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Inclusive Excellence Symposium Program - 2019

Oct. 30, 2019

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Eccles Conference Center

Welcome: 9:00 - 9:15 a.m. | Auditorium

Eri Bentley, Chair of Aggies Think Care Act

Opening Address: 9:15 - 9:30 a.m. | Auditorium

President Noelle Cockett

Keynote Address: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. | Auditorium

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide

Crystal Fleming


Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Drawing upon critical race theory, as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance—and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change. (source: Beacon Press)

Room 201/203

Disrupting Barriers to Inclusive Education Practices

Amy Debruler and Dennis Kohler


This session will engage students, staff, and faculty in an interdisciplinary training to break down barriers in inclusive education practices. As a community we can empower students with disabilities through the use of reflection and discussion. We will explore evidence-based teaching strategies and discuss how to implement these practices at Utah State University.


Room 205

LGBTQA+ 101

Macy Marin Keith


Learn the basics of LGBTQA+ identities and their unique struggles in this safe-space seminar. We will define sex-assigned-at-birth, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation followed by an experiential activity and discussion. This seminar is open to all. Come with questions, leave better equipped to help the LGBTQA+ community.


Room 207

Addiction: Community Empowerment & Engagement Through Ethnography and Storytelling

Randy Williams, Sandra Sulzer, and Michelle Chapoose


This presentation includes an interactive panel discussion about community-driven oral history and storytelling efforts. Presenters discuss archival autonomy, participatory engaged community building and tribal storytelling practices. Conversations about drug use frequently invoke stereotypes and stigma, stemming from the belief that substance use is the result of a moral failing. This attitude has the disquieting effect of frequently excluding entire populations from care and resources; this is particularly true for Native American populations. To this end, the Informing the National Narrative: Stories of Utah’s Opioid Crisis Project will ask those most affected to share stories about their own, or a loved one’s, substance use.

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Rooms 303/305 (Aggiecast)

Disability and Diversity: The Politics of Being Disabled in America

Matthew Wappett and Sachin Pavithran


This presentation will cover the importance of recognizing disability as a key element of diversity in American culture. The presenters will discuss the fluid nature of disability identity and the ways in which individuals with disabilities navigate issues of intersectionality with other aspects of their identity, and ways in which individuals with disabilities can support and amplify diversity initiatives in higher education and communities.


Rooms 307/309

Q and A with Crystal Fleming (moderated by Christy Glass)


In this session, you will have the opportunity to dive deeper into the topics Dr. Fleming discusses in How to Be Less Stupid About Race, and ask the author questions.

Room 201/203

Tracking Cultural Competence Outcomes

Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, Maria de la Caridad Alvarez, and Elizabeth Tish Hicks


These pedagogical strategies fundamentally disrupt the status quo. By engaging students transparently, employees have the ability to model some fundamental skills in cultural competence (e.g., collegiality, openness). The data gathered to date suggest that grades are not affected by the degree of attitude shift. We measure their attitudes, but they chose if/how to shift them, which is consistent with liberatory practices in psychotherapy and social justice movements. The strategies used in class move the teacher from the role of Sage on the Stage, or even the Guide on the Side, to Ready Mentor. A Ready Mentor creates the structures to invite students into learning spaces and relies on students’ autonomy and interest to calibrate their engagement with the learning process.


Room 205

Pursuing and Embodying Inclusivity in Research

Kristin Searle, Colby Tofel-Grehl, and Andrea Hawkman


This panel presentation highlights the work being done by the CHAOS Learning Lab to work with communities across the state, including K-12 practitioners, informal learning practitioners, rural communities, LGBTQA+ youth, and Indigenous communities. It demonstrates how to think, care, and act in research settings by working with communities.


Room 207

Enhancing Your Classroom & Campus by Utilizing Veteran Students' Specialized Skills and Abilities

Tony Flores and Mike Nelson


This presentation will provide information about the skills and life experiences that veteran and service members develop through military service. These unique skills and experiences often encourage resilience and success both for themselves and their community and classmates. We will investigate ways to develop rapport with veteran and service member students and how these skills can enhance your classroom and community.

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Rooms 303/305 (Aggiecast)

Strengthening Institutional Practices to Support Native American Student Experiences at USU

Jim Dandy


This session will provide cultural and traditional insights into establishing a respectful learning environment for Native American students and how to create a positive connection between the student and faculty, administration, and staff. Dandy will share his personal experiences towards academic excellence from the home to higher learning institutions.


Rooms 307/309

All Lives Matter but Not All of Them Belong: Understanding the Psychology of Exclusionary Behavior as a Precursor to Implementing Effective Strategies to Create Inclusive Cultures

James Morales


Session participants will explore the drivers behind exclusionary behavior, including the four main functions of exclusion and its consequences and outcomes. Attendees will also participate in a discussion about creating and implementing strategies to combat exclusionary behavior with the goal of creating more inclusive environments.

Poster Presentation: Second floor lobby

Lunch: If you pre-registered, please pick up a box lunch in the lobby.

