Friday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Registration is open




9:30 a.m. Registration Opens (Jones Commons)
10:00 - 10:15 a.m. Welcome in Jones Commons
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Breakout Session #1
11:45 a.m. Lunch Opens
12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
  • Keynote (Adrienne Dixson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
  • Phyllis Yager Diversity Award ceremony (Previous year awardee: Sheri Crandall; 2017 awardee: Renee Person, Kirkwood Elementary)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Breakout Session #2
2:45 - 3:45 p.m. Breakout Session #3
3:45 - 4:00 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. Film and discussion: Tested and a Q&A with director Curtis Chin
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Closing reflections and overview for tomorrow

Breakout Session Schedule

Breakout Session #1 (10:30 - 11:30 a.m)

Title Location
(Lack of) Diversity in Children's Literature: Best Resources and Practices for Finding Quality Children's Literature (Colleen Kennedy) N111 LC (TLC)
Historical Perspectives: A suggestion for creating culturally competent curriculum and Students (Louis Hartzog) S106
Mass Trauma in the African American Community: Using Multiculturalism to Build Resilient Systems (Bryan Range & Dumayi Guiterrez) S104
Presentation for faculty & students by Adrienne Dixson Jones Commons (N300 LC)


Breakout Session #2 (1:30-2:30)


Title Location
Linguistically Diverse Books as "Mirrors" (Laura Szech) N204 LC
Mass Trauma in the African American Community: Using Multiculturalism to Build Resilient Systems (Bryan Range & Dumayi Guiterrez) 106 LC (South)
A Developmental Model of Rural School Evaluation (MORSE) (Liz Hollingworth & Pedro Sanchez) Jones Commons (N300 LC)
Gifted ≠ Privilege (Laurie Croft) N111 Conference Room (N110 LC)


Breakout Session #3 (2:45-3:45)

Title Location
Latinx Educational Status in Iowa: What educators should know (Carlaz Gonzalez. Dumayi Guiterrez, Wilbeth Lugo-Morales, Javiera Romero-Araya, Prisma Ruacho, and Diana Galvez) 104 LC (South)
(Lack of) Diversity in Children's Literature: Best Resources and Practices for Finding Quality Children's Literature (Colleen Kennedy) N204 LC
Social Discourse and the Diverse Learner (Greg Hamot) Jones Commons (N300 LC)
Gifted ≠ Privilege (Laurie Croft) N111 Conference Room (N110 LC)


Breakout Session Descriptions

Linguistically Diverse Books as "Mirrors"

Laura Szech (Grad Student in Language, Literacy, and Culture)

The purpose of my presentation is to examine how students respond differently to text written in their home dialect of African American Language (AAL) than they do to texts written in Standard English (SE). I also delve into what their perceptions of their home dialect are, considering that the common ideology of AAL is that it is simply incorrect grammar versus the reality that it is a cultural dialect. I wonder if their school identities are negatively affected by this common ideology about their own speech. The following questions guide my presentation: What are students’ perceptions of their home dialect of AAL when reading and responding to literature? And, does engagement increase when students’ identities are represented in text? The content areas are linguistic dialectal diversity, cultural representation in picture books, and student school identity. Teachers will understand the linguistic history of African American Language. Teachers will deepen their understanding of the importance of cultural representation in picture books and how it relates to engagement in the classroom.

Mass Trauma in the African American Community: Using Multiculturalism to Build Resilient Systems

Bryan Range and Dumayi Gutierrez (Graduate Students in Couple and Family Therapy)

Within the last 4 years, there has been an increasing awareness of the traumatic shootings of African Americans in our society. This increase in media coverage of these shootings has highlighted not only the plight of African Americans in America but also the real threat of death African American live with. Americans in general have expressed outrage against these fatal killings which has been traumatic for many people, especially African Americans. These shootings severely impacts African American families and communities causing them to become trauma organized; losing basic sense of physical and psychological safety as well as family and community functionality. Understanding the effects these shootings have on the African American community can help clinicians work more effectively work with this population. The Muti-Phase Model of Psychotherapy (MPM) and capture the essential ingredients for healing as well as building and maintaining resilience within the African American community. Learning objectives: Participants will have working understanding of what constitutes mass trauma. 2. Participants will understand the effect mass trauma has on the African American community 3. Participants will learn about effective therapeutic ways to work with this population.

