Inclusion and Diversity office hosts coffee hour


Jayda Anderson

During the Coffee in the KEAP event on Thursday, Feb. 22, students Amy Pitoscia and Erik Derby converse with Dr. Johnathan Locust Jr., the associate vice president of Inclusion and Diversity.

Lauren Gennerman, Features Reporter

In order to get more students visiting the KEAP center, the Inclusion and Diversity Office staff is now offering Winona State University students and faculty free coffee from 8-10 a.m. one Wednesday and one Thursday a month.

Upon entering the KEAP center, students may first encounter members of the staff of the Inclusion and Diversity office. Jonathan Locust Jr. just started his job as associate vice president of the Inclusion and Diversity office at the beginning of spring semester. This past Thursday, Feb. 22, he stood towards the front of the center, offering students coffee, tea and water, as well as a place to study and socialize.

“We just want to talk to more students,” Locust said. “We love seeing the familiar faces that are here regularly, but we want to get to know the student body of Winona State.”

After sitting down in a couch or at the tall tables, people may run into Ne’Angela Scott, who just started a year ago in her academic advisor and recruitment and retention specialist position.

“A friend first told me about the position here, and I never thought my perfect position would open up so quickly after I graduated college,” Scott said. “My friend ended up taking a position somewhere else, but I love my job here.”

Scott attended St. Cloud University in Saint Cloud, Minnesota after growing up in the cities. She got her master’s degree in college counseling and student development. While her partner is still in St. Cloud, she is glad to have her job here. She specializes in giving college and career advice but loves to hear about where students are from and why they came to Winona.

She may ask for student suggestions to make the center more productive and effective by submitting them to the suggestion box. Students are welcome to submit about future speakers, events and initiatives they want to see in place at Winona.

“My hope in this is that I not only get to meet more of the students here, but that they can help us know what to do better,” Scott said. “We want student input on how we can do better here.”

The next coffee date will be at Wednesday, March 14 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.