Rooms 201/203

Disrupt Division through Intentional Connection

Nubia Pena, Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs


Despite unparalleled opportunities for connection through online platforms and social media, people are, in critical ways, as divided and isolated as they have ever been. This division is further fueled by our nation’s climate and history around race, class, politics, religion, sex, and gender identity and many other ways in which we have remained separate. This loss of community has serious implications because it promotes that difference is not welcomed, homogeny is preferred, and meaningful connection across the divide is unnecessary. In order to disrupt this division and create welcoming spaces where safety and belonging abound, we must redefine what community means to us, what we want inclusive community to look like, and then work toward getting there through intentional connection.


Room 205

Being an Effective Ally to Marginalized Communities

Schvalla Rivera, Southern Utah University


This presentation will discuss how individuals can become an ally. Issues with allyship: true allyship and performative allyship, as well as strategies to advocate within out-group communities and various privileged communities.


Room 207

Teaching Multilingual Students: Perspectives and Strategies

Ekaterina Arshavskaya and Donna Brown


In this session, we will discuss the process of intercultural learning that both students and teachers who teach multilingual students go through. We will learn about ways to reach out to and use the strengths of multilingual students and share ways of promoting intercultural learning in a diverse classroom. We will end by examining several case studies involving multilingual students in your classroom and brainstorm the best strategies to respond to them.

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Download Presentation (PDF)


Rooms 303/305 (Aggiecast)

Gender 101: Supporting Gender Diverse Students at USU

Kathryn Sperry and Erin Hofmann


This breakout session aims to inform students and faculty about terminology surrounding gender diversity and the importance of pronouns. We will engage participants in an activity to develop empathy for gender-diverse individuals navigating college life. Understanding the perspectives of gender-diverse students helps instructors both demonstrate empathy and encourage it in our students.

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Rooms 307/309

Decentering Whiteness: Radical Inclusion in Teaching and Research

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde, Marisela Martinez-Cola, Mario Suarez, and Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq


Join this interactive workshop to learn how to decenter traditional knowledge structures while engaging multiple marginalized and underrepresented (MMU) scholarship. Learn how to make MMU scholarship accessible and how to engage and cite it appropriately in your research. We will discuss the importance of diversifying methodology to amplify insurgent voices.

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Rooms 201/203

Racially Engaged Pedagogy: Empowering Black and Brown Voices in the Classroom

Cree Taylor


This program will invite instructors to engage with students of color by welcoming difficult discussions about race and privilege in their classrooms. By focusing on empowering students of color to speak about their experiences and encouraging white students to participate in racial dialogues – no matter how uncomfortable – teachers and instructors will cultivate an environment where all students feel welcomed, valued, and respected. This program will discuss the importance of race talk in the classroom, provide participants with best practices to engage students in race talk, and allow participants to practice some of these strategies in small groups.

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Room 205

Implicit Bias Disruption: Creating More Inclusive Interactions and Spaces

Emmalee Fishburn and Ugo Ezeh


Implicit biases influence our attitudes, beliefs, choices, and behaviors, often without our awareness. This interactive training will utilize small and large group discussions and personal reflection activities to teach participants how to recognize some of their implicit biases and provide them with strategies for addressing them.

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Room 207

Introducing the Center for Intersectional Gender Studies & Research

Christy Glass


This session will review (1) the process the Gender Studies Taskforce used to solicit feedback from USU stakeholders; (2) the new vision for gender programming at USU proposed by the taskforce; and (3) next steps for building intersectional and inclusive research, teaching, and outreach programs at USU.


Rooms 303/305 (Aggiecast)

The Latinx Imperative: Latinx First Generation Students in Higher Education

Chris González


First generation students have become an understandably vital demographic for the future of institutions of higher learning. However, as often happens with “newly-discovered” student demographic blocs, there is an overgeneralization that states all first-generation students arise and are situated within the same kinds of contexts. This assumption could not be further from the truth. As the Latinx demographic surges (18% nationally; 14% in Utah; 12% in Cache Valley), it is imperative that higher education, generally, and the university community, specifically, understands and appreciates more fully these contexts that pertain to Latinx students in particular. This talk will lay out the stakes and provide a plan for engaging with our Latinx students now and in the years to come.


Rooms 307/309

Disrupted Lives: Discovering Yourself Through Artful AutoEthnography

Mehmet Soyer (presenter)


Panelists: Sophie Hancey, Allie Tomlinson, Angelia Klein, and Nanyal Rout

Panelists will deliver their autoethnographies using an arts-based research approach. They share their recollections regarding their disrupted moments and how they navigate intersectional cultures, barriers, privileges, and imposed expectations. Panelists will discuss topics including bullying, abuse, conversion therapy, age expectations, gender identity, stereotypes, race, and religious oppression.

Rooms 201/203

Interfaith Ally Training on Campus: Updates and Next Steps

Bonnie Glass-Coffin


This stand-alone program was developed on-site and has been offered at Utah State University since 2015. Participants will be able to experience a "speed-faithing" activity, which is a key part of the training program. We will then brain-storm together next steps for increasing sustainability of this occasionally-offered training.

