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Faculty Professional Development Series ‘Moving the Needle’ Toward DEIA
At her core, Melissa Luke says she is a “consummate scientist practitioner” who prefers to rely on research and data to inform her work.
So when the division of Faculty Affairs in the Office of Academic Affairs asked Luke and fellow School of Education professor Jeffery Mangram to create professional development for faculty focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA), Luke knew the foundation upon which she wanted to build the workshops.
“It is very clear from data in the campus climate pulse survey that we have an opportunity to advance academic excellence in a University that is welcoming to all,” says Luke, a Provost Faculty Fellow and Dean’s Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Services. “The DEIA professional development workshops are one way we can meet the responsibility to expand our skills.”
There are four workshops that have been scheduled throughout the fall, and each workshop contains three different two-hour sessions. A full listing of the schedule, which provides flexibility for faculty by offering each module three separate times during the fall semester, can be found on the University Events Calendar.
The workshops meet the University’s commitment to have all faculty participate in its DEIA programming, and Luke says she and Mangram are working with deans from individual schools and colleges to schedule specific sessions for their faculty. Of course, faculty can attend any workshop and Luke says that she and Mangram have “infused research and practice” into the workshops that are fast-paced, interactive and skills-focused.
“We’re hearing from faculty that they find the workshop information highly applicable and immediately transferable, and that they are therefore engaged emotionally, psychologically, cognitively and behaviorally,” Luke says. “We know that a one-time workshop doesn’t move the needle enough, but our workshop series are articulated and scaffolded, and grounded in the practice of continuous improvement.”
Here’s a look at the four workshops and what faculty members are saying about the professional development series:
- DEIA Building Blocks
This workshop is designed to support participants’ exploration of a) the role that socialization and identity play in how we view ourselves and others; b) the relationship between bias, stereotype, prejudice and discrimination; and c) ways to identify and disrupt various forms of microaggression that arise in educational contexts.“In the Building Blocks trainings, Melissa and Jeff walk you through the process of ‘leaning into’ uncomfortable experiences. We must examine our own identities and privileges so that we can react with intention when faced with uncomfortable situations in the classroom. These trainings give you the tools to turn a triggering event into a learning opportunity.” — Amy Messersmith, associate director of Student Support Services
- Transforming Hot Moments into Learning Opportunities
This workshop applies research-supported interpersonal group leadership strategies and focuses on responding to and transforming “hot moments.” The fast-paced sessions will offer a series of potential responses that participants choose and practice, peer to peer. Real-life scenarios from the college/school/department context are employed.“The use of real-world experiences, the tangible ideas shared, and the honesty and vulnerability demonstrated by the workshop leaders gave the experience practicality and an urgency. At the end of the workshop, I knew that I had several tools to help me create a sense of belonging in all of my students and that I needed to begin to use them immediately. That message continues to resonate with me.” — Melissa Chessher, professor of magazine, news and digital journalism in the Newhouse School and interim associate dean for inclusivity, diversity, equity and access
- Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms
This workshop is designed to give faculty ways to intentionally develop culturally responsive instructional materials and practices. Faculty also learn strategies to increase student participation and to provide meaningful student feedback.“Metaphorically speaking, pointing out the chasms and the divides among us is easy. Building bridges and common ground is much, much more difficult. What is presented shows experience, thought and pragmatism and is a critical first step in building understanding and bridges across differing world views and experiences for our new students.” — Shiu-Kai Chin, professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science
- High Leverage Teaching Practices in DEIA Contexts
This workshop focuses on High Leverage Teaching Practices (HLTP) as a set of instructional strategies that provide clarity and expectations for the teacher and support learning and accountability in the students. Across the three interactive workshops, presenters identify 22 HLTP within four domains: collaboration, assessment, social/emotional/behavioral and instruction.“I have been teaching for nearly 20 years and believe that the presenters provided many useful teaching practices while simultaneously framing their use within the realities and complexities of the post-secondary landscape.” — Kevin Antshel, professor of psychology and director of clinical training in the College of Arts and Sciences