Filiz Otucu

Birthplace:

Istanbul, Turkey

Relationship to PSU:

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Department of Social Science

How do you celebrate diversity?

Being an international faculty, coming from another country with a quite different culture, my life is filled with diversity. On top of that, I teach international relations courses, which constantly touch upon diversity related issues, including, cultural globalization, women empowerment, race and ethnicity, religion etc. I listen and learn from my students about their lives, their cultures. I introduce them to different cultures and people, share my experiences with them. We talk about stereotypes we develop. I tell my students that at the end of the course they have with me, I hope to achieve at least this: “they put themselves into the shoes of people different from themselves, make an effort to understand them, develop empathy, and see others simple as human beings”.

Achieving diversity at PSU is responsibility of us all, faculty, students, and staff. We have a long way ahead of us. I am very happy to be part of a Commission who plays a vital role in this mission. I hope that, we remain committed to building an inclusive community free of social bias and exclusion. We have to keep working on ensuring respect, civility and common understanding in our campus.