Tag Archives: Kent Guion

GRU’s farewell to Dr. Guion

Diversity and inclusion are important components of Georgia Regents University’s mission, and Dr. Kent Guion has gone above and beyond to develop programs and initiatives designed to make GRU a great and safe environment for all people.

With bittersweet emotions, the GRU community held a farewell reception on March 27 for Dr. Guion who is set to begin his new position as chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina Wilmington on April 13.

During his time here at GRU, Dr. Guion has filled many roles, including serving as the interim dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs.

In his role as Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Guion has led GRU to receive multiple national accolades, including 2013 and 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity awards and the 2014 NCAA award for Diversity and Inclusion.

In addition to these awards, Dr. Guion has developed a wide array of diversity and inclusion policies, including the university’s Healthy Perspectives Program, which is designed to help students, faculty, and staff build self-awareness and improve communications skills during cross-cultural situations.

His outstanding work in the field of diversity and inclusion even captured the attention of the nonprofit organization Minority Access, Inc. which named him their 2014 National Role Model.

Dr. Guion received a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and his master’s and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For Guion, the importance comes through connections

As Black History Month was about to kick off, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Kent Guion took some time to sit at the side table in his office in the G. Lombard Kelly Administration Building to talk about the intersection of black history with general history and the importance of connections.

“I think history is fairly stable until you begin to put the connections together, and that’s when it really becomes interesting,” he said. “I think that’s an important element of why recognizing and understanding contributions is an ongoing part of what we do.”

Over the years, he said, Black History Month has shifted away from a narrower focus on civil rights and individual accomplishments to include broader elements that are more reflective of life in general.

“You think about something like a sports figure crossing a color barrier,” he said. “That meant something at one point for sports, but when you get to see how that influences other kinds of activities, like public policy, and when you piece it all together, you see that one event sets up the opportunity for others to happen. It may have once been mainly significant to baseball, but really, when you look at it closely, it was about a lot more.”

Created four years ago, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion handles cultural competency issues, works with international students and employees, and also works to ensure that everyone has equal access to job opportunities.

“We want to create and maintain an environment here on campus that is very inclusive,” he said. “It’s a lot about awareness, a lot about education, and we want it to be embraceable. Many of the activities are open to whoever is able to participate, and many times we have activities that faculty, staff, and students will actually be the lead on.”

Students in particular learn a lot from putting on an event themselves, he said.

This year’s Black History Month will include cooking demonstrations at the Terrace Café, a black history trolley tour sponsored by the Lucy Craft Laney Museum and SouthStar Trolley, a James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils (JAMP) performance at the Terrace Café, and an ongoing trivia contest, something Guion first used in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I was astounded by the number of people who did the trivia the last go around We had over 12,000 visits to the trivia question webpage” he said.

For a more comprehensive list of events, click here.

In keeping with the national theme, this year’s events celebrate a century of black life history and culture. A hundred years ago, Carter G. Woodson, considered the father of Black History Month, began to formulate his ideas concerning the celebration.

For a short video about Woodson, click here.

“I like to think of it as unique, but also united,” Guion said of singling out recognition for black achievement. “We can have specialties and variety, but it really is about the community that we build. And I think that’s one of the components that allows there to be a lot of participation.”

Guion, who has a master’s in physical education with an emphasis on exercise physiology as well as an MD, has been in Augusta for 12 years, arriving as an associate dean in allied health sciences, where part of his role was to develop cultural competency and learning opportunities for students. He later became the interim dean for allied health sciences for nearly two years. Four years ago, when President Ricardo Azziz decided a diversity and inclusion office was needed, he appointed Guion to head it up.

After 21 years in the University System of Georgia, Guion recently accepted a position at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and will be leaving at the end of March.

Before coming to Augusta, Guion was at Georgia Southern during a time of unprecedented growth, so he’s enjoyed a unique perspective regarding GRU’s consolidation and expansion.

“When I was at Georgia Southern, I think it went from 8,000 students to nearly 18,000, so I had a sense of what change on that scale would feel like,” he said. “I’ve always been an optimistic person when it comes to change. To be able to see 20 years down the road is the viewpoint that I’ve always had, and felt I like, wow, to have a unified university in a community of this size, – what a great thing. We know we’ve got to get through this early phase, but really, how beneficial could that be for the community, especially a couple decades from now?”

