MSU receives national Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

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Mississippi State University is being named a 2019 recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in U.S. higher education.

Joining 93 other U.S. colleges and universities, MSU is the Magnolia State’s only higher education institution—and one of six in the Southeastern Conference—receiving the award that annually recognizes a commitment to outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts.

This year’s honorees will be featured in the November issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, which is available online at

MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt said the HEED Award is a significant honor for the state’s leading research university, where students have a “tremendous opportunity” to learn from and about one another.

“Beyond the demographic diversity of our campus, we continually seek to be an inclusive place where our students not only see other people who look like them but feel as if they are an integral part of the student experience,” Hyatt said. “I believe this award shows we are moving forward with our intention to be a place where every student can succeed.”

Ra’Sheda Forbes, MSU assistant vice president for multicultural affairs and director of the university’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, said “There are many departments and individuals working to ensure that a culture of inclusion permeates through every facet of campus life, which is demonstrated through the extensive range of programming, infusion of multicultural understanding and appreciation in the classrooms, and the richness of the student body and diverse experiences our students bring to Mississippi State.”

Forbes said many campus units help support MSU’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the HCDC; Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion; G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans; Promise, ACCESS and Thrive programs; Office of Admissions and Scholarships; and Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

“I think this award highlights that our university remains committed to a comprehensive approach as we continue to strive for inclusive excellence,” she added.

For more on MSU’s diversity and inclusion efforts, visit the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion,; the Division of Student Affairs,; and the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center,

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