Category Archives: Diversity

Cuevas presents on faculty and staff affinity groups at national student affairs conference

Faustina Cuevas

CEHD Student Services senior academic adviser Faustina Cuevas presented at the 2017 NASPA conference for higher education student affairs professionals, held in San Antonio.

Cuevas and Gilbert Valencia, residence director with U of M Housing & Residential Life, presented “Starting a Faculty & Staff Affinity Group: Importance, Challenges & Sustainability.” Their session focused on the tools and resources needed to start a faculty and staff affinity group on campus. They shared strategies and challenges they faced in starting the Latino/a Faculty and Staff Association at the U of M, hopefully inspiring others to see the need and importance of affinity groups to build community and retain diverse staff and faculty.

Cuevas and Hammell present on microaggressions

Tracey Hammell
Faustina Cuevas

CEHD Student Services senior academic advisers Faustina Cuevas and Tracey Hammell recently presented “Microaggressions:  Did that just really happen?” to the U of M Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Their presentation examined microaggressions’ role in society and their effect on people. Cuevas and Hammell discussed what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others.

Cuevas and Thompson present on re-envisioning allyship in student advising

Jessica Thompson
Faustina Cuevas

CEHD senior academic advisers Faustina Cuevas and Jessica Thompson presented “Becoming an Accomplice: Are You Ready for the New Wave of Allyship?” at the annual John Tate Academic Advising Conference.

Their presentation addressed how the term ally has become a buzzword, especially in the context of recent events, and must be re-envisioned in order to better serve students and dismantle systems of oppression. They presented on how advisers shift beyond allyship towards becoming accomplices in social justice work. They highlighted the importance of this concept of accomplice and its connection to advising and student advocacy.

Abdi’s research finds critical link between public school and immigrant student experience

“Public schools are the de facto experience for immigrant children to be part of this country, both to learn about and participate in the nation,” says Nimo Abdi, a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, noting that public schools are the first place where immigrant children contact mainstream culture and learn ways to integrate.

Abdi’s research focuses on the intersectionality, or interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, as they apply to the immigrant student. She is interested in how context shapes the identities of students. And what she has found is that the impact of schooling cannot but understated for students that are new to this country.

Preconceptions Hurt Immigrant Students

Abdi is studying the Somali community in Columbus, Ohio which is very similar to the one here in the Twin Cities. She sees Somali students face the obstacle of preconceived notions based on their background in the Columbus public schools. “Teachers and school administrators and students have certain concepts of what it means to be a Somali,” Abdi says.

As a science teacher in Columbus, Abdi noticed that students were treated differently based on their appearance. Russian immigrant students were mainstreamed into regular classes even if they needed the help of an ESL class. However, second-generation Somali students were still being placed in ESL classes even if they were proficient.

“Those things tend to mark and label students in a certain way—being visible, being black and Muslim, and also being Somali,” Abdi finds in her experience and research.

Caught Between Two Cultures

Somalis students deal with the dual pressure of having to fit into their schools and into their home communities by changing their identities in different contexts. “In urban settings, some Somali students appropriate hip-hop culture to be part of the black youth culture,” says Abdi, noting that they are not necessarily accepted completely not do they see themselves as such.

“One boy told me that sometimes he identified as Somali, sometimes as African-American. It all depends on the context. “

Trying to fit into the school and home community is especially difficult for girls. “Girls come to school completely covered, and in literally less than ten minutes they take everything off and look completely different,” Abdi says that “the tricky thing about the whole notion of dress code is it could have completely different meanings in different settings. Covering is appreciated in the Somali context as a show of modesty but it has the opposite effect in mainstream culture. It’s a very difficult for young children to navigate that.”

Creating Spaces for Immigrant Students

In order to help immigrant students thrive in the educational system, Abdi believes that schools need to create spaces for all children, by educating students about different religions and offering options for students who don’t conform to the majority religion. She believes that a culturally responsive pedagogy could go a long way towards helping to integrate immigrant children and their communities.

“Social categories have real-life consequences in people’s lives. Being labelled in a certain way, has real meaning for children and how they see themselves,” Abdi reveals the main finding of her research: “The context of our education shapes who we are and how we see the world.”

Find about more about teacher education programs designed to support immigrant students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Family Social Science launches new M.A. in prevention science

Family Social Science (FSOS) has launched a new master’s degree program in prevention science that will help prepare family science practitioners to prevent or moderate major human dysfunctions before they occur.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Prevention Science will equip students to confront many of the daunting challenges facing today’s families and communities, including trauma and drug addiction. The M.A. in Prevention Science will also help students develop strategies to promote the health and well-being of families.

Core coursework for the M.A. in Prevention Science gives students a solid foundation in statistics and research methodology, family conceptual frameworks, and ethics. Students can choose the Plan A which includes a thesis, or the Plan B which includes a project and a paper.

The M.A. in Prevention Science is intended for individuals who would like to build a career that supports families and works to redirect maladaptive behaviors.

The program is currently accepting applications for Fall 2017. The application deadline is March 1, 2017.

