Queer Week, October 8-12, 2012

Queer Week culminates on Friday, October 12th with the campus community wearing rainbows as a show of pride and support.

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Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) Annual Conference

This year’s CELT Conference theme, Active, Engaged Learning, highlights sessions in instruction, classroom management, interdisciplinary curriculum, diversity, internationalization, the use of appropriate technology to enhance student learning, civic engagement, and interdisciplinary curriculum.

This year’s CELT conference keynote speaker is Dr. Brenda J. Allen, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Colorado, Denver

Brenda J. Allen, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver, will present the conference keynote, Difference Matters: Forming a More Inclusive Learning Community highlighting the advantages of diversity and why it matters in a higher education setting. She will also share insights on how to accomplish the University’s diversity plan. The keynote is scheduled Thursday, October 18, 1:00 PM. In addition to the keynote, Dr. Allen will present a CELT conference session, Inclusive Teaching Strategies, and a diversity workshop for students.  To learn more about Dr. Allen, visit her website Difference Matters.

This year’s CELT Conference also has a Diversity Track with more than ten sessions focusing on aspects of diversity from which to choose.

For more information about the 2012 CELT conference, click here.  The CELT conference and registration are complimentary; however, you must register.

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October Diversity Events

October 7

Lagrimas de mi Madre (Tears of My Mother) – Film

4pm|El Rey Theater



October 10

Conversations on Diversity

AGEWISE – Fighting Ageism in America

Noon | BMU 210

October 8-12

Queer Week  – More info coming soon.


October 11

National Coming Out Day:


10am – 2pm|Trinity Commons

Film – Voices of Tolerance, Produced & Directed by Erin Gillette

3:30 – 4:30pm|Selvester’s Café by the Creek

Coming Out For Art Show

6:00pm|200 Broadway

To submit artwork email center@stonewallchico.org

October 11-13

Focus Film Festival: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion Through Film



October 17-19

18th Annual CELT Conference on Learning and Teaching

Diversity Track: http://www.csuchico.edu/diversity/documents/CELT%20Diversity%20Flyer%20Fall2012.pdf

Website: http://rce.csuchico.edu/conferences/celt-conference

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Fall 2012 Conversations on Diversity

Please join us for Conversations on Diversity!

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“Chico at its very best”: Reflections on the 2010 Diversity Summit

Adelle DeMasi (Admissions) and student Eli Kambale at the CSU Chico Diversity Summit

After reading “Diversity Academy 2011 Reflections,” which was posted earlier in this blog, Adelle DeMasi (Admissions) sent me the following post, her reflection on her experiences during the 2010 Diversity Summit for Chico State students.  Adelle shared,  “[the Diversity Summit] was the single most wonderful experience I had in all [my] days on campus.  It absolutely changed me.”  Upon her arrival home, she recalls, “it was late and I was still high off the experience, so tired, so euphoric. I remember feeling the need to write about it.”  At 10:45 p.m., Adelle fired offed this electronic epistle to her peers who had participated in the 2012 faculty and staff Diversity Summit.  Her reflections are reposted here in their entirety.

Hello All,

I am fresh off the Student Diversity Summit held this weekend in Nevada City. Same place–much different agenda. Some of us who attended the faculty/staff summit went as Mentors this time: myself, Kelly Lough (University Housing & Food Service), Brooke Magnotta (WREC), James Luyirika-Sweagudde, Jr. (Office of International Education) and Anita Washburn (Staff Human Resource Services) joined Caren Fernandez (Associate Director Student Support Services Program) and Amy Hormann’s husband (successful & awesome CSUC alumni not to mention one heck of a Zumba guy). Together, we supported the students attending this year’s summit.

It was amazing; this year’s student summit registration filled up in TWO DAYS. CC Carter, Amy Hormann and Crystal Tonga along with the entire CCLC staff deserve a huge congratulations for pulling off another successful event, one that I can say for a fact was life changing for many of us in attendance.

We broke off into families again just as we did in the faculty/staff Diversity Summit and the role of Mentor was side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder participation with the students. We were there as part of the team but also to show campus support. We did what the students did. So yes, we had to step out of our comfort zone and go through the same physical and mental exercises as they did. While I brought back my own black & blue trophies earned from going over “the wall” (this huge, nasty wooden wall thing unattainable without the help of others), they in no way shape or form compare to the heartfelt success earned by the students who also made it over. They never thought it was possible, they never thought they could do it. But they were sure willing to give it a go. Tears, sheer freight, determination, lots of talk, encouragement and utter teamwork got EVERYONE over that darn thing. It showed that they were not alone, that with others’ help, they could conquer any obstacle.

