diversity dialogues

As part of Inclusive Excellence, Diversity Dialogues is an annual spring event sponsored by the offices of Campus Climate and Diversity, a subdivision of Student Affairs. This event showcases some of the outstanding work being done at UW-L in regards to diversity and inclusion, featuring information tables from diversity related offices and organizations, as well as hourly presentations by faculty, staff and students. Don't miss this celebration of diversity!


Click below to download a PDF poster or scroll down to see this year's schedule and description of presentations.

Diversity Dialogues 2012 Lineup

Spring 2012 Diversity Dialogues Presentations and Descriptions:

Session 1 (10:00-10:50)


Discussion of Cross-Cultural Service Learning: Nepal and India 2012 (Valhalla A)
Scott Stine & Andrea Wagner

Scott Stine, Andrea Wagner, and one or two students from the trip will discuss what we learned about Indian, Nepalese, and Buddhist cultures and inter-cultural communication, through our work with two Buddhist monasteries supported by the non-profit organization Karmapa Health Care Project. Topics discussed will include: how we overcame cultural and language challenges when we taught topics such as proper hand-washing, oral hygiene, and techniques to avoiding food and water-borne pathogens, how we built trust with the monks and nuns so that we could learn about their culture, values and lifestyle while attempting to share the similarities and differences with our culture, values and lifestyles. 


Let's Talk Disability Dialogue (Valhalla B)
Students Advocating Potential Ability

Following a short video about language and disability, students with a variety of disabilities will present a panel discussion and answer questions from the audience. Each student will discuss their unique perspective on disability and how they are impacted. Questions and discussion are encouraged. We feel the best way to reduce the stigma associated with disability and to change attitudes is to openly talk about these issues. We emphasize that people with disabilities are people first and deserve to live full lives with dignity, independence, desires, and choices. Let's talk!


Panel Discussion: Facilitating Veterans' Success in College (Ward Room)
Student Veterans Association:  Troy L. Pinsk, Vice President; Reece Rykal, former Vice President; and Carol K. Oyster, SVA Advisor

An increasing number of military veterans are entering higher education in general and UW-L in particular. These veterans face different challenges than traditional students. The panel will discuss strategies for instructors, other students, and administrators to help veterans' success in college.



Session 2 (11:00-11:50)


Masculine Myths About and Held By College Men: How Misperceptions Feed Misunderstandings (Valhalla A)
Ryan McKelley, Department of Psychology
How much truth is there behind stereotypes about college men as interested only in attractive partners, thinking about sex constantly, and being scared of commitment? What about the stereotype that gay men act more effeminate than straight men? According to social norms theory, much of people’s attitudes and behaviors are influenced by their perception of how other members of their social group behave—even if reality suggests otherwise. Join us as we explore commonly held myths about and by college men, and see how they are supported or challenged by the research.


The Obama Books Boom, Revisited: Understanding America's Fascination with Books Written by, Related to, or Endorsed by Its 44th President (Valhalla B)
Ray Block, Department of Political Science and Public Administration

Books written by and about Barack Obama have become remarkably popular since he ran for President in 2008, so have the books that the Obama endorses. Unfortunately, we know surprisingly little about this “Obama books boom” because the journalists and scholars who examine it often rely on anecdotes, incomplete reading lists, and descriptive analyses. These limitations prevent us from addressing a key question: how does this book boom advance our understanding of the American Presidency as both a political and a literary institution? Professor Block has made these and related questions the focus of his long-term project. He recently received a university grant to start this research, he is in the process of applying for federal funding, and he will present versions of this research at academic conferences. Professor Block was pleased to be invited to the 2012 Diversity Dialogues program, and he looks forward to sharing his initial ideas on the subject.


Panel Discussion: History of Title IX and Sexism (Ward Room)
Ingrid Peterson, Jeni Roberts, Sara Sullivan, Jodi Vandenberg-Daves
Feminist activists worked very hard to expand women's opportunities in the late 1960s and 1970s (and since then!) in all areas of education-- including sports--as well as in the workplace and politics. We will share a little bit of this big picture story. We will also provide a few examples of how things changed for girls women participating in sports as a result of Title IX, and how girls and women have continued to work for equal access to athletic competition. Title IX is broader than athletics, and now it can be helpful in pursuing sexual assault or harassment complaints on campuses. We will share some current Title IX hostile environment cases. Finally we will examine some current trend in women's position in the workforce and politics.




