College of Education > Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee > Diversity & Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) January 2019 Meeting Minutes

Diversity & Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) January 2019 Meeting Minutes

Diversity & Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) Meeting Minutes

January 17, 2019

Chamber 201 (Learn Lab)

Chair: SeriaShia Chatters

2:00 – 3:30pm

Attendees: Patty Pei-Hsuan Liu, Samantha Walker, Kate Woodman, John Holst, Maria Vetter, Holly Klock, Carlos Zalaquett, Brenda Martinez, Greg Kelly, Leslie Foster, Wideline Seraphin, Ana Díaz, Nur Dedeoglu, Matt McCrudden, Betsy Campbell 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Old Business:

  1. Welcome to new (and continuing) members.
  2. Reviewed and approved the November 2018 meeting minutes
  3. Reviewed and approved the 2017-2018 DCEC Final report
  4. Subcommittee updates:

A. Staff Subcommittee: Staff Subcommittee has been working on the staff retreat and is going to incorporate the theme of facilitate difficult conversation. 

New Business:

1)     General:

1. Patty gave an update on how many people have registered and have submitted panel proposal for the Diversity in Education conference (1/26/2019 at Chambers Building). Patty reported that we have mostly graduate students registered to attend the conference and we need more undergraduate students to attend, and we are also short of panel submissions. The committee members discussed about how to advertise the events to undergraduate students. Greg would pass the information to Student Council Organization; Kate would put the information on the advising Facebook page and send the info to the undergraduate listserv; Brenda would ask Maria to send out the event info to the listserv again.   

2. Patty gave an update on the progress of the difficult conversation panel event (The difficult conversation panel event: 2/22/2019 3-5 pm @ Chambers 108; the music band will be after 5 pm at Kern Building). Patty reported that several DCEC members have reached out to potential panelists and now the panelists include: Rosa Eberly (gun violence), Masume Assaf and Jennifer Campbell from global program, Brian Patchcoski (LGBTQ/gender issues), Shoba Wadhia (immigration law), and Erica Frankenberg (civil rights). These panelists will either attend the event themselves or send someone to come.

a) Event topic: Maria mentioned that the music event needs the topic too so that the band can write lyrics that can go along with the events (the topics can be conveyed through the music). Carlos mentioned that we need a topic that would reflect the event. This would be the event that helps people learn how to bring difficult conversation into classroom and assignment. John suggested that if we want to combine the panel and the music event, we can use the title “Hot Topics. Hot Sounds.” Samantha suggested the title “Diverse issues and difficult conversation: Hot topics, Hot sounds.”

b) Event emphasis: Anna mentioned that based on the list of panelists, we may have too many topics and might be too broad. Greg suggested that this should be the event about “learning” how to have those difficult conversations. Carlos also mentioned that the emphasis is not the issues themselves. The emphasis will be the teaching part: how do you bring difficult conversations into the room for discussion and to navigate the tension that arises with tough conversations. These panelists had experiences dealing with difficult conversations and they can share their experiences of how to manage the tension from the dialogue. Greg also mentioned that the panelists should be talking about how to facilitate, not just talk about the facts and content of the issues. Carlos has also uploaded articles on DCEC BOX folder and encouraged others to upload too.

c) Flyer: Samantha mentioned that we need to have a broader title since this is an event for everyone, not just for narrowed attendees. The committee members came up with the title: Hot topics: Taking Steps toward Facilitating Difficult Conversation. We can also have small paragraph on the flyer to describe what people will learn from the panel event. Samantha suggested that we can have two flyers (one for the panel event and one for the music event), and on each flyer can note the other event at the bottom of the flyer.

d) Collect questions before the event: Samantha reported that we can collect the questions anonymously from the attendees before the event so that the questions can guide the panelists. Carlos also mentioned that we can also collect questions at the beginning of the panel event so that people can write down their questions and have someone monitors the questions. We can also have audience facilitator during the event.

e) Refreshment: The panel event is from 3-5 pm. John suggested that we can provide refreshment from 5-5:30 pm, and the music event will start from 5:30 pm.  

f) Facilitator: Carlos mentioned about the potential facilitators from law school students. Patty will follow up with Seria to see if we need facilitators.

3. Anna and Wideline thanked the DCEC committee members for the support of the school narrative film screening event. Anna reported that around 200 people attended the screening and people were really supportive in the room. Wideline mentioned that some parents said it’s the first time they had the platform to talk about it, and to be honest about what they are dealing with. Anna and Wideline reported that they are now waiting to see how comfortable these families feel how to proceed, and this will decided what they will do next.

4. Patty updated the Bullying workshop on 3/15 and encouraged committee members to see if they know any graduate student who will be interested in presenting in the workshop since the graduate students who presented in the workshop have graduated.

5. Samantha brought up the schedule conflicts between DCEC monthly meetings and Faculty Council standing meetings every month (the 3rd Thursday). Patty would touch base with Seria to change the DCEC meeting dates (change to another Thursday).

6. John brought up an issue for a transgender student who applied to the doctoral program. This student has previously been employed at Penn State before transitioning. When the student applied doc program, she created a new PSU user name but found out that it doesn’t work. When the student contacted the IT technician, the IT person just activated the old user name and advised the student to just use the older user name. Eventually she was able to use the new user name but this was a very traumatic situation for her due to the insensitivity of the IT person. This student gave John the permission to bring up this issue to the DCEC committee. Committee members were wondering if actions have been taken at the university level to prevent from future issues. John reported that he will follow-up with the student and report back next time. Carlos also suggested that we as the DCEC committee should also take some action such as making a request. Holly and John also suggested the needs of more training. John will share this with Seria and see what action DCEC needs to take.

7. Nur brought up the discussion about wanting to do something to support international students who have challenges due to the VISA restriction (e.g., not being able to go home). Nur came up with two options. First is to create a mentorship program for support those international students. Nur has contacted CAPS and they suggested her to contact the global program. The second option is to create a support group at CPAS but Nur doesn’t have the license yet to lead the group. Nur brought up the ideas and was hoping to gather guidance from the committee members. Anna suggested that Nur can reach out to DISSA with the info and then DISSA can send the invitation through the international student listserv. Samantha also suggested that Nur can start with smaller scale within the College of Ed and then expand the scale to across the campus. Wideline also suggested that Nur can send out the info to different listserv and then ask people to come to a space to talk about it, and then people will bring people.  Nur reported that currently there is not any support for this type of issue.

8. Samantha brought up the issues of the Dean search and there should be DCEC representation at the Town Hall meeting, and DCEC should be part of it.

The Meeting adjourned at 3:30 pm.

Next meeting: February 14th, 2:00-3:30 pm, Chamber 201 (Learn Lab)