Latinx Educational Status in Iowa: What educators should know

Carla Gonzalez, Dumayi Gutierrez

This session will focus on informing teachers the educational status of the K-12 Latinx student population in the state of Iowa. Six Latina graduate students will provide educators information regarding Latinx identity (including intersectional identities) and diversity within the Latinx group, statistics that counter implicit bias or negative stereotyping of Latinx students, discussion regarding the achievement gap for Latinx students, and ways Iowa teachers can support both Latinx Students and their family in a school setting. Additionally, each Latina scholar will share with the audience their educational research to showcase that there are researchers dedicated to the study of Latinx education. Learning objectives: educators to become aware of various ways to support Latinx students and their families.

(Lack of) Diversity in Children's Literature: Best Resources and Practices for Finding Quality Children's Literature

Colleen Kennedy (Faculty)

Despite changing student demographics, book publishers have yet to represent America's children, with over 73% of children's literature published in the last year starring white characters. A student of color is more likely to find a toy bear or truck as a leader character than a black or brown child. Why is this? This workshop will give an overview of publishing trends in children's literature, discuss critical literacy approaches to teaching children's literature, and will offer concrete suggestions for creating an inclusive classroom library. Learning objectives: Critical Literacy, Book Selection and Evaluation, Website Resources for Teachers.

Gifted ≠ Privilege

Laurie Croft (Faculty, Belin-Blank Center)

Are gifted and talented programs bastions of elitism and synonymous with privilege? Percentages of many diverse groups aren’t reflected in many gifted programs today, and many culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse (CLED) students are more likely to be referred to Special Education than to gifted education programs. Nevertheless, the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and educators of the gifted have battled CLED underrepresentation in gifted programs for decades. NAGC asserts that educators must embrace “a multi-dimensional paradigm shift from a deficit to a strength perspective,” (NAGC, n.d., Position Statement) in order to identify students with potential as well as demonstrated skills, and to provide them with both academic and affective support. The same approach has been well researched and advocated for twice-exceptional students, that is, those who are both advanced academically but dealing with one or more learning disabilities. Equally important, all students, even those who enter the classroom well beyond “proficient” should benefit from educational programs that facilitate continuous educational progress. Many high-ability students have failed to thrive in the era of high-stakes accountability (Theaker et al., 2011); gifted and talented students do not always “make it on their own,” and they are not immune to depression, substance abuse, other issues that lead them to drop out of school, and suicide. Gifted and talented learners should not be bullied—by other students or adults—because of their differences. Today’s classrooms must be responsive to high-ability learners, identifying the wide-range of children—from all backgrounds--capable of doing more.

Historical Perspectives: A suggestion for creating culturally competent curriculum and students

Louis Hartzog (Undergraduate Student)

The presentation will cover the white washing of history and how that deprives students of the ability to gain cultural understanding. I will detail a suggestive curriculum movement that will expose students to other cultures. I believe that we teach history in a very exclusive manner and I want to present my ideas to a room full of educators. Respecting cultures begins with understanding the culture and its histories. This past election has made it apparent that our public education system is failing to create socially and culturally aware citizens. A fear of the "other" is spreading throughout the US, it is our jobs as educators to create productive citizens, and citizens that can recognize marginalization and injustice. The importance of teaching all of history. How we can use education as a vehicle for a progressive and accepting society. The importance of recognizing injustice for what it is.

A Developmental Model of Rural School Evaluation (MORSE)

Pedro Sanchez (Visiting Faculty) and Liz Hollingworth (Faculty)

This work depicts a Model of Evaluation to assess rural schools in both industrial and developing countries using data derived from evaluation and research projects conducted in Mexican rural schools. The model assumes a theoretical continuum of educational services and processes sustained by growth and value-added theories. A diagnostic procedure using objective indicators for each of the dimensions allows evaluators to place a given school along a continuum that not only recognizes assets and strengths, but also identifies weaknesses and opportunities for growth. Sustainability, a key element in the model, is examined through specific indicators across four major dimensions: (1) school Infrastructure, (2) instructional processes, (3) student readiness, and (4) opportunities offered. The model allows for the prescription of strategies to advance in the developmental process toward a fully comprehensive rural school with sufficient infrastructure, effective instructional processes, and students ready to learn and overcome social and economic vulnerabilities. Learning objective: Learn how to operationalize a theoretical growth model for practical evaluations of rural schools.

Social Discourse and the Diverse Learner

Greg Hamot (Faculty)

This session addresses the various ways students learn through social discourse on the subject matter, and how social discourse helps all students to internalize the existence and significance of alternative points of view. The richness and diversity of experiences found in a classroom, combined with accompanying intellectual strengths, can work to meet individual learning needs and develop multicultural understanding for all students when highlighted through cooperative learning activities. This session will engage attendees in several such interactive, cooperative learning activities.