This osteoporotic elder was able to shizzle her buttizzle – oh yea I rapped. And I was gooood. I represented. Yet while there were lots of laughs (never before had I seen anyone stuff 56 grapes in their mouth at once), there were also plenty of moments. CC and his crew took us through our paces… exercises that brought both student differences and similarities to the forefront. Discussions that ensued made those who felt alone aware of others who shared the same helpless pain. Situations came up that quite honestly blew me away. I kept thinking our students are much, much too young to be experiencing the life experiences that they are.

At one point, the pain of everyone in the entire summit room was one of the most palpable sensations I have ever experienced. I can’t even start to explain what it was like to be in there. Overwhelming is an understatement. The cathartic release of emotions, life experiences, realizations and pure anguish welling from our students was beyond belief. But they shared and opened up because they felt safe. Their honesty was pure and commendable. It was going on midnight and the group was physically and mentally exhausted by this point. They just needed to breathe. Someone plugged an IPod into the speaker system and instant celebration erupted in music, laughter and happy faces. Brooke guided everyone through a wild crazy pulsing group Zumba dance. People were going nuts. It was joyous, it was fabulous and it was Chico at its very best.

This summit allowed for us to get to know our students as individuals, each with their own unique life experiences. I am very thankful that our university recognizes this and provides faculty and staff the opportunity to refresh and nurture this relationship. Again, thank you to all who helped make this weekend the success that it was. You are changing lives and doing an incredible job contributing to a safe and inclusive campus community.

I’m exhausted! It’s off to bed and a good night’s sleep.

Take care all,


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An Opportunity Not to Be Missed: Women, Leadership, and Success Panel

Women, Leadership, and Success Panel Discussion & Reception

Tuesday, May 1, 3:00-5:00 pm

Selvester’s Café

Come gain wisdom and insight from this panel of women leaders.  Hear how they prepared themselves for success in their leadership positions, surmounted personal and societal factors that have proven especially challenging for women leaders, and their recommendations for other women striving to be successful leaders.

The panel will feature

    • Lynn Gangone, Dean, University of Denver Women’s College
    • Mary Anne Villarreal, Associate Dean, University of Denver Women’s College
    • Alexa Benson-Valvanis, CEO of North Valley Community Foundation
    • Phyllis Fernlund, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs
    • Gayle Hutchinson, Dean of BSS
    • Kathy Fernandes, Director of Academic Technologies
    • Jennifer Ryder Fox, Dean of Agriculture
    • Maureen Kirk, District Supervisor, District 3 in Butte County
    • Ann Schwab, Mayor of Chico
    • Kathy Kaiser, Professor of Sociology, Chair and Statewide Senator
 Questions?  Contact Dr. Sara Cooper (Foreign Languages and Literatures) at scooper@csuchico.edu.
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Diversity Academy 2011 Reflections

The inaugural Diversity Academy took place last summer, July 25th – August 4th.  The twenty-three participants consisted of Chico State faculty and staff, representing three of the four divisions and a wide range of departments and colleges on campus:

      • Kaitlyn Baumgartner, Advising
      • John “Jack” Hames, Business
      • Adrienne Scott, Anthropology
      • Elise Cole, Psychology
      • Pamela Morrell, Liberal Studies
      • Teri Todd, Kinesiology
      • Rich Rosecrance, Agriculture
      • Patricia Black, Foreign Languages and Literatures
      • Casey Huff, Public Affair and Publications
      • Stephanie Chervinko, Counseling and Wellness
      • Mary Wallmark, Recreational Sports
      • Vikki Bass, Educational Opportunity Program
      • Caren Fernandez, Student Support Services
      • Deanna Pierro, Student Learning Center
      • Molly Heck, School of Social Work and Multicultural and Gender Studies
      • Linda Kline, Psychology
      • Diane Schmidt, Political Science
      • Jennifer Duggan, Admissions
      • Tamra Donnelly, Provost
      • Jodie Rettinhouse, Career Center
      • Dawn Frank, Safe Place
      • Kate McCarthy, Religious Studies and Multicultural and Gender Studies
      • Elizabeth Renfro, Multicultural and Gender Studies

At the end of each week, participants were asked to record their reflections about what they had learned and experienced.  (This, however, did not prove to be an easy feat.  Many of the participants feared the very thing I am about to do–that their reflections would be made public. Sorry!)  Since announcing the call for applications for the second Diversity Academy, to be held July 16th through the 26th, I have been asked what is the purpose of the Diversity Academy, if it is worth the investment of time, and if it is really an effective program because it appears to be “preaching to the choir.”

