LA Tech Athletics embraces “The Pursuit of Inclusive Excellence”

Louisiana Tech Athletics welcomed Dr. Derek Greenfield to Ruston this past Wednesday as the department and all student-athletes took in “The Pursuit of Inclusive Excellence” experience.

Dr. Greenfield is a nationally-recognized thought leader, speaker, educator and activist committed to inclusive excellence and positive change.

“This was a great opportunity for us to partner with the Office of Inclusion Initiatives to bring in a nationally-renowned speaker; one that helps us with our continued mission and desired growth in culture, class and competitive excellence,” said LA Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood.  “Dr. Greenfield is one of the leaders in this country when it comes to inclusive excellence and positive change and I am very happy that our student-athletes, coaches and athletic department staff was able to hear his message.”

Culture, class and competitive excellence are the pillars that Wood has embraced and vocalized since stepping on the Louisiana Tech University campus. 

Prior to the presentation, he reiterated how important building on a healthy culture is and how inclusive excellence will help us be better together, serving our student-athletes and ourselves.

“Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is critical to the health of our institution and the well-being of our faculty, staff, and students,” said Devonia Love-Vaughn, Dean of Inclusion Initiatives & Student Success.  “Dr. Greenfield, in three separate presentations, was able to ignite the Louisiana Tech Family with not only information needed but he was able to get to the heart of why the work of practicing inclusion matters.  He showed us that we are better together and that when we lean into one another we see both similarities and differences.”

Among the key points to Dr. Greenfield’s presentation was how diversity is a fact, but inclusion is how you act.  He said if we do not learn, we do not grow and we must see our differences so that when people can be who they are, they can be better.

“After listening to Dr. Greenfield, I felt closer and more connected to the entire department and developed an expanded understanding and appreciation for everyone in our department,” said interim head coach for LA Tech Soccer Steve Voltz.  “For our program I took away a desire to continuously build on our diverse and inclusive culture to broaden, not only our player’s, but also our staff’s passion for an inclusive environment that brings the best out of everyone. It was truly inspiring.”

“Personally, I think it was the most influential presentations I have ever attended,” said fifth-year senior for LA Tech Men’s Basketball Exavian Christon.  “It put so many different things into perspective and really opened up my eyes to see that even though we are different, we (student-athletes) are very much alike.  I hope that realizing this brings us all much closer together and creates an environment that everybody can be themselves and really thrive!”

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