Tag: 2016

Greater Than 7 Kickoff: Intersectionality U

Greater Than 7 Kickoff: Intersectionality U

Join us as we kick off the third annual Greater Than 7 event:

Monday, September 26, 2016
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Northrop Plaza

Intersectionality. What is it?!  And what does it have to do with me?!  Come discover the answers to these and other intriguing questions at our third annual Greater Than 7 Kickoff event, featuring a performance by social justice activist Olmeca.

We invite all attendees to participate in a facilitated discussion on Northrop Plaza after the performance where you and your U of M community peers will get a chance to discuss various topics and issues on intersectionality, equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice and how these are all affecting and influencing our daily lives locally, nationally, and globally.

Come meet someone new and help spread the awareness and understanding that can help unify our campus and community!

Free Domino’s pizza while supplies last. To request disability accommodations, please contact the Office for Equity and Diversity at oed@umn.edu or 612-624-0594.

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Thanks to our co-sponsors:

Domino's Pizza Logo  Coca-Cola LogoTCF Bank Logo


Submit Your Event to the 3rd Annual Greater Than 7 Week

Submit Your Event to the 3rd Annual Greater Than 7 Week

What is Greater Than 7?

In September 2014, the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) launched the inaugural Greater Than 7 week, which encouraged courageous conversations and highlighted the equity and diversity work that’s happening across campus. In 2014 and 2015, this weeklong event featured around 45 events sponsored by departments, units and student groups.

Why is it called Greater Than 7?

Greater Than 7 always takes place over a week in September/October. We know that a week is only 7 days, and that 7 days represent only the beginning of a multitude of conversations about equity and diversity and how they impact your life. Greater Than 7 is a call to action to all members of our University community: start here, but make your efforts greater than these 7 days. (After all, equity and diversity is everybody’s everyday work.)

That sounds awesome! How do I get involved?

We invite University departments, units and student groups to submit their events for inclusion in the week. You can do this online at z.umn.edu/greaterthan7. Potential ideas include (but are not limited to): a workshop, a guest speaker, a student-specific event, or maybe just an open house for a particular unit, group or department, highlighting its work regarding equity and diversity. (Please note: the event could be something already planned OR a new idea.) Your event will be listed on the Greater Than 7 calendar, and you can take advantage of other partner tools to help market your event.

OK, I’m in! What else do I need to know?

Hopefully, you will also join us for the Greater Than 7 Kickoff, which takes place on Monday, September 26, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on Northrop Plaza. The Kickoff will feature a performance by social justice activist Olmeca. (Free pizza while supplies last.) You can also view the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1817899005109325/.

Introducing the New IDEA Faculty Development Fellow:  A (somewhat surprising) Interview with Sean Garrick

Introducing the New IDEA Faculty Development Fellow: A (somewhat surprising) Interview with Sean Garrick

The Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) is proud to present these profiles highlighting our faculty’s outstanding research and community engagement around grand challenges.

by Amelie Hyams

There are three things you should know about Sean Garrick, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and incoming Faculty Development Fellow for the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA). Some of them might surprise you.

  1. He once wanted to be a writer or a poet (and still kind of does).
  2. He wasn’t always good at math.
  3. He credits his academic success to a couple of wonderful mentors and a smart sister.

Garrick has an incredible understanding of fluid physics and computational fluid mechanics. And he truly enjoys his work. He recalls exactly the class he was in when he “fell in love with fluid physics.” It was in his first fluid physics class in his junior year of college. This, and the course he later took in Computational Fluid Mechanics, amazed Garrick. And he was hooked.

Given his love of engineering, it’s not surprising Garrick was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study the effects of fluid turbulence on atmospheric aerosols. He is looking forward to working with an elite group of scientists in Finland.

It might surprise you however to learn Garrick started out as an English major. He loves poetry and essays about the human condition. “My dream job was to be able to write those things.” He still seems a bit wistful when he talks about it.

But by his second year of college he came to believe his enjoyment of science and technology made engineering a better fit for his career pursuits. “I just really enjoyed it – looking at theory and the fact you can combine mathematics and programing and see these wonderful things.”

