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2019 Diversity Conference Session Descriptions 

Session 1: 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
It's All Connected: Gender and LGBTQ Equity

Presented by: Mary Thompson - English Department, Kristen McCleary - Department of History, Becca Howes-Mischel - Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, Kristin Wylie - Department of Political Science, Jemmifer Iwerks - University Health Center, The Well: Health Promotion and Well-Being, Kathy Ott Walter - Health Sciences, Jessie Davidson - Department of History

Panelists will present briefly on issues explored by the Provost’s Task Force on Gender and Sexuality (including workplace equity, curriculum, women’s centers, and connecting gender and LGBTQ stakeholders across Academic and Student Affairs). The session seeks to foster participation with the audience—including sharing experiences and observations, problem-solving, and connecting JMU community members with an interest in gender and LGBTQ issues. This discussion will examine how certain aspects of the JMU workplace—from a faculty perspective—are still shaped by a normative model that assumes that a faculty member has a support-spouse (traditionally a wife). This model informs workplace practices that assume faculty have built-in childcare to support activities like teaching graduate courses (which are offered only at night) or offering study-abroad programs (which do not factor in childcare expenses).

JMU Taskforce on Inclusion: JMU Community Dialogues

Presented by: Andreas Broschied - Center for Faculty Innovation & Department of Political Science, Jenn Phillips - Athletics Compliance, David Owusu-Ansah - Department of History and Office of Access and Inclusion, along with members of the Task Force on Inclusion

President Alger's Task Force on Inclusion is in its second year. It was established "to help facilitate thoughtful dialogue, analysis and reflection across the entire campus regarding issues of inclusion (in all aspects, including issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disabilities, etc.) both in and outside the classroom." In this session, members of the task force will provide an update on their work and invite participants to engage in dialogues surrounding the themes of the various task force working groups.

Integrating Meaningful Learning with Disability Awareness: A Cross-Discipline Partnership

Presented by: Juhong Christie Liu- JMU Libraries, Valerie Schoolcraft - Office of Disability Services, Jesse Rathgeber - School of Music, Bill Hawk - JMU Ethical Reasoning in Action, Kathryn Rathgeber - Office of Disability Services

Led by the JMU Office of Disability Services (ODS), a group of JMU advocates for teaching and learning with accessibility and Universal Design brainstormed an innovative and inclusive learning activity design for the 2019 JMU Disability Awareness Week. The partnership across the JMU campus within 2018 resulted in a flexible instructional design project that can be adapted to many courses and curriculum. This session will unveil the pilot of its implementation in an educational evaluation class with PhotoVoice cooperative and collaborative learning, and JMU 8 Key Questions through a moderated panel of campus leaders, faculty members and advocates.

Access, Inclusion, Equity: The choices we make


Presented by: Cheryl Beverly - Department of Learning, Technology & Leadership Education

This session introduces a way of thinking that broadens our understanding and practice of access and inclusion. . A model entitled Equitable Learning is the focus of this session. We will reach a shared understanding of the definitions and assumptions on which the model is based. We will explore and apply the model to different populations and contexts. Each participant will have a copy of the model with space for notetaking and implications for their professional decision-making. After a brief introduction to the model, participants and presenter will discuss the multiple components (Access, Opportunity, Encouragement, Engagement, and Critical Feedback) and their relationship to each other. Participants will explore the process and outcomes of variations in the process. Participants will explore range of learners and contexts of equitable learning. We will identify and discuss the ways in which the model might work for different individuals and contexts. Together we will identify possible barriers to the implementation of the model, consequences of partial implementation, as well as benefits.

"I heard a teacher say…" Responding to micro-(and macro-) aggressions in K-12 public schools


Presented by: Ashley Taylor Jaffee - Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education, Aaron Bodle, Kara Kavanagh and Emma Thacker - Early, Elementary, and Reading Education, Mira Williams - Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities

This session will discuss the creation of a committee working to take action on diversity-related issues in JMU education students field placements. Due to a history of systemic issues in public schools and current national rhetoric involving the experiences of historically marginalized communities, K-12 students and families, JMU pre-service teachers, and public school teachers/administrators/staff are experiencing an uptick in bullying and implicit bias related to racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. In this session, we discuss how we plan to respond to these issues and offer a space to consider how to take action to interrupt these issues in a variety of contexts, such as internships.

