Inclusion Excellence

Diversity and Inclusion matters. Within recent years, diversity and inclusion has made its way to the core of most programs and organizations including the Risk Management and Insurance program at Appalachian State University. While the value diversity brings to an organization is not new; a 2016 study reported by McKinsey reveals the bottom line benefits of having a diverse workplace. 1 AACSB, the accrediting body for business schools calls diversity a “core component” of AACSB’s mission and vision.2 Additionally, creating a more diverse community of students, faculty and staff has been a significant priority of both Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Walker College of Business Dean, Dr. Heather Norris.


In 2018 the Brantley Center decided to revitalize the Building Insurance Talent program which was developed in 2010 to attract and support students of diverse backgrounds. The program included mentoring, networking opportunities and career development.  While in the beginning stages of its new era, we hope to develop a robust program to introduce diverse students to the endless potential in Risk Management and Insurance and provide the students with the tools and resources to succeed in this  industry. This initiative is led by Dr. Jamie Parson an Assistant Professor in the Finance, Banking and Insurance department. Dr. Parson also leads the Walker College of Business Inclusive Excellence Team. She brings several years of experience working with first generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented populations. She is a part of numerous community organizations, served as a Title VII investigator, and is a first generation ethnically diverse student herself. 




1 Hunt Vivian, et. al Why Diversity Matters. McKinsey January 2015

2 Ponzillo, Amy. AACSB and White House Team to Promote Workplace Diversity. August 2015