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Room 205

Making Invisible Disability Visible

Storee Powell


Invisible disability brings on not only the struggles of the disability itself, but also the burden of having to prove disability to others, the microaggressions of toxic positivity culture, and inaccessible public spaces. But an accessible, welcoming environment can be cultivated in any place with empathy and the right guiding principles.

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Room 207

Beyond Compliance: What Faculty Members Need to Know about USU’s Non-discrimination Policies and Best Practices for Preventing Discrimination in the Classroom

Alison Adams-Perlac


This workshop reviews USU’s non-discrimination policies as they apply in the classroom and provides best practices for faculty members.


Rooms 303/305 (Aggiecast)

A Framework for Productive Disruption: the 4Rs of Disruption

Avery Edenfield, Jared Colton, Rylish Moeller, and Rebecca Walton


This workshop introduces participants to a framework for action called the 4Rs, which can help participants engage in productive disruption that fosters inclusivity. In addition to equipping participants with this framework, we share five stories of productive disruption to illustrate the 4Rs in action: how to use them and what kinds of outcomes may result.

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Rooms 307/309

MESAS Program for Native Student Success

Melissa Teehee and Al Savitzky


Utah State University has received a five-year Inclusive Excellence grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to establish a program that will support Native American students on the Logan Campus, especially those transferring from our campus in Blanding. Initiated in 2018 and still in development, we will discuss the major components implemented this past year, including the Native American Living Community and cultural competence course for faculty, staff, and research students.

How the Undergraduate Research Office Increases Academic Diversity and Success

Amelia Ashby, Alexa Sand, Athena Dupont


The Office of Research’s Undergraduate Research (UR) Program works to increase diversity within UR and promote the positive effects associated with UR experiences. This is accomplished through our partnership with other offices on campus, the range of research opportunities offered, and the support of research events catering to minority populations.

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Fostering Mental Health Wellness in Students of Color

Andrews Larios Brown and Ty Aller


While transitioning to college can be difficult for most students, students of color encounter added concerns in their pursuit of higher education, especially in predominantly white institutions. This poster aims to empower students of color to build resilience through tools designed by people of color for people of color.

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Civil Rights Compliance in USU Extension: Ensuring Equal Access to Non-formal Programs

Lendel Narine, Celina Willie, and Andree’ Walker Bravo


Competencies are the knowledge and skills employees need to succeed professionally. Significant demographic changes across the United States have prompted the need to prioritize and strengthen Extension professionals’ competencies on civil rights and multiculturalism. This study sought to assess priority competencies for civil rights compliance in USU Extension.

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Just Start. Bridging Theory and Practice for Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Graduate Students

Michelle Wilson and Kylie Madsen


What’s working to engage prospective students? How can colleges and universities align strategies to build inclusion and diversity? This poster details findings from research literature and effective practices from the Ruffalo Noel Levitz 2018 Marketing and Student Recruitment Report to create a roadmap for improving student recruitment and retention.


Intersectionality & Microaggressions: How to Empower Students from Diverse Backgrounds

Alexandra Tebbs and Sterling Bone


This discussion will define intersectionality and microaggressions, especially as they pertain to college campuses. This program also aims to create an open dialog about how intersectionality impacts students and how to identify and eliminate microaggressions.


Utah Food Corps: Address Student Hunger Across Utah

Sean Damitz


The Utah Food Corps is a new AmeriCorps VISTA project centered out of USU's Center for Community Engagement that seeks to expand existing hunger and food security efforts across multiple Utah higher education institutions while strengthening collaborations for the benefit of food insecure students and residents across Utah.


Open Educational Resources

Erin Davis


Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or low-cost, openly licensed learning materials such as textbooks, lecture slides, test banks, videos, and other resources that professors can use instead of traditional textbooks. One of our main goals is to work with professors to make education more affordable and accessible for all students through the implementation of OER. As you know, the financial burden of college can be a great obstacle to student success and retention. OER can help with that by providing low-cost or even free textbook options for classes students already have to take.

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Disability: The Largest and Most Underrepresented Minority

Lindsay Thunell


One in five people have a disability, making it the largest minority group in the world. Even at USU disability remains one of the largest underrepresented groups. This presentation explores the factors responsible for this and what we, as a campus community, can do about it.

Crystal Marie Fleming, Ph.D. is an author, public intellectual, and expert on white supremacy and global racism. She is an associate professor of sociology at Stony Brook University with affiliations in the Department of Africana Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Fleming is the author of two books: the critically-acclaimed How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide and Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France.

Fleming completed her M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2011) in sociology at Harvard University, where she was the recipient of the Derek Bok Award for excellence in teaching. Prior to her graduate work at Harvard, she earned degrees in French and sociology (with honors) at Wellesley College in 2004, where she graduated magna cum laude.

An outspoken advocate for people of color, black women and girls, and the LGBTQIA community, Fleming frequently speaks and writes on topics related to racial justice, gender, sexuality, and activism.