Survivors on the Margins: Disability, Trauma, & Oppression

Presented by: Arianna Sessoms - University Health Center - The Well

Sexual abuse is an issue that effects everyone, but not everyone experiences it the same way. Survivors who hold marginalized identities may be less likely to have their stories told. This session focuses on survivors with disabilities, the specific abuses, barriers, and systems of oppression they may be faced with, and how we can support all survivors and prevent sexual abuse in a communities.

Hunger & Homelessness Among College Students


Presented by: Jamie Williams - Community Service-Learning, Jeremy Hawkins - Off Campus Life, Livvy Call - Community Service-Learning

No student should have to choose between purchasing textbooks or groceries, or go into debt to buy a meal plan. This interactive session aims to address these challenges students face by discussing and developing innovative and collaborative initiatives to support hard-working, resource-limited students by providing access to food and hygiene assistance and interdisciplinary educational programming as well as eliminating stigma. Participants will work in small groups to identify gaps in support, brainstorm potential interventions and resources, and consider strategies to address barriers. As a collective force of campus and community stakeholders, these efforts can foster the relationships needed to enhance the inclusive, supportive, and engaging communities on campuses across the nation.

Session 2: 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
B(l)ack in the Days


Presented by: Chiquita King and Michael Humphrise - JMU Black Alumni Chapter 

This panel will showcase the Madison experience through the viewpoints of African-American alumni who graduated from the '70s and ‘80s through today. Their stories will illustrate how JMU excels and can improve on promoting a culture of inclusion for the African-American student through equity and opportunity for years to come. The session will conclude with a question-and-answer segment.

JMU Task Force on Inclusion

Presented by: Andreas Broschied - Center for Faculty Innovation & Department of Political Science, Jenn Phillips - Athletics Compliance, David Owusu-Ansah - Department of History and Office of Access and Inclusion, along with members of the Task Force on Inclusion

President Alger's Task Force on Inclusion is in its second year. It was established "to help facilitate thoughtful dialogue, analysis and reflection across the entire campus regarding issues of inclusion (in all aspects, including issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disabilities, etc.) both in and outside the classroom." In this session, members of the task force will provide an update on their work and invite participants to engage in dialogues surrounding the themes of the various task force working groups.

Diversity Through Internationalization: Fulbright, INU, and More

Presented by: Ed Brantmeier - Center for Faculty Innovation and the Department of Learning, Technology, and Leadership Education, Vesna Hart and Lee Sternberger - Center for Global Engagement, David Ousu-Ansah - Department of History and Office of Access and Inclusion

International education happens in many ways.  It certainly includes what we do when we lead study abroad programs or participate in international learning exchanges, but it also includes the variety of ways in which we broach subjects of global importance within our classrooms, through our assignments, and via our engagement with our colleagues around the globe.  International education, therefore, is committed to issues of diversity — by opening our minds to different worldviews and practices and making these tangible to others, we better prepare ourselves for productive global citizenry.  In this session, our panel will talk about opportunities to work with and potentially be Fulbright Scholars, participate in the International Network of Universities’ Shadowing Program, explore International Association of Universities opportunities, and more.

Immigrant Harrisonburg: The Benefits and Challenges of Community-Based Research


Presented by: Kristin Wylie - Department of Political Science, Daniel Beers - Department of Justice Studies, Daniel Morales - Department of History, Lisa Porter - Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, David Trouille - Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, Case Watkins - Department of Justice Studies, Shaun Wright - School of Media Arts and Design

This session will present the goals, scope, and insights of Immigrant Harrisonburg, a community-based research initiative at James Madison University that engages students in community engagement projects to document the lives of local immigrants. Participants will learn about: 1) the Immigrant Harrisonburg community-based research initiative and issues facing local immigrant communities, 2) evidence-based strategies for conducting community-based research, with discussion of benefits and how to overcome common challenges, and 3) exchange ideas on ethical community engagement. We hope the session will also help to strengthen the JMU network of people working with local immigrant communities.

