Diverse communities are weaved in layers

‘Diversity … weaves the fabric of the world in which we live,’ health sciences dean says

Editor’s note: This story, by Knightly News reporter Olivia Gregory, is one in our series Layers of Community. The series began with an overview article by Knightly News reporter Ashley Reichard. The name of the series was Layers of Diversity, but the Central Penn College committees, and The Knightly News, that created the project changed the name to Layers of Community, to better convey the intention behind the series: to unfold for our audience the layers of people and the environment – and, in those, the diversity and inclusiveness – of the Central Penn community. We hope you find the series informative. Please share your thoughts on our blog page and on social media. You can also email the editors and the reporters. The editors’ email address is at the end of the article. Reporters’ email addresses are with their byline.

Cutout-style people of various colors holding hands in a circle.
Thumbnail of reporter Olivia Gregory

By Olivia Gregory

Knightly News Reporter


Anne Bizup grew up in rural Schuylkill County.

Her high school graduating class consisted of fewer than 250 students.

Living in an area about 15 miles from the nearest town limited the amount of diversity she was exposed to growing up.

She belongs to a few different groups and cultures. For example, she’s a white Catholic woman with Slovak and German heritage. Both sides of her heritage are celebrated to maintain the traditions of her mother and father’s side of the family.

Like many people, Bizup learned about her heritage through her family. Her grandparents on her father’s side were immigrants and often spoke Slovak. Not only did she learn about her heritage through her family, but she’d occasionally do some of her own research to learn more about Slovak and German culture.

After graduation, she entered Villanova University, in 1980, where she became more exposed to diversity.

Dean of Health Sciences Anne Bizup, right, discusses some college business with Dr. Krista Wolfe, provost and vice president and academic affairs. It was a casual Friday,
when faculty and staff can wear Central Penn spirit wear and other casual clothing. Photo by Michael Lear-Olimpi.

Through her nursing career and the 20 years she spent living and working in Philadelphia, she had the opportunity to experience many cultures. To learn more about diversity, she made new relationships in which she’d often observe and ask questions.

The values that are most important to Bizup are family, faith, friendship, honesty, caring and kindness.

During her career, she cared for people from a wide range of diverse backgrounds and lifestyles, whether that be race, culture, religion or simple lifestyle choices. She was raised to believe that all people deserved to be cared for and respected.

Regarding why she believes diversity is important, Bizup said, “Diversity, on every level, weaves the fabric of the world in which we live.”

She believes that without diversity, the world would be plain and uninteresting. Diversity brings high levels of beauty and complexity, she said.

Cultural acceptance is very important to Bizup because no matter what culture, race or religion a person’s part of, “We all bring a piece of the puzzle to the world and each piece fits in its own special place– and when the puzzle is complete, it creates something good.”

Have a comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

For information on having a Central Penn College diversity, equity and inclusion workshop for your organization, email equity@centralpenn.edu.

Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.

See our other articles in the series:

Layers of Diversity Project launches

Asia Sargent: Advocate for the voiceless, guide to any student

The many layers of Brant Ellsworth

Diversity is a journey on a two-way street