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«INNOVATION ANGE CH d n a ST 2N1VERSITY IN RIVING TH THE I URY U CENT 16-17 APRIL 15 A Summit Focused on Black Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students in ...»

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Through Professional Development funding, many opportunities exist for staff to continuously grow and develop skill sets that increase their ability to deliver excellence as a member of a team, department, school, or college at Winston-Salem State University. Professional development is a wide-ranging term that applies to activities and opportunities that help one grow in terms of performance, satisfaction, and status within the workplace. Professional development can involve job enrichment and expanding one’s current position through adding new responsibilities or taking on new projects; lateral movement into a different area of the organization; and/or vertical movement to positions of higher status and greater responsibility.

Given our academic environment, professional development activities can take the form of staff attending classes, lectures, conferences, and other academic and cultural events; and undertaking training and mentoring opportunities aimed specifically at staff.

This presentation will demonstrate the positive impact of the WSSU Staff Senate Professional Development Program (SSPD) towards enhanced staff professionalism, improved customer service, and innovative inter-professionalism and connectivity to peers at other institutions.

The program has provided a significant number of opportunities for eligible WSSU staff members in their pursuit of professional development activities related to current roles and responsibility, or anticipated changes. A key outcome for SSPD is that staff would actively pursue their full potential personally and professionally; maintain current training in the tools, policies and procedures relevant to their position and assigned duties.

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TITLE “Tending Our Mother’s Gardens as Our Own: Navigating Interdependent Mentorship in Undergraduate Research for the Black Female Professoriate”


This paper examines the importance, complexities, and impact of interdependent mentorship amongst Black women on the undergraduate and graduate/ faculty levels. The purpose of this research, written and conducted by a faculty mentor and an undergraduate scholar, is to further examine and interrogate current research methodologies from which Black women scholars have been excluded, erased, and commoditized within the academy that they serve and contribute to. This work adds to the current literature as it is a unique and precise comparison that explicates the complexities of the Black woman’s shared narrative through undergraduate mentorship. Through undergraduate mentorship, the faculty member and student both share experiences that further their individual research to contribute to a larger body and pave a continual path through academia. In an engagement of critical race theory, traditional pedagogical practices, as well as pedagogical practices that pertain specifically to African-Americans, we have been able to conclude that the academy functions as a reflection of a much larger hierarchal system that has permeated academic spaces. The thematic elements of space and ownership that govern universities across the nation are not irreconcilable with the Black woman’s essence within scholarship. Mentorship amongst Black women, Black feminist literature and theory, and the Black female professoriate contain dialectics of identity that have heightened levels of communal awareness and illuminated space for undergraduates and faculty that has yet to be recognized by the masses.

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TITLE Interdisciplinary Synergy: Integration of Information Literacy into the Curriculum


The ability to use information technologies effectively to find and manage information, and then be able to critically evaluate and ethically use that information to solve a problem are key characteristics of an information literate individual. Employers of the 21st century are looking for people who understand and can adapt within this Information Age. Students that are deemed information literate correlatively have strong critical thinking, analytical, and problem solving skills that translate into a more adaptable, capable, and valuable employee, with much to contribute. The proposed presentation will address the development of synergistic teaching partnerships between faculty from various academic disciplines with university librarians to successfully integrate information literacy throughout the undergraduate curriculum. The objectives will be to define what information literacy is; demonstrate why it is important for student learning; and provide examples of how it can be incorporated into the classroom. The presentation will highlight the roles of both the faculty and librarian in the preparation and implementation of an information literacy based course. Additionally, the effectiveness of information literacy based courses will be primarily supported by providing strategies and outcomes that have been successfully utilized during the instruction of BIO 2304 (Scientific Investigation of Diseases) offered by the Department of Biological Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. This course has served as a model for general education and upper division courses that have sought to integrate information literacy within the curriculum. These courses are of tremendous value because they serve as examples of successful teaching partnerships across the academy that has led to innovative teaching strategies that promote student self-directed learning. Therefore, students that have “learned how to learn” and can utilize various modes of information technologies upon graduation will be more attractive job candidates and productive citizens in society.

