Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA)

The SUNY Geneseo Department of Communication promotes Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) and Antiracism. To learn more, expand the sections below.

Our Commitment to IDEA

The SUNY Geneseo Department of Communication recognizes the differences between racist, non-racist, and antiracist academic cultures and commits to growing as an antiracist department. We commit to serving as allies to individuals who have experienced prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, and/or exclusion. We acknowledge that racism at both the individual and structural levels continues to be prevalent. We believe racism should not be ignored or condoned.

We commit to sharing the responsibility for increasing inclusivity, heightening awareness, strengthening empathy, and fostering empowerment. We believe it is our responsibility to actively contribute to an inclusive and equitable environment and to challenge discrimination and bias.

We commit to taking an intersectional approach to antiracism and we stand together against any and all forms of social oppression and injustice. We recognize that students, faculty, staff and administrators may belong to multiple social identity groups. We also recognize that racism often occurs in tandem with other systems of oppression (e.g., sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, among others).

We commit to celebrating our differences. We believe our differences, whether rooted in race, gender, religion, sexuality, ability, age, nationality, language and other factors, ultimately make us stronger and open our eyes to a multitude of various perspectives and experiences.

We commit to creating and fostering a departmental culture in which members are interveners and active bystanders who identify and interrupt racism in all forms.

We commit to creating mechanisms to encourage accountability to address racial and racist incidents.

We commit to providing educational resources about social awareness by integrating social injustice related topics into our curriculum and offering courses that highlight antiracism practices and IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) efforts. Courses offered during the 2020-2021 academic year include but are not limited to these 13 coursesWe share these additional educational resources to support our growth as an antiracist department.

We recognize the work that is required to grow as an antiracist department and commit to making that effort.

Faculty and staff in the Department of Communication:  Sasha Allgayer, Jonathan M. Bullinger, Karen Dickerson, Meredith Harrigan, Andrew Herman, Emi Kanemoto, Ming Lei, Noreen Mazurowski, Lee M. Pierce (s/t), and Atsushi Tajima

IDEA Student Mentors: Samantha Aya, Tessa Hodinger, Josephine Lewis, Anna Lynch

IDEA Committee

Our Mission

The purpose of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee in the Department of Communication is to aid our departmental community in fostering a safe and inclusive environment by building faculty, staff, and student relationships and encouraging open and transparent dialogues. We are committed to increasing the presence of underrepresented communities (including, but not limited to racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, class, and linguistics aspects) through the use of collaboration.

Our Values

Learning: Always striving towards personal growth and a better understanding of IDEA topics and sharing the knowledge we acquire through story-telling and story-listening with the campus and departmental community

Mindfulness: Being aware of the words that we use as well as the actions we take and how they have the power to impact others' feelings and lived experiences

Communicating: Actively listening to others and communicating verbally and non-verbally to foster self-reflection, empathy, active participation, and civic engagement

Allyship: Using authentic, rather than performative, allyship to empower underrepresented communities 

Who We Are

The IDEA Committee consists of both faculty, (IDEA Faculty Coordinator), and students (IDEA Student Team). The students are known as IDEA Student Mentors.

Roles of IDEA Student Mentors

To mentor communication students who have passion toward IDEA topics;

To be a bridge among students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Communication;

To connect with the wider campus community about IDEA topics;

Visit our office hours Tuesdays from 4 - 5 pm and Wednesdays from 2 - 3 pm in the Blake B Conference Room 105!

2022-2023 IDEA Committee Members

IDEA Faculty Coordinator: Meredith Harrigan, Ph.D.

IDEA Student Mentors: Josephine Lewis, Sophia Longobardi, Anna Lynch, Jisela Turner & Alexa Victor

Excellence in IDEA

Excellence in Communication, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility Recognition


The Excellence in Communication, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility Recognition acknowledges communication students who have applied their gained skills and knowledge to promote antiracism efforts and diversity, equity, access, justice, and inclusion practices outside the classroom setting. All recognition nominees will write a 250-500 word essay demonstrating how the candidate meets the following three criteria through specific activities, actions, and accomplishments within the application. Be sure to include the word count at the end of your essay! All communication majors and minors with a major/minor GPA of at least 2.5 are eligible.  

Essay Prompt

Describe a time when the candidate used their gained knowledge of communication skills and concepts to promote personal growth and advocate for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in their community. Please address the following three criteria in your essay:

1. Academic Skills & Knowledge: Name and explain specific communication concepts and skills the candidate has learned from communication courses that have helped the candidate to demonstrate/enact their commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility ideals.  

2. Personal Growth: Demonstrate how these communication concepts and skills the candidate have mentioned above have helped them grow and change as a person (i.e., through self-reflection, changed behavior, etc.). Please provide at least two specific examples.

3. Community Influence: Demonstrate how the communication concepts and skills the candidate has acquired and mentioned above have helped them influence their community. Please provide at least two specific examples.

Nomination Process

Peer Nomination: Nominations can be submitted by peers (students at SUNY Geneseo). One person can make a maximum of two nominations. Recognition nominations should identify specific examples of how the nominee meets the three criteria listed above through specific activities, actions, and accomplishments.

Note For Peer Nominations: In order to create a peer nomination that will be strongly considered, please make sure to interview this person prior to writing the essay. Prompts #1 and #2 require specific information that is personal to the nominee, and which may be challenging for nominators outside of the Communication major to answer. For specific guidelines and expectations, please reference the rubric linked below. 

Self Nomination: Self-nominations must clarify the specific knowledge and skills gained in communication courses, and then identify the specific examples of how the nominee applied said knowledge and skills to meet the three criteria shown above.

Rubric For Essay Scoring

Levels of Recognition

Each qualified nominee will receive a certificate. The top three nominees will receive an Amber, Sterling, and Russet Recognition with accompanying monetary awards.

Application for Recognition

The student Application for Excellence in Communication, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Recognition is here and will reopen February 6th, 2023!

Amber Recognition recipients from previous years are not eligible to reapply.

Application Deadline: March 6th, 2023 at 11:59 pm

IDEA Experience Dropbox

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Experience Drop Box


The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee in the Department of Communication is committed to taking action against social injustice at both an individual and structural level. While we are aware that social oppression will not disappear overnight, it can not change if we do not take the steps necessary in fostering that change and listen to the voices of those affected. We make it our responsibility to make our campus community truly committed to IDEA and antiracism, starting with us. In order to do that, we want to hear from you!

Using this form, please anonymously submit your questions or any bias-related incidents you have experienced related to diversity, equity, inclusion, or accessibility in the Department of Communication or in the greater Geneseo campus community. 

This form is open for submissions year-round.

IDEA in Our Courses

COMN 107:  Foundations of Media Writing

COMN 160:  Introduction to Mass Communication

COMN 288:  Communication, Diversity, and Inclusion

COMN 317:  Intercultural Communication

COMN 346:  Conflict, Negotiation & Mediation

COMN 354-1:  Photography as Visual Communication

COMN 354-2:  Media Ethics

COMN 356-1:  Rhetoric & Race America 2015-present

COMN 356-2:  Media, Urban Development & Activism

COMN 356-3:  Peace Communication

COMN 362:  International Mass Communication

COMN 367:  TV News