Registration open for Smeal’s Diversity Enhancement Programs START Conference

February 24, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Business leaders from a variety of companies, students, staff, faculty, and administrators from the Penn State Smeal College of Business, and members of the State College community will gather March 24 to celebrate diversity at the 21st annual START Conference.

The conference, organized by a student-run committee that is largely comprised of Smeal students, and supported by the Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs, begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus. The event is free and open to all Penn State students, staff, faculty, and community members.

Attendees are asked to pre-register online.

START (Striving Toward Awareness and Respect for Tomorrow) is a professional development conference designed to increase diversity and inclusion awareness in corporate settings. It includes networking opportunities and workshops on a variety of topics, including:

  • Belonging
  • Inclusivity
  • Feedback
  • Competitive advantage
  • Unconscious bias

Smeal alumna Simmi Kelly, senior director of account sales with Altria, will deliver the morning keynote address at 9:45 a.m.

Kevin Edwards, global manager of diversity and inclusion for Bechtel Corporation, will deliver the afternoon keynote address at 12:30 p.m.

The START Conference is also sponsoring an Information Fair for all students preparing to look for permanent employment or internship opportunities. The fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 25 in the Business Building Atrium. Companies attending the START Conference will be joined by a few additional firms.

More information about the START conference and a list of sponsors can be found online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 15, 2021