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TITLE Investigation of Female Faculty Mentoring at HBCUs


Faculty mentoring programs are designed to help junior faculty develop long and productive careers in the academy. A study at the University of Wisconsin revealed that untenured female faculty was resigning, voluntarily, at a greater rate than that of their male counterparts. To address this issue, a structured mentoring program was developed for women faculty. Limited information exists in the professional literature regarding female faculty mentoring at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the mentoring experience of female

faculty at HBCUs. The research questions for this study were:

• To what extent did female faculty receive mentoring as a junior faculty?

• To what extent did female faculty desire mentoring?

• What should be included in a structured mentoring program?

Data were collected via focus groups at four HBCUs in North Carolina. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at an HBCUs in North Carolina. Approximately 25 female faculty participated in the four focus groups. The majority of the participants were African American female faculty.

Major findings of the study included the following: 1) most of the participants indicated that they had not received formal mentoring from faculty at their institutions; 2) the participants felt that male faculty received more mentoring on their campuses than the female counterparts; and 3) majority of participants felt there is a need for structured mentoring programs at HBCUs for female faculty. In conclusion, it seems that women junior faculty are not receiving adequate mentoring to assist them in having successful careers in the academia. Based upon this study, this presentation will provide recommendations for developing structured mentoring programs for women faculty at HBCUs.

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TITLE Micro-Inequities in Higher Education: Recognizing and Addressing Subtle Forms of Discrimination in Everyday Interactions


Our interactive session engages micro-inequities, more covert forms of power imbalances due to social inequalities, for underrepresented groups in institutions of higher learning. Micro-inequities include subtle messages, sometimes subconscious, that discourage, devalue, and ultimately impair performance in the workplace. These can include nonverbal messages, such as looks, gestures, or tone of voice. Omissions can also create a “chilly climate” for those with less social power. For instance, an African American female professor describes how none of her colleagues were mean or rude to her, but she felt invisible because they did not address her at all. Micro-inequities can also take the form of micro-aggressions, verbal expressions of aversive racism that are more ambiguous and often unintentional. For example, a student looking for a professor to address an issue sees a person of color in the hallway of the department front office. When the professor asks if the student needs help, the student politely states an assistant cannot help her and asks to speak to a professor instead. The cumulative effects of micro-inequities often result in macro level, systemic issues of prejudice and discrimination. Furthermore, they can lead to damaged self-esteem and, eventually, withdrawal from co-workers in the office.

Overarching questions that guide our workshop include, 1) How do these micro-inequities manifest themselves in the day-to-day experiences of minority faculty, administrators and staff? 2) How do we recognize and interpret them? 3) What is their impact on the self-esteem, confidence, and perceptions of competence for minority faculty, administrators, and staff? 4) How are micro-inequities manifested in organizational processes such as compensation, evaluation, promotion, and tenure? 5) How can we create new terminology to define micro-inequities when they result in macro-inequities? We will utilize role playing activities and/or case studies to address these questions and develop strategies of resistance.

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TITLE Chaos or Community: (Re)Imagining the Classroom as a Beloved Community


Offering victims and victimizers hope of reconciliation and redemption after the devastating Civil Rights era, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held that the “Beloved Community” would be a model of inclusiveness, understanding, and love. This panel will present how we foster an environment of a beloved community classroom in our HBCU courses. We will discuss various critical, pedagogical discourses as framework to negotiate painful trauma, memory, and silence, specific obstacles in classrooms that are present African American culture and literature. Drawing on educators such as bell hooks, Cornell West, and Toni Morrison, we will offer personal anecdotes about how we approach and teach various subjects, such as lynching, domestic and sexual violence, and homophobia. In the process, we recognize that sharing personal experiences must be reciprocal involving us and our students. And, while

some refer to a beloved community as an impossible, utopian experience, we (re)imagine humanity as Dr. King did. In his book, Where do we go from Here:

Chaos or Community, Dr. King demonstrated “radical engagement.” Likewise, in our classrooms, we challenge our students to ask themselves: who are you today? And, now that you know this painful information, what will you do with it? As critical pedagogues, we are advocates for the truth, but for also challenging the meaning of that truth. More importantly, we remind our students that only through exercising reflection of that truth does transformation take place. Our goal in the beloved community classroom is to teach our students how to navigate trauma by recognizing their agency and using it in a socially responsible way to distance themselves from the chaos and move closer towards a true community.

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TITLE Mentorship: A strategy to increase promotion and tenure of junior faculty


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