Providing Equity and Inclusion of International Students

Presented by: Lisa Clark Schick - Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department, Hong Wie Embree - International Studey Center, Eric Moore - Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute, Pamela Smart-Smith - Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute 

This session will provide faculty with manageable, pedagogically sound strategies to increase skill in ensuring equity and enhancing inclusion for international students. We will explore remediation strategies for situations that we face with international students such as, evaluating and providing feedback on academic written work, active participation in class discussions, skills in asking for assistance or clarification when needed, academic honesty issues, and the understanding of group work requirements. 

The Outcomes of Youth Film making Project by the US State Department


Presented by: Nefin Dinc - School of Media Arts and Design and Ted Schwalbe - State University of New York at Fredonia

Youth Filmmaking Project in Turkey as a Project which allowed Turkish students to make short films on democracy and human rights. The Project also allowed the American students to travel to Turkey to present their own films. The project funded by the u: State Department. Youth Filmmaking Project in Turkey was a success, allowing Turkish and American students to produce and screen their films. The films the students produced travelled all around the world and received ten international awards. Professor Nefin Dinc will present the clips from the student films and from the documentary film about the whole project Through My Lens and discuss the value of inclusiveness in education.

Advancing Education and Awareness about Inclusion through the use of an Adapted Sport Focused Documentary film

Presented by: Cathy McKay and Jana Walters - Kineseology Department

This session aims to advance the knowledge and understanding of utilizing documentary film as a learning tool to advance culturally responsive attitudes in college students. Specifically, the presenters will introduce the transformative approach as it relates to teaching and learning in the college classroom, and then will showcase the power and impact of a disability sport focused documentary film on student perceptions toward disability. This power and impact will be displayed through qualitative research results, offering the voice of the students as evidence of the benefits of integrating documentary film as a teaching and learning tool.

Accessible Event Planning at JMU

Presented by: Beth Nelsen - Office of Equal Opportunity, Jen Gulliver, Bryant Leonard and Brennan Maupin - Office of Disability Services

Each year hundreds of events, meetings, lectures and conferences are scheduled at JMU. These events are the foundation of an engaged education. But how do you make sure these educational events are actually inclusive to everyone? This session explores forward thinking event planning using the basics of Universal Design concepts to create a welcoming environment for all, presenters and attendees. Don't react the day of your event, learn how to plan ahead and have the welcoming event you envision.

Class Matters: Social Class and Equity on Campus

Presented by: Daisy Breneman - Department of Justice Studies and University Advising, Erika Collazo Vargas - Health Sciences, Mary Tam - Chemistry / Science and Math Learning Center, Rory DePaolis - Communication Sciences and Disorders

Based on a Fall 2018 Center for Faculty Innovation Books on Higher Education Reading Group that explored two books, Welcoming Blue-Collar Scholars into the Ivory Tower and The Lives of Campus Custodians, this panel discussion seeks to raise awareness and appreciation of working class identities and individuals on campus, whether students, faculty, or staff, especially housekeeping staff. Using storytelling and discussion, the session will explore ways to reduce barriers to access and inclusion on campus, to address equity issues on campus, and to foster a campus culture that invites full access and participation by all its members.

Session 3: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Gen-Next: Highlighting the Needs of First Generation and Low Income College Students


Presented by: Chinenye Omile - Valley Scholars Program, Kiah DeVona, Joshua Knight, and Jack Nichting - JMU Graduate Students

First generation, low-income students average $6,000 in annual unmet financial aid and have an 11% chance of earning a college degree within six years. This session will allow attendees to walk in the footsteps of these first generation and low-income student and experience first-hand the disadvantages these students face. Attendees will navigate a simulation that seeks to explore their personal lives and how their circumstances influences their college experience. The session will lead to a greater appreciation of these select students and an understanding that more resources need to be allocated for increased support.

Insider-Outsider Dynamics of Inclusion

Presented by: Gail Napora - Talent Development

Join us for a series of interactive activities to become more aware of inclusive behaviors: create an inclusive label for a group; use 6 words in a thought bubble to explain inclusion; view a Pecha Kucha of "outsider'' behaviors; collaborate on 10 ways to be inclusive; consider 2 views of inclusion competencies for leaders; add to a wall of words that form a continuum of inclusion.

This will be a fast-paced, up & doing opportunity to explore the behaviors and words that create invisible barriers to inclusion. Included content is drawn from two books, The Inclusion Dividend by Mark Kaplan and Mason Donovan, and Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change by Jennifer Brown.