While building diversity is a stated goal of the university, Guion admitted it’s not one that’s easy to achieve, given the internal tension between being unique and united.

“But when you can embrace both of those concepts, I think it all makes so much more sense,” he said. “Black History Month is just as much our history as it is black history, though it’s a difficult concept to grasp when it looks as if it’s being separated.”

It comes back, he said, to making those connections.

“I think, as a society, we’re working through it,” he said. “I think once we understand the importance of how all of these complex pieces fit together, these occasions will become much more just a part of who we are: our identity. At least that’s my hope.”

 

Device shows VP may be a living zombie

According to a sleep study conducted in Georgia Regents University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Kent Guion, the office’s Vice President, is a living zombie.

Last month, the office used the electronic wristband Jawbone UP to not only track how they  slept and moved, but as a method to promote health and wellness among staff primarily focused on administrative tasks.

The team-building exercise featured awards for personnel who got the most sleep or led the most active lifestyle. Based on the results, Guion won the office’s Zombie Award for having the least amount of sleep, and Jonathan Harwood, Coordinator of International Services in GRU’s International and Postdoctoral Services Office, won the Zzz Award for being the most well-rested person in the office.

Click the following link to learn more about this story in The Augusta Chronicle article “Study shows Augustans lagging in sleep.”

chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2014-10-13/study-shows-augustans-lagging-sleep

 

 

 

Guion named National Role Model

Dr. Kent Guion, Vice president for Diversity and Inclusion at Georgia Regents University, has been named a National Role Kent GuionModel by Minority Access Inc., and he will be formally recognized during the organization’s Fifteenth National Role Models Conference being held in Washington, D.C., Oct. 3-5.

Minority Access Inc. a nonprofit organization geared to improving diversity in research, education, and employment, selected Guion for his past and present contributions as well as his dedication to diversity and inclusion.

Under Guion’s leadership, GRU has incorporated a wide array of diversity and inclusion polices and initiatives, including the university’s Healthy Perspectives Program which is designed to help students, faculty, and staff build self-awareness and improve communication skills during cross-cultural situations.

Guion serves on the University System of Georgia’s Advisory Committee of Chief Diversity Officers and is the Chair of the Georgia Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. He is also the recipient of the 2014 INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s Diversity Visionary Award, and he is a 2009 graduate of the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Augusta program.

Minority Access Inc. is also set to recognize GRU during the conference for being an institution committed to diversity. GRU was chosen for this award as a result of the initiatives, community service, and professional development opportunities that foster diversity and inclusion within the university’s community.

Some of these activities have included an annual summit to foster diversity through community dialogue, partnerships, and a shared framework; the sponsorship and promotion of monthly cultural events across campus; and the presentation of diversity and inclusion information to student-athletes and the coaching staff.

“I am both honored and exhilarated by this recognition,” said Guion.  “Our university thrives for excellence, creativity, and inclusiveness in all of our activities, and these prestigious awards certainly challenge us to raise our bar even higher.”

 

 

 

GRU receives prestigious diversity award

AUGUSTA, Ga – For the second time, Georgia Regents University has received a prestigious national award recognizing its commitment to diversity and inclusion from the oldest higher education, diversity-focused publication.

GRU, one of three Georgia institutions to be recognized this year, received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine because of its ongoing initiatives that embrace diversity on campus.

According to Dr. Kent Guion, GRU Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, the magazine specifically recognized the university’s efforts in offering ongoing cultural competency education opportunities as well as creating practices that enhance inclusiveness and civility, promote community and international cultural activities, and improve efforts to reduce population-based disparities.

“This recognition is a wonderful affirmation of our strategic commitment to demonstrating respect and including multiple perspectives in our work and educational environments,” Guion said.

As a recipient of the annual HEED Award, GRU will be featured along with 82 other recipients in the magazine’s November 2014 issue.

“We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

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Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution. gru.edu

WATCH: Guion discusses Diversity and Inclusion Summit

With riveting session topics presented by highly sought-after speakers, Dr. Kent Guion, GRU’s Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, says Georgia Regents University’s 4th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit promises to be insightful and uplifting.

