As a positive step towards making Kirkwood Community College a more diverse and inclusive environment, a diversity track was added to Collaborative Learning Days, featuring 16 sessions that addressed issues of diversity and inclusion.  This was a great first step towards bringing diversity issues to the forefront, prompting us all to be more reflective educators.

The idea for a diversity track came from Juanita Limas who was inspired when enrolled in the Culturally Responsive Classroom’s pilot course in the fall semester of 2013.  Working with other faculty and staff involved in the Culturally Responsive Classroom, Limas was able to write a proposal to the Collaborative Learning Days committee, which, in early Fall 2014, approved the addition of this track.

Below is a list of the various sessions, categorized by themes, and includes the names of the (co-) facilitators, demonstrating the collaborative effort of sharing our strengths, challenges, and visions of a more diverse and inclusive environment at Kirkwood.

Cognitive Differences

  • Strategies for Working with Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Jill Brink, Barb Mussman, Amanda Thompson, & Jim Trepka)

English Language Learners

  • Addressing the Needs of ELA Students in Your Classroom (Ryan Dehner, Keith Reins, & Catherine Schaff-Stump)
  • Supporting English Learners (Sarah Rissler)


  • Gender Trouble: Women, Media, and Stereotypes (Natalia Cherjovsky)

Intercultural Competence

  • CQ: Cultural Intelligence (Jeremy Slagoski)
  • Five Tricks Card Game (Jeremy Slagoski)
  • Multiple Identities, Multiple Roles (Darek Benesh)
  • Racial Microagressions: Can What You Are Saying Be Unintentionally Offensive (Nancy Wright from Indian Hills Community College)

International Education

  • Go Global (Dawn Wood)
  • International Student Panel (Gayle Glick)

Teaching & Learning

  • Classroom Etiquette in Community College (Catharine Butler & Monie Hayes)
  • Creating a Diverse Learning Environment (Jacki Brucher Moore & Natalia Cherjovsky)
  • Danger of a Single Story (Darek Benesh, Zeynep Bilki, & Iryna Hamm)
  • Diversity Leaders: Developing Social Justice Allies in Faculty and Modeling Inclusive Behavior to Students (Alissa King)
  • Seeing Kirkwood Campus Anew: Enhancing Student Engagement Through Inter-departmental Collaboration (John Henik & Gregory Krawiec)
  • Standards Based Grading and Similar Trends (Susan Harthun)

Underrepresented Ethnic/Racial Minorities

  • Being Black at Kirkwood: A Quantitative Analysis (Cort Iverson)
  • A Different Perspective: College Experiences of Minority Faculty & Staff (Melissa Soto)
  • Responding to Voices from Chicago Public Housing (Shelby Myers-Verhage)
  • What Are You?  Asian Multiracialism and Hapa Culture in America (Theresa Moore)

If you would like to join our positive steps towards making Kirkwood Community College a more diverse and inclusive environment, please contact Jeremy Slagoski or Juanita Limas.  If you’d like to learn more about these issues, KCELT is always offering sessions every semester.  This semester (Spring 2015), KCELT will be offering a couple of reading circles, one on Whistling Vivaldi and one on Out of Exile.  Please check Tempo and KCELT’s registration page as they become available.

Would you like to share your ideas, challenges, and learning solutions regarding intercultural issues?  If so, please contact KCELT to learn the multiple ways of sharing your voice with your colleagues and the college.

One thought on “We Are Kirkwood: Multiple Perspectives on Diversity & Inclusion

  1. It was a pleasure to facilitate a session. So many interesting and important ones! As Juanita said I hope we gain more momentum in the realm of awareness and inclusion.

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