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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2011 / 02 

Learning about multicultural competence at Pamplin diversity conference

February 16, 2011

Three students talk to a presenter at the workshop.
Experts say multicultural competence can enhance individual effectiveness and corporate competitiveness.

The Pamplin Multicultural Diversity Council’s sixth annual Diversity Conference will feature workshops led by corporate representatives from Ernst & Young, Freddie Mac, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Target. The five companies are also sponsoring the conference, along with Nucor.

The conference will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Free parking is available at the Inn. Find more parking information online, or call (540) 231-3200. The student-organized conference is free and open to all Virginia Tech students, but registration is required.

The conference is a great opportunity for students to learn about diversity in Corporate America, said co-presidents Josh Albert, an accounting and information systems senior from Sterling, Va., and Owen Alberti, a finance and management senior from Chesapeake, Va.

“Business professionals will showcase effective multicultural leadership skills and corporate programs,” Alberti said. “Students will learn about diverse workplaces and workforce issues and the opportunities for working in a multiethnic work environment.” They will also get to network, improve leadership skills, and possibly land an internship or full time position, Alberti said.

Pamplin alumnus Melvin E. Jones, who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1987 and an MBA in 1989, will provide the keynote address during lunch. “Diversity presents some of the greatest challenges and some of the greatest opportunities for organizations,” says Yalana Bryant, a Pamplin academic advisor who is helping to organize the conference. “The keynote address will enhance the discussion by exploring the dynamics of this paradox.”

Jones is currently executive minister at the Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va., where he has served since July 2003. Before entering full-time ministry, he worked at Verizon Communications for 14 years, in various supervisory and managerial positions.



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