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Fall 2019 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Events


Conversation with Dr. Roper about diversity, equity, and inclusion 9/12/19 10:00-12:00 SU 270 Dr. Larry Roper Creating the World in Which We Aspire to Live-SSAAC
Safe Zone Training Part 1 9/25/19 9:00-11:00 FBCC Multi-Purpose Room Ms. Bonnie Johnson
Understanding and Supporting Muslim Students in Higher Education 10/25/19 9:00-11:00 SU 362 Dr. Mehvash Ali
Understanding and Supporting Muslim Students in Higher Education 10/25/19 1:30-3:30 I-House Great Room Dr. Mehvash Ali
Intersectionality and the Role of Educators Working With a Multidimensional Student Culture

Keynote and Reception open to the campus community (no registration necessary)


11/4/19  6:00-8:30  SU 180 Dr. Laura Rendón
Validation Theory Workshop 11/5/19 9:00-11:00 SU 272 Dr. Laura Rendón
Advising: A Means of Supporting Diversity and Inclusion  12/3/19 9:00-11:00 SU 169 Dr. Kimberly Smith

Dr. Larry Roper

Dr. Larry Roper is a Professor in the School of Language, Culture and Society and Coordinator of the College Student Services Administration program and the undergraduate Social Justice Minor at Oregon State University.  Previously he served as Vice Provost for Student Affairs from 1995-2014. He has degrees from Heidelberg University, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Maryland. He has held numerous positions in student affairs, including Director of Housing; Associate Dean of Students; Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs; and Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Larry currently serves as a Commissioner with the State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission and as Chair of the NASPA Faculty Fellows.  He served a 4-year term as Editor of the ­NASPA Journal, and 6 years as a Commissioner with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Ms. Bonnie Johnson

Bonnie Johnson (she/her/hers) serves as the Coordinator for the Pride Center at the University of Tennessee. In this role, she oversees and provides student support services, programming, and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community at UTK as well as educational outreach to the wider campus community. She is pleased to be back at Rocky Top working with students and colleagues to make the University truly welcoming to all and hostile to none.

Her professional areas of interest include student development, student advocacy, intersectionality, donor relations and stewardship, and event coordination. When she’s not at work, you can find her rearranging her furniture for the tenth time, cooking a meal for her loved ones, or cheering on Lady Vols basketball.

Bonnie earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tennessee and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Laura I. Rendón

Laura Rendón is nationally recognized as an education theorist, activist and researcher who specializes in college preparation, persistence and graduation of low-income, first-generation students.

A native of Laredo, Texas, Rendón’s passion is assisting students who, like her, grew up in poverty with hopes and dreams but not knowing how to realize them. Rendón is credited with developing the theory of validation, which colleges and researchers have employed as a framework for working with and affirming low-income students.

Rendón is a teaching and learning philosopher and thought leader. She developed a pedagogic framework called Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy that emphasizes intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual student development along with social activism.

Rendón is an active scholar whose research has been published in key education research journals. She is also the author of Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation. Moreover, she is co-editor of books and monographs including: Transforming the First Year of College for Students of Color; Educating a New Majority; Introduction to American Higher Education; and Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education ASHE Reader.

She is co-director of the Center for Research and Policy in Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Texas in San Antonio, which engages in research that informs the education community about critical factors that affect the academic success of key student groups.

She is also one of the founders and former Board Chair of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (Washington, DC) focused on providing access to college for low-income students. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Further, Rendón has designed and coordinated the yearly Latino/a Student Success Institute for the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, the nation’s premier scholarly organization focusing on higher education issues impacting Latinos.

As a leader in the field of college access and achievement, Rendón’s research has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the PBS documentary, “The College Track.” Rendón is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities throughout the nation on topics related to improving persistence and completion.

Dr. Mehvash Ali

Dr. Mehvash Ali is the Director, Academic Support Center (ASC) and First Year Experience (FYE) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) since 2012. She is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and teaches Abnormal Psychology, Biopsychology, and Introduction to Psychology at the undergraduate level at AUS. She is currently serving as Chair of the Global Initiatives Committee FOR NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising. Dr. Ali is a member of the Inclusion and Engagement Committee and the Academic Advising Consultant and Speaker Service in NACADA. She held the International Perspectives seat on the Professional Development Committee in NACADA from 2015-2017 and was the Keynote for the NACADA International Conference in the United Kingdom, 2017. Dr. Ali has also served on the Board of Directors for the South Asian Public Health Association in the USA. Dr. Ali graduated from yhe University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She then earned her Master of Arts degree in Psychology from New York University and another Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale followed by a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Dr. Kimberly Smith

Kimberly Smith currently serves as the Associate Vice Provost for Student Success Initiatives at Virginia Tech.  In this role, she provides leadership for academic advising and support, retention, and enrichment programs and services. In addition, she serves as a member of the Undergraduate Academic Affairs leadership team, participating in strategic planning, leading change, developing programs, creating assessment strategies, and supporting innovation in university-wide strategic initiatives. Dr. Smith has served in NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising, in various capacities including a member of NACADA’s Consult and Speakers Bureau and most recently being selected to serve as a fellow with the Excellence in Academic Advising (EAA) collaborative between NACADA and the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education to advance student learning, success, persistence, retention, and degree completion through a comprehensive, standards-based assessment process to promote excellence in academic advising.