This year’s summit will be held Friday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at The Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center in Augusta.

Dr. Guion shares his views on this year’s summit:

https://vimeo.com/105769228

 

Guion named national leader in diversity

AUGUSTA, Ga.– Dr. Kent Guion, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Georgia Regents University, has been chosen as a recipient of INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s Diversity Visionary Award and will be featured in the July/August issue of the publication.

INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity magazine in higher education. For nearly 40 years, INSIGHT Into Diversity has connected potential employees with institutions and businesses choosing to embrace a workforce more reflective of our local and national communities.

“The national award is the only one of its kind and we have chosen to present it to Dr. Guion as a tribute to his past and present contributions, future vision, dedication, and long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, Publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “He is an inspiration to all who work so diligently to make a difference in the lives of underrepresented individuals.

Under Guion’s leadership, GRU has incorporated a wide array of diversity and inclusion polices and initiatives, including the university’s Healthy Perspectives Program which is designed to help students, faculty, and staff build self-awareness and improve communications skills during cross-cultural situations.

Guion joined GRU in 2003 as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the university’s College of Allied Health Sciences. Prior to that, he was Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Rural Health and Research at Georgia Southern University.

Guion is a member of GRU’s Global Affairs Council and serves on the University System of Georgia’s Advisory Committee of Chief Diversity Officers. He is a 2009 graduate of the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Augusta program.

Guion received a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and his master’s and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution. gru.edu.

GRU to receive diversity award

Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA)  logo

Georgia Regents University has been selected to receive the 2014 Award for Diversity and Inclusion by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. The award will be presented at the NCAA Convention Association Luncheon on Jan. 16 in San Diego, Calif.

“I am both honored and exhilarated by this recognition,” said Dr. Kent Guion, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at GRU. “Our office strives for excellence, creativity, and inclusiveness in all of our activities, and this prestigious award certainly challenges us to raise the bar even higher.”

According to NCAA and MOAA officials, GRU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion was selected for this award as a result of the university’s initiatives, community service, and professional development opportunities that foster diversity and inclusion within the intercollegiate athletic community.

The university’s diversity and inclusion activities have included an annual summit to foster diversity through community dialogue, partnerships, and a shared framework; the sponsorship and promotion of monthly cultural events across campus; and the presentation of diversity and inclusion information to student athletes and the coaching staff.

The office was also commended on its facilitation of the Healthy Perspectives program, a nationally recognized, cultural competency training program. The university had more than 9,000 faculty and staff complete the training.

“I am grateful for the NCAA and the MOAA for promoting diversity and inclusion as a key priority and equally as thankful for all the supporters and champions at GRU who have contributed to our success,” said Clint Bryant, Director of Athletics at GRU.

GRU receives prestigious diversity award

Georgia Regents University has received the 2013 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The university was selected because of its wide array of diversity and inclusion polices and innovative initiatives that embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus, said Dr. Kent Guion, GRU Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. The magazine specifically recognized the university’s Healthy Perspectives Program, which is designed to help students, faculty, and staff build self-awareness and improve communications skills in cross-cultural situations.

“This recognition is a wonderful affirmation of our enterprise-wide strategic commitment to demonstrating respect and including multiple perspectives in all aspects of our work and educational environments,” Guion said.

As a recipient of the award — a national honor recognizing colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — GRU will be featured along with 55 other recipients in the magazine’s November 2013 issue.

“We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Guion named chair of statewide diversity association

Kent Guion photo
Kent Guion

Kent Guion, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Georgia Regents University, has been named the founding chair of the Georgia Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (GADOHE).

The mission of GADOHE is to provide leadership and advocacy for inclusive excellence, offer a forum for the exchange of ideas and professional development for higher education diversity officers, and promote research and evidence-based policies, programs, and solutions to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

Guion joined GRU in 2003 as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the university’s College of Allied Health Sciences. Before joining GRU, he was the Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Rural Health and Research at Georgia Southern University.

Guion is a member of GRU’s Global Affairs Council and serves on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia’s Advisory Committee of Chief Diversity Officers. He is a 2009 graduate of the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Augusta program.

Guion received a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and master’s and M.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.