Film Screening (12:00-1:20)


Born with a Wooden Spoon: Welcome to Poverty U.S.A. (Valhalla B)
"This program analytically and sympathetically discusses the effects and implications of poverty, examining factors such as illiteracy, insufficient job skills, substance abuse and crime. The phenomenon of multigenerational poverty is also addressed."



Session 3 (1:30-2:20)


Know Your Rights (Valhalla A)
Keith Belzer, Department of Political Science
You have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent - or do you? Keith Belzer will discuss what rights you have when confronted or questioned by law enforcement and whether it is always in your best interest to invoke your rights. He will also touch on the laws related to drugs, sex and alcohol as they may relate to UW-L students. Time permitting, he will also answer questions attendees may have about predicaments that attendee’s “friends” may find themselves in.


The Language of Inclusion (Valhalla B)
Amanda Goodenough & Carrie Bero, Campus Climate
Are you ever afraid of using words that unintentionally exclude others? Come to this session to learn more about the language of inclusion. It's not so much about changing how we talk... it's more about changing how we think. Participants will explore ways to broaden their worldview and minimize personal assumptions in order to create more inclusive communities in our classrooms, organizations and relationships.


International and Domestic student friendships (Ward Room)
Shizuka Ikeyama, International Student Organization

Many international students come from many different countries. There are about 500 international students (OIE newsletters, 2011). As being one of international students, I have many friends from many different countries. However, I wonder what is the perspectives from domestic students. Do they have any negative attitude toward international students? Do they have enough opportunities to know international students? If domestic students who have international friends and who do not have international friends have different perspectives, does it influence the hospitality? One of my friends and I addressed those questions in the psychology, so I will disclose the finding to answer these questions.

How Low is Low Vision? How Blind is Blind? (102 Wing)
Marshall Flax, Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

Vision impairment can include a wide range of visual acuities, visual field restrictions as well as total blindness. This presentation will offer an overview for the education professional who wants a basic understanding of the diversity of this population and how a one size fits all approach does not work. Participants will also experience and learn about different types of tools, aids, and services that this population uses.



Session 4 (2:30-3:20)


Finding the 'friend at the end of your pen' at Camp Yellow (Valhalla A)
Susan ‘BOON’ Murray, Amy Burns, Ashley Lawinger, Lindsey Kirschbaum, Therapeutic Recreation

Children ages 7-14 whose parents are deployed face unique stressors that can be eased through awareness among military and civilian human service providers. Graduate students including a U.S. Army Veteran and the cousin of an active duty service member, a professor certified in journaling, and an alumnus who is the Easter Seals Wisconsin Southeast Respite Coordinator facilitated a day of journaling at Camp Yellow Ribbon Summer 2011. Learn how journaling creates a peer bond and a connection to absent parents. Enjoy a slide show of campers’ journals, savor how poetry and picture books address military separation, promote peacemaking with a ‘Peace Pledge’, and experience self-mediated coping with a finger labyrinth.


Myths About Affirmative Action or “My best friend is black and he did not take your spot.” (Valhalla B)
Nizam Arain,
Division of Administration & Finance
Affirmative Action has played an important role in diversifying colleges and universities over the last fifty years, but many mistaken notions still persist about affirmative action in college admissions—myths like quotas, reduced academic standards, and unqualified students being admitted just because of their skin color. This presentation will dispel these myths and explain the reality of how colleges today use affirmative action to bring about fairness and quality education for all students.


Panel Discussion: Non-Traditional Students (Ward Room)
Yifat Levenstein & Arial Kann; Panelists: Melanie Stebbins, Joseph Klinge, Angie Lee, Reece Rykal

This will be a short presentation focusing on the issues non-traditional students face upon returning to school and the current statistical prevalence of non-traditional students in the U.S. This will be accompanied by a slide show and followed by a Q&A panel.