As a gifted engineer you might assume Garrick has always been good at math and science. “That’s not really true,” he says. He actually struggled with learning algebra in ninth grade. With obvious fondness he recounts how his older sister spent hours tutoring him everyday after school. She stuck with him until something just clicked.

Once he got it – math wasn’t a problem for Garrick again. In the dedication for his Ph.D. he said, “This is to my sister, who taught me all the math I ever needed to know.”

Garrick’s attributes his love of science and technology and his ultimate success as an academic to the influence of two mentors: Associate Professor Ching–Shi Liu at SUNY Buffalo and Professor Peyman Givi, currently with the University of Pittsburgh.

Between them, Garrick says these two taught him how to work harder than he thought was possible, and how to be a professional. Working with Givi as a graduate student “was like a finishing school,” he says. “It was a fantastic environment to be in.”

He also credits Liu with encouraging him to give back by being a role model and helping others. “He knew I was very passionate about working with other people. He led me down the road of making sure I did something for the betterment of society.” This goal still guides all of Garrick’s work.

As the incoming Faculty Development Fellow for IDEA, Garrick looks forward to finding ways to support faculty and help them advance. But he’s aware there are many challenges.

Relevance is essential. “How do you come up with the right mix of programs that will be useful for a significant number of our population?” Garrick starts by asking them. He is connecting with faculty from other parts of the University to learn about what challenges they’re facing and what they need.

He’s aware his experience is different from faculty in other disciplines and their challenges are also different. “I think we have to be careful in thinking every story is like our own.” Talking with colleagues provides insights to help shape programming.

A sense of community is also important. Within a single department or unit, the number of underrepresented faculty may be very small. But not when added up across campuses. Garrick feels if underrepresented faculty were more aware of their colleagues at the U, they could build a stronger community.

“You don’t need to be working on the same thing because these are our colleagues. These are our resources that we can all utilize to help improve our sense of community.”

Garrick points to a story from his own experience about how he came to collaborate on a proposal with Jigna Desai from Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS).

“What would someone from GWSS and Mechanical Engineering have in common, subject-matter wise? Nothing.” Not true. He met Desai while working together on a committee and learned they share an interest in getting more underrepresented students into STEM.

“The more you bring people together, the more their commonalities become apparent and the more they can find solutions.”

Time is another challenge in bringing faculty members together. Faculty are very busy. So it’s difficult to find the right time to schedule things. “This sounds like a small thing but you have to make sure that a significant number of the folks who would like to be there, you’d like to be sure they can make it.”

In addition to helping faculty who are already here, Garrick wants to help our potential faculty: Ph.D. students and postdocs. He’s working on a plan to provide learning opportunities and insights on academia for these underrepresented students. “This informs the path they choose.”

He has more ideas he hopes will “contribute to deepening, furthering and broadening the pipeline . . . ensuring we have enough faculty from underrepresented groups at the U.”

This is just the beginning.

What excites Garrick about this new role as IDEA Faculty Development Fellow? “I don’t think you have an option but to be excited because the need is so great.”

“I really love this university. This is an outstanding university . . . [but] to a certain degree the absence of underrepresented students and faculty, to me it’s a gaping hole that needs to be filled. And I think I can help do that.”

[Header Image Credit: Amelie Hyams, 2016]

UMTC is a Five-Time Recipient of the HEED Award

UMTC is a Five-Time Recipient of the HEED Award

For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) has received the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — UMTC will be featured, along with 82 other recipients, in the November 2016 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“It’s an incredible honor to be one of a small number of institutions across the nation to receive this award five times in a row,” said Dr. Katrice Albert, vice president for Equity and Diversity. “The HEED Award has become one of the many ways we can benchmark our ongoing efforts to advance our most ambitious equity and diversity goals.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the University of Minnesota based on the institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives that focus on all aspects of diversity, including gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, veteran status, ability, and sexual orientation, as well as many other identities. Award recipients for 2016 include community colleges, public and private schools, baccalaureate-granting institutions, graduate schools, and one school system.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” says Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “While we look at numbers and expect continued improvement for those schools that receive the HEED Award year after year, we also use a holistic approach in reviewing each application. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2016 HEED award, visit www.insightintodiversity.com.

