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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