Then I remembered that I had this collection of video reflections at my disposal. With the exception of Mary Wallmark (I am not sure how she did it), everyone looks as though they have been put through the ringer–and they have.  I have heard members of the first cohort talk about their experience as being transformative and that, I believe, is no exaggeration.  Below I have embedded select videos from the first cohort.   Who best to answer the questions being posed about the Diversity Academy than the folks who   participated in it?

Deanna Pierro (Student Learning Center) makes the argument that even members of the choir needs a refresher practice from time to time in her week one reflection:

In her week one reflection, Adrienne Scott (Anthropology Museum) uses the metaphor of the onion to make sense of  “the big peel” process she underwent in order to gain a deeper understanding of the layers of oppression:

Casey Huff (Public Affairs and Publications) talks about the usefulness of the small group discussions to help ground the concepts and theories being studied:

The “Queen of the Two-Minute Motivational Speech,” Mary Wallmark (Recreational Sports) shares how her participation in the Diversity Academy has altered her views about opportunities, culture, values, and what is important in her workplace and her life in this week two reflection:

Teri Todd (Kinesiology) wishes the Diversity Academy was mandatory for all Chico State faculty and staff in which week two reflection:

If you additional questions, please feel free to contact me (Tracy Butts at tbutts@csuchico.edu) or a member of the 2011 Diversity Academy cohort.  If you would like to be a member of the 2012 Diversity Academy cohort, applications can be found on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion web site.  Click here.  Applications are due on Friday, May 4th.

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2012 Diversity Academy

2011 Diversity Academy cohort
(standing, left to right: Jack Hames, Tray Robinson, Dawn Frank, Rich Rosecrance, Molly Heck, Mary Wallmark, Stephanie Chervinko, Elise Cole, Elizabeth Renfro, Deanna Pierro, Pamela Morrell, Teri Todd, Linda Kline, Tamra Donnelly, Jodie Rettinhouse, Vikki Bass, Casey Huff, Susan Shaw, Tracy Butts; seated, left to right: Adrienne Scott, Jennifer Duggan, Diane Schmidt, Caren Fernandez, Kaitlyn Baumgartner; not picture: Kate McCarthy and Patricia Black)

The 2012 Diversity Academy is to be held this summer, July 16to July 26, 2012. During this intensive and interactive two-week summer seminar, participants will draw both on a wide variety of readings from experts in diversity and social inequality as well as their own experiences and knowledge. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (1994), by bell hooks,  and Readings for Social Justice and Diversity (2010), edited by Maurianne Adams and et al., are the assigned texts for the seminar.

The Diversity Academy’s objectives are several: 1) develop best practices for synthesizing diversity in curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities; 2) develop a shared understanding of diversity and increase competencies in our educational offerings and diversity efforts; 3) cultivate interests in applied research and funding opportunities in the field of diversity studies; and 4) establish an ongoing community discussion in which issues related to diversity can be addressed among colleagues across disciplines and divisions.  Furthermore, the Diversity Academy supports several of the Diversity Action Plan (DAP) priorities and tasks, such as increasing the diversity competencies of Chico State faculty and staff and fostering a shared understanding of diversity.

The seminar will meet Monday, July 16th through Thursday, July 19th and Monday, July 23rd through Thursday, August 26th.  Sessions will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.  Space is limited to fifteen (15) people.  Participants in the Diversity Academy will receive an iPad and all seminar materials.  Consequently, they will be expected to 1) attend all sessions from July 16th to July 26th, 2) complete all of the reading assignments, 3) make a presentation to the CSU, Chico community, and 4) participate in the greater community of diversity agents across the CSU, Chico campus to collaborate and mentor the next cohort.

 Applications are due on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 and can be obtained on the Office of Diversity and Cross Cultural Leadership Center websites.  For more information or to obtain an electronic copy of the application materials, please contact Tracy Butts at CDO@csuchico.edu or (530) 898-5202.  All application materials should be saved as pdf files and submitted electronically to Tracy Butts at CDO@csuchico.edu.

Please share news of this exciting opportunity with your colleagues and encourage them to apply.

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Camille T. Dungy Poetry Reading, April 5th


Sunday Morning

by Camille T. Dungy
Desire swung like that: like her
legs in procession, like perfume
from a censer on its linked chain.
Heavy as smoke in the hold’s light,
desire. A church, a cathedral, the body
in that robe. The robe sash swinging.
The progress through the sinning body
to this sacred spot. A man kneeling.
A man with head bent. A man lifting
his prayer to a woman. Desire. Desire. Desire.
Grant us grace.

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The Red Tent

Here’s a wonderful way to close out Women’s History Month.

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