[Photo credit: Insight Into Diversity magazine, 2016]

2016 Equity and Diversity Transformation Award Recipients

2016 Equity and Diversity Transformation Award Recipients

Established by the Office for Equity and Diversity, the University of Minnesota’s Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards seek to infuse equity and diversity into every aspect of the University’s teaching, learning, research, service and outreach by funding creative yet pragmatic proposals for projects that support equity and diversity initiatives.

The focus for the 2016 awards is building capacity for institutional change through the use of strategic partnerships. Partnerships must go beyond financial assistance/sponsorship and efforts must exemplify working in collaboration in one or more of the following ways:

  • Internal: partnership of two or more units/offices within a larger department or college OR partnership of two or more units/offices across various departments or colleges.
  • External: partnership of one or more units/departments with one or more external stakeholders (community organizations, corporations, etc.).

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2016 Equity and Diversity Transformation Award:

Boynton LGBTQIA Assessment
Boynton Health Services, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

This project is an audit of Boynton Health current practices and infrastructure. The goal of the project is to determine opportunities to improve services and follow best practices for serving the LGBTQIA community at the University of Minnesota. The project will result in a written report of findings, as well as presentations to Office for Equity and Diversity and Office for Student Affairs leadership and Boynton Health staff.

Centering Race and Racial Equity in Service-Learning
Center for Community Engaged Learning, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

This award would provide foundational support to help us investigate how issues of race, racism and racial equity are currently addressed in U of MN service-learning classes and to identify gaps as well as strengths we can build on in future efforts to better support faculty in this work.

Equity and Diversity in Latin America and Spain: Art, Lecture, and Film Series
Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures & Art and Design, University of Minnesota Duluth

Equity and Diversity in Latin America and Spain: Art, Lecture, and Film Series, which will take place in Spring 2017, creates a strategic partnership between faculty members that research and teach in areas of equity and diversity in Hispanic and Latin American studies at University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) across collegiate units and departments. The series will attract a wide audience of UMD students, staff, and faculty, as well as Twin Ports community members. It includes 1) an art exhibition; 2) five scholarly presentations by UMD faculty; and 3) the presentation, showing, and discussion of two films at the local Arts and Community movie theater in Duluth (Zinema).

Medicinal Plants in Minnesota: Native American Perspectives
Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

We are hosting a multicultural exhibit on medicinal plants at the Northrop Gallery during the 2017 year in conjunction with a round-robin gallery tour that will incorporate local artists, indigenous, and immigrant views of medicinal plants at museums across the Twin Cities area. This project will integrate research strengths of the University of Minnesota from departments as diverse as medicine, anthropology, and business with the knowledge and expertise of local community members to forge connections between the University and the larger community around plants, health, and wellness.

Supporting Students of Color/International Students and Enhancing Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity: A Collaborative Project
Employees of Color Mentoring Program, University of Minnesota Duluth

This project is a series of planned activities which objectives are to connect international students and students of color to employees of color (EOC), communities of color and communities of other nationalities for increased social support and mentoring; to facilitate the exposure of international student to the rich US culture and thus enhance social interaction/inclusion; and to showcase the benefits of cultural diversity on the UMD campus. These activities include a meet-and- greet at the beginning of each semester, involvement of EOC in mentoring dyads/triads for SOC/international students, excursions to historical and US traditional places and events, and hosting student panels.

Teaching Issues of Social Justice in an Interdependent World
Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Members of the UMN Providers of Professional Development network group will work together with the regional group Youthrive, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Title III schools through the Minnesota Department of Education, and other area nonprofits such as the Islamic Resource Group, and the Somali American Parent Association to plan and offer a two day professional development workshop for twenty-five licensed K-12 educators (who each teach 25-125 students per year) on Teaching Issues of Social Justice in an Interdependent World. Following the workshop, a Google site with curriculum resources and links to teaching social justice at the K-12 level will be created.