Building Bridges Program

What is the purpose?

The Office of Minority Student Services is committed to improving relations between students by helping them to grow personally, and preparing them for living and working in diverse communities. The purpose of the Building Bridges Program is to facilitate communication and collaboration between university students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.  It is a collaborative initiative between academic affairs and students affairs that integrates students' in-class and out-of-class experiences.

How does the Program Work?

Each semester a team of diverse student associates visits classrooms to share their personal experiences related to race and ethical issues, and lead discussions about inter-group relations with their peers. Topics may include interracial dating, minority scholarships segregation, affirmative action, Black History Month, the effects theBuilding Bridges media has on racism, diversity on campus, and or sexual orientation. The result is a lively discussion that produces a different perspective for many students. By all accounts, the inter-group dialog has met with measurable success since it began twenty years ago.

Who are the Associates?

Student associates come from all backgrounds. They are selected through an interview process and receive ongoing training in effective listening, non-defensive communication of feelings, creating an open and supportive atmosphere, and handling difficult group members. Students participate in the program because they see a need to improve race relations and want to be part of the solution. Associates come together before every session to gather knowledge and ideas for the open discussion they prepare to have throughout the next scheduled session.

How To Get Involved


  • Become a student associate.
  • Ask your professors to invite a team of associates into your classes.
  • Attend open discussion sessions scheduled outside of classes.


  • Invite a team of associates into your classes.
  • Poll your students/members for questions before the visit.
  • Encourage your students/members to continue dialog outside of the session.

What Have Participants Said About the Program?

"This really opened my eyes to how the world is. We don't say anything, but we want to see change. How will change happen without taking the first step?"

"The session helped spark my own thinking of how to incorporate diversity in my own teaching."

"The sessions made me think about how I am going to incorporate a broader cultural education in my future classroom."

"Building Bridges is a very effective program. I felt that this group gave me a better understanding of others' cultures and the need to learn."

"This is such a good program. I think it makes us think about what we know about other cultures and how ethnocentric we actually can be toward other groups!"

Building Bridges Schedule - Spring 2020


January 31, Friday
Dr. Sharon Montgomery
Inquiry 100 Seminar
136 STC

January 31, Friday
Dr. Sharon Montgomery
Inquiry 100 Seminar
123 STC

February 7, Friday
Dr. MaryPat McCarthy
Speech Pathology
Communication Speech Disorders
Keeling Room 36

February 14, Friday 
Ms. Judy Rupp
Union High School 
7:50am - 2:05pm (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)  

February 20, Thursday
Dr. Sandra Trejos
Seminar INQ 100
201 Still Hall

February 20, Thursday
Dr. Sandra Trejos
Seminar INQ 100
202 Still Hall

February 21, Friday
Ms. Gina Clark
Keystone Jr. High School
8th Graders

March 13, Friday
Ms. Judy Rupp
Union High School
11:59am - 2:05 (Civic Engagement)

March 24, Tuesday
Dr. Jane Walsh
Principles of Sociology 211
204 Founders

March 24, Tuesday
Dr. Jane Walsh
Principles of Sociology 211
204 Founders

March 27, Friday
Ms. Caitlin Holley
Clarion-Limestone Jr/Sr. High School  
7:30am - 2:30pm

April 3, Friday
Mr. David Sloan
Clarion-Limestone Jr/Sr. High School (7th Grade – World Studies Classes)
7:30am - 12:14pm

April 14, Tuesday
Dr. Jane Walsh
Qualitative Research Methods 451
204 Founders

April 16, Thursday
Dr. Mark Kilwein
Intro. To Rehab Science
Sped Bldg. 113

Building Bridges 2019-2020 Facilitator Contacts

Rogers J. Laugand III-

Raiven Payne -
Ta’Hira Boone-Branch -
Daria Tatom -
Jhayda Washington -
Carly Park -
Dasia Jackson -
Elizabeth Santana -
Sylvia Bright -
Taylor Myers -
Alice Bowser -
Alee Capel -
Madeline Hartzel -
Nia Latham -
Ashley Daugherty -

James Robinson -
Dallas Floyd -
Kaison Branch -
Josiah Ross -
Kenneth Rose -

For More information:

Rogers J. Laugand III, Director
Office of Minority Student Services
412 Becht Hall
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Mailing address: 840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214-1232
Phone: +1 814 393 1908



Last Updated 3/4/20