Labouré College of Healthcare president Lily Hsu, Ed.D. was recently honored as one of the top 50 most influential people of color in higher education. The honor came from Get Konnected!, headed by Colette A. M. Phillips. President Hsu participated in a robust conversation with area college presidents about the past, present, and future of diversity and inclusion in higher education as part of a live virtual forum hosted in collaboration with Get Konnected! and WGBH.
President Hsu has dedicated her professional life to public health and serving students in higher education and is one of very few women of color leading institutions, even today. According to the American Council on Education, only 5% of college presidents in the US are women of color. As the 8th president of Labouré College of Healthcare, President Hsu has brought her career and life experience to support the college’s diverse adult student population in these unprecedented times.
“When we think about the last year and its challenges for students, the pandemic amplified certain issues but those problems were always there. Our responsibility in higher education is not only to care about the curriculum or think about creating new pathways to education but also to act. We must take this opportunity to empower our students, faculty, and staff to stand up and challenge situations and language to ensure that we are living up to our values.”
Beyond acknowledging and fighting racism and inequity, President Hsu is committed to celebrating the beauty that diversity brings to campus life and to healthcare. “We have at least 40 different languages spoken on campus. We are a healthcare institution and for many of our students, English is not their first language. Historically, I’ve seen that students are told that they cannot move forward in their career until they ‘learn better English.’ At Labouré, we want to help students use their primary or home language in their nursing career to better serve patients. We are elevating the students who have proficiency in more than one language - that is a prized possession in their ability to better serve patients. The literature is clear - you have better patient outcomes when you have caregivers who can relate culturally and through language to their patients.”
Thank you to Get Konnected! for highlighting President Hsu’s contributions to higher education. Watch the full panel discussion below.