State Migrant Education Diversity Project and Opening Doors Diversity Project. We would like to thank the trainers for this project, Betty Garcia-Mathewson, Kathy Castania, Eduardo Gonzalez Jr. and Maryellen Whittington-Couse, for allowing our team the opportunity to bring this outstanding program to NC State University


The CALS Office of Diversity and Inclusion aims to grow diversity within agricultural and biotechnology disciplines and careers. Countless studies confirm that conducting hands-on research is one of the best ways to increase student knowledge of STEM disciplines. CAALS 3-D (Creating Awareness of Agriculture and Life Sciences Disciplines, Degree Programs and Discoveries) is a program designed to provide participants with opportunities to gain such knowledge.

High School Seniors Take on CALS Camp


Have questions? Contact us to learn more about CALS diversity programs.

LaTosha Bradley, JD
Departmental Programs Administration Manager
Departmental Representative

Young students working in a lab