Penn State Worthington Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa was taken by surprise at this year's United Nations Day luncheon when former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors presented him with a proclamation making Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 Dr. Marwan Wafa Day in Lackawanna County.
Dr. Wafa, who served as this year's United Nations Day chairman, was given the recognition for his efforts to promote diversity, cultural awareness and acceptance in our region.
It came on the heels of a recent front-page feature article in The (Scranton) Sunday Times about Dr. Wafa's work in initiating community-wide discussions on diversity.
Since taking the helm as chancellor at PSWS in July, 2015, Dr. Wafa has made a concerted effort to launch community-based conversations and efforts that promote diversity and inclusion, both on campus and through his community involvement.
Over the past year, he and his wife, Sahar al-Masri, Diversity Circles and Diversity Circle Facilitator Training at PSWS.
The Diversity Circles bring together community leaders from different professions and backgrounds, who meet over a period of five weeks, to discuss racial and ethnic stereotypes, their personal experiences with that, and the racial and cultural issues they feel are relevant and impacting their communities.
He also revamped the campus' Diversity Committee, elevating it to a Diversity Council that now includes faculty, staff and students, along with community members, whose goal is to foster a welcoming campus at PSWS.
And last year, Dr. Wafa spearheaded the campus' first Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, which was attended by members of the campus community as well as area educators, professionals and community leaders.
It also served as the backdrop for the campus' very first Excellence in Diversity Awards, which were given to PSWS student Allan Souza and United Neighborhood Center's Michael Hanley, and which will now be an annual tradition.