Student conference to address business initiatives in diversity

Penn State student leaders and corporate executives from a variety of leading companies will come together to discuss business initiatives in diversity at the 14th annual S.T.A.R.T. Conference, organized by students in the Smeal College of Business.

The conference will be held on Tuesday, March 26, at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.

S.T.A.R.T., or Striving Toward Awareness and Respect for Tomorrow, brings students together with faculty, administrators, and corporate representatives to discuss diversity issues such as raising awareness in the corporate world and increasing respect for individuals in the workplace. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and gain insight into the corporate climate of presenting companies.

“The S.T.A.R.T. Conference has become a tradition here at Smeal,” said Assistant Dean for Diversity Enhancement Programs Jamie Campbell. “It’s a great opportunity for us to take the time to talk about diversity issues in the workplace.”

Reginald Butler, director of educational methods in learning and development at PricewaterhouseCoopers, will deliver this year’s keynote address. Butler is a well-known corporate consultant and educator with more than 25 years of experience in education and learning solutions within the private and corporate sectors.

Breakout sessions on this year’s agenda will cover topics such as personal branding, generational differences, multicultural leaders, and transitioning from student to professional life. The sessions will be led by representatives from companies such as KPMG, Boeing, Kohl’s, Altria, Johnson & Johnson, Shell and CapitalOne.

The S.T.A.R.T. Conference was established by a group of Smeal students in 1999 to foster open dialogue with professional and corporate leaders on creating a productive and respectful work environment.

Altria, Boeing, CapitalOne, Ernst & Young, Johnson & Johnson, Kohl’s, KPMG, PwC, Shell, Target and United States Steel are sponsors of the event. To learn more and to register for the free half-day conference, visit

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Last Updated September 10, 2013