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What is the Mosaic Overnight Experience? CSDI efforts to recruit diverse students

CSDI initiates the Mosaic Overnight Experience to increase diverse recruiting and belonging among prospective students.
John Carroll University
CSDI initiates the Mosaic Overnight Experience to increase diverse recruiting and belonging among prospective students.

On Feb. 22, 2024, prospective John Carroll students will visit campus to be fully immersed in its culture via the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion’s Mosaic Overnight Experience. According to an Instagram post, those visiting will be able to “spend the night at JCU, tour [the] beautiful campus, enjoy lunch in [the] newly renovated dining hall and meet with staff and students from our Division of Student Experience and Campus Belonging.”

The overnight experience is just one portion of JCU’s larger “Mosaic” saga which is “a series of events hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) and the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) thoughtfully designed to cater to the diverse experiences of our prospective students.” The name of this effort is rooted in the celebration of diversity as a mosaic showcases varied artistic visions all coming together to create a beautiful visage.

This initiative first started between 2021 and 2022 when CSDI began to collaborate with John Carroll’s enrollment and admissions team to meet prospective students where they were at in their search and answer questions about a faith-based predominantly white institution like JCU in an honest manner.

According to Selen Zarrelli, the director of CSDI, the Mosaic Overnight Experience invites students to experience John Carroll’s vibrant community via interactions with student organizations, academic departments and famed keynote speaker Cheryl Brown Henderson, the daughter of Rev. Oliver Leon Brown who was the lead plaintiff in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Prospective students will be able to shadow current Blue Streaks and observe how they interact with the campus at large for two whole days.

“The most important aspect of the program is peer-to-peer interactions,” Zarrelli told The Carroll News. “We would love prospective admitted students to hear [about] the experiences from our current students first hand.”

Zarrelli said that the university had seen a positive yield from the previously held overnights in 2021-22 and 2022-23, so much so that the university will be hosting two events this semester. For her, Mosaic is about “investing in the relationships” and building a solid community, helping students picture themselves at JCU. For many students, the Mosaic Overnight Experience helped seal the deal that John Carroll was for them.

“The Mosaic was amazing last year,” Isa Crespo ‘27 said. “The event allowed me to interact with others who shared my same view on the topic of diversity and inclusion, showing me that John Carroll emphasized a great amount of belonging and care. I very much enjoyed being able to spend the night with a student who shared her honest reviews of the school and reasons as to why I should attend.”

Other students who attended these voiced their thoughts. Xiomara Iparraguiree ‘26 claims that attending the Mosaic Overnight Experience was “the best decision” she made during her college search.

“I was able to meet so many people that I still see on campus, giving me the comfort of a smile while walking past as a new student,” she said. “Not only was I able to meet new people, I saw how prominent CSDI was at JCU and it made me fall in love with JCU a little more.”

However, this event would be nothing without current students. Zarrelli says that those who host visitors are shaping the next generation of Blue Streaks; they serve as mentors and get to share their experiences first hand. Those who do volunteer are compensated monetarily for their efforts.

“Hosting a student was a fun opportunity to give back to students thinking about coming to JCU,” Maya Kumar ‘24, a past student host, told The Carroll News. “It was exciting to show them all of the amazing aspects of Carroll that made me feel connected to our community. Everyone has a place at John Carroll and the Mosaic event helped share that sentiment with potential blue streaks.”

Those interested in hosting prospective students for the Mosaic Overnight Experience Apr. 11-12 can find out more information here.

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About the Contributor
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].

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