The Council’s “College Diversity Summit” was a great success with nearly 100 students attending on Rutgers campus in Newark on Saturday, March 24.

Dr. Lei Lei, Dean of Rutgers Business School, said that she was very pleased to host the College Diversity Summit, “especially since it is the first of its kind in the New York metro area.”

Students came from Rutgers Business School, Fairleigh Dickinson, Seton Hall, NJIT, Ramapo College, Thomas Edison State University, and County College of Morris to name just a few institutions.

“The Summit was a success because we had a diverse pool of students network with top leaders and engage in dialogue on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics,” Alexis Abuhadba, TriState Diversity Council Coordinator said. “Everyone left feeling ready to pave their own paths to success.”

The day was filled with informative workshops, a thought-provoking keynote address, and a job fair with 12 companies represented.


The six one-hour workshops were lively interactive sessions with 28 corporate executives, educators, and consultants as panelists.

The six workshops were:

  • Defining and Building Your Brand
  • Discover Your Leadership Path
  • Finding the Right Sponsor for You
  • Breaking Through Stereotypes in the Job Recruitment Process
  • Cultural Competency in College and Your Career
  • Preparing Students to Stay Relevant in the Future Workplace

Timothy Brown, a senior at Fairleigh Dickinson, attended and said, “The summit was very informative. It allowed me to hone in on the skills that I already possess and to better use them to my advantage. In addition, it expanded my knowledge of how to better overcome various issues and conflicts that occur in the workforce, whether it deals along the diversity aspect or other everyday issues.”


Hugh Welsh, President of DSM North America, offered his global perspective of cultural competence and the evolving workforce in his keynote address. He said, “Most everyone understands IQ and EQ, but leadership today also requires CQ – Culture Competence or the ability to see beyond one’s blind spots or unconscious bias and be able to develop, lead and get the best out of coworkers from all ages, races, genders and national origins.”

Mr. Welsh challenged corporations to “create new practices, policies and norms that enable everyone to bring their full selves to work every day.”

Job Fair

American Water and Doctors Without Borders were Summa Cum Laude Sponsors with staffed booths.  The job fair enabled students to have conversations with potential employers and to become acquainted with the protocols of a job search.

Alexa Sanchez, a freshman at Rutgers Business School, said “Meeting with professionals in their fields who come from the same background as me and receiving advice on how to navigate workplaces has been nothing less than inspiring. I always knew I wanted to be in business, but never really had any role models. After the summit, I can now say I have several people I see myself in and I have made valuable connections with them!”

Kudos to volunteers

TriState Council Coordinator Alexis Abuhadba had a committee of volunteers from member companies to assist: Rod Colon of Rod Colon Consulting LLC (who was also master of ceremonies for the day, Linda Garza of AT&T (who was also a workshop panelist), Hugh Welsh of DSM North America (who was also the keynote speaker),

Grant Reid of AT&T, Sue Weston who is retired, and Leon Fraser of Rutgers Business School, the site host.  Thanks to all!


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