Adapting the assignment: The infusion of a non-major with alternative assignments

Presented by: Joshua Pate - Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management, Undergraduate student completing the Disability Studies minor

Professors plan course schedules and assignments as they would and should relate to all students enrolled in the course, particularly when the course is required within an academic major. However, some required courses are also open to students from outside the major and students seeking an academic minor. For example, SRM 242: Sociology and Psychology of Sport and Recreation Management is a required course for Sport and Recreation Management majors but is also open to students enrolled in the Disability Studies (DST) minor as an elective. The course includes two weeks of disability sport-related content and aims to infuse disability-related material across other topics, but disability is not the sole focus of the entire course. The purpose of this presentation is to offer an example of how instructors can practice infusion of the student’s interest across an entire course when only a segment of the course applies to their academic pursuits. Using the example of a DST minor enrolled in SRM 242, we will offer alternatives of how professors can offer alternative assignments for assessment while also remaining aligned with the course objectives.

Access to Study Abroad

Presented by: Jason Good - Center for Global Engagement, Study Abroad, Taryn Roberts and Katie Sensabaugh - Center for Global Engagement

While there are clear positive outcomes for student participation in study abroad, do all students have access to this critical opportunity? Is a lack of access setting students behind in their professional and academic goals? With several known hurdles to participation, what can institutions of higher education do to increase participation of underrepresented groups? Accessibility to international education at JMU is a key strategic goal for the Study Abroad Office. This session attempts to tackle the difficult challenge of increasing accessibility for study abroad through analysis of current data, review of recently implemented strategies, and brainstorming path for continued progress.

Accessibility Projects

Presented by: Beth Nelsen - Office of Equal Opportunity, Valerie Schoolcraft and James Robinson - Co-Chairs Disability Resource Committee, Sam Hottinger - Facilities Management, Eric Stauffer and K.T. Vaughan - JMU Libraries, Christina Wulf - Office of Disability Services

Campus resources to support accessibility are being updated and improved from all directions. Initiatives all over campus are making JMU easier to navigate physically while also creating a welcoming learning and working environment for all. Come learn about latest projects that impact faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Our panel discussion represents several different fields all with the goal of making JMU more accessible. Participants are also welcome to share their campus accessibility project!

Building the Capacity for Cultural Competency and Community Transformation


Presented by: Melody Pannell - Department of Applied Sciences, Eastern Mennonite University

Participants will learn how to develop a personal and professional capacity for building cultural competency through utilizing interpersonal and community assessment tools for transformation. As participants engage in the evaluation of social and personal identity dynamics, they will be empowered to implement effective strategies to encourage a deeper understanding of concepts such as intersectionality, inclusion and racial identity formation.

Beyond the Binary: Gender Inclusion in the Classroom

Presented by: Jennifer L. Iwerks - University Health Center, The Well

This session is designed to support faculty interested in providing an inclusive learning environment for students that identify as transgender, no binary, or gender non-conforming. It will include a brief overview of some research on why creating an inclusive classroom matters and the impact that professors and faculty can have on creating a safe, inclusive, and engaging learning environment. We’ll be talking through some identity basics relating to gender identity as well as pronouns, and give concrete tips to faculty for their learning spaces. This relates to the conference theme of presenting best practices in the field of LGBTQ+ inclusion, particularly in the field of teaching and interactions with students. This session may also deepen the awareness and knowledge that folks have of various gender identities.

Imagining the Future of the College Campus: Considering Accessibility, Inclusion, and Justice using Design Fiction, Scenario Analysis, and Disciplinary Humility

Presented by: Shannon N. Conley, Emily York and Linda M Thomas - School of Integrated Sciences, Daisy Breneman - Department of Justice Studies and University Advising

This interactive session will model a reflexive approach to multidisciplinary collaboration and engagement in light of themes of access, inclusion, and feminist perspectives on justice. In the first phase, we ask: How can we imagine the future of the college campus in ways that foreground issues of accessibility, inclusion, and justice, using two tools that we have been developing to critically interrogate plausible futures--scenario analysis and design fiction? In the second phase, we ask: How can we rethink and re-evaluate our tools and methods-that is, scenario analysis and design fiction-through the lenses of accessibility, inclusion, and feminist perspective on justice?

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