FSOS Ph.D. student awarded grant

FSOS Ph.D. student Renada Goldberg was recently awarded a grant from the Minneapolis Foundation. Renada will work with the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy to conduct a community-based participatory research project in partnership with African American parents, caregivers, and leaders of nonprofits to study and ultimately help shape state and municipal public policies such as the new paid leave policy in Minneapolis.

Muñoz featured in MPR news story on challenges Hispanic students face in graduating from college

Munoz photoMinerva Muñoz, director of TRIO Student Support Services, was recently featured in an MPR news piece on the barriers Hispanic students face in obtaining college degrees.

Read the full article. 

FSOS profs offer post-election commentary

FSOS professors Abi Gewirtz and Bill Doherty offered post-election thoughts in local and national media outlets, respectively.

Local NBC affiliate, KARE 11 featured Abi Gewirtz and her thoughts on talking to kids regarding the current mood in the country.

The Wall Street Journal featured Bill Doherty and his thoughts on moving forward in familial relationships when parties disagree on the outcome of the election. Independent.co.uk also featured Doherty’s thoughts.

See Gewirtz on KARE 11 here. Learn more about her and her research interests here.

Read Doherty’s comments in WSJ here. Read his comments in Independent hereLearn more about him and his research interests here.

Solheim, Wieling, and Ballard publish new textbook

immigrantrefugeetextbookDepartment of Family Social Science faculty members Cathy Solheim and Liz Wieling, along with FSOS Ph.D. student Jaime Ballard, recently published a breakthrough textbook titled, Immigrant and Refugee Families: Global Perspectives on Displacement and Resettlement Experiences.

While they were preparing to teach “Global Perspectives on Immigrant and Refugee Families,” Solheim and Wieling noticed that while there was a wealth of information regarding the immigrant experiences of individuals, very few textbooks focused on immigration experiences as it pertained to the family as a whole.

With the help of Ballard, Solheim and Wieling created a text that discusses current theoretical frameworks and synthesizes current research specific to immigrant and refugee families.

Read the textbook, which is available for free through University of Minnesota Libraries.

Learn more about Solheim, Wieling, and Ballard on their respective profile pages.

 

 

C&I’s Bic Ngo receives $1.75 million grant to increase opportunities and services for Asian American students

Bic Ngo, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction is co-leading a grant to provide increased access and educational opportunities to Asian American students.
Bic Ngo, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, is co-leading a grant to provide increased access and educational opportunities to Asian American students.

Bic Ngo, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and Josephine Lee of the College of Liberal Arts received a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase services for Asian American students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) campus. The $1.75 million grant is specifically aimed at providing “assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals,” according to the award letter.

“The project seeks to provide our Asian American students with culturally relevant learning environments and programs in ways that nurture cultural integrity and academic success,” said Ngo.

The implementation of the grant at UMTC will be called the “Asian American College Excellence (AACE) Project.”

Ngo and Lee plan to roll out the AACE Project via several avenues, including a resource center (with computer lab and tutoring space), a teaching and learning library, an increased number of Asian American Studies classes, a speaker series, a youth summit, a teaching pathways program, and a tutoring and mentoring program among others.

One of the major tasks for the first year of the grant is to establish the resource center that will provide a place for many of the project activities as well as a dedicated space for the students to study, hang out, and build community.

Dr. Ngo is committed to analyzing issues relating to educational equity and cultural identity in immigrant students’ education. She teaches in the Ph.D. program for Culture & Teaching.

 

Thul receives grant for intergenerational physical activity program

Dr. Chelsey Thul
Dr. Chelsey Thul

A project titled “Impact of an East African Mother-Daughter Physical Activity Program and Co-Designed Activewear” received a $75,000 University of Minnesota Extension FY 2016-2018 Block Grant. The project is led by:

  • Chelsey Thul, Ph.D., Lecturer in the School of Kinesiology
  • Elizabeth Bye, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head of the Apparel Design Program in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota
  • Jennifer Weber, Behavior Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator/Athletic Director at the Cedar-Riverside Community School
  • Mary Marczak, Director of Urban Family Development and Evaluation at University of Minnesota Extension
The project aims to engage 10-15 urban, East African mother-daughter (in 2nd-5th grade) pairs in a two-year intergenerational physical activity program. The goal of the program is to increase physical activity opportunities through physical activity and healthy living education, practice and the co-design of culturally sensitive activewear. The study extends Bye, LaVoi, Thul & Hussein’s 2013-2015 culturally sensitive activewear co-design project with East African adolescent girls, which resulted in the design of a general physical activity garment and the first-ever sport uniform for adolescent Muslim girls in the U.S., to a wider range of girls and their mothers.

Tucker Center’s “Media Coverage and Female Athletes” video rebroadcast

Media Coverage and Female Athletes
Media Coverage & Female Athletes

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport is proud to announce several new airings this month of its groundbreaking video, “Media Coverage and Female Athletes.”

tpt MN Channel 2.2
Friday, September 9, 2016 at 2:00 AM
Friday, September 9, 2016 at 8:00 AM
Friday, September 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Friday, September 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM

The video builds on a research-based examination of the amount and type of coverage given to female athletes with commentary from expert scholars and award winning coaches and athletes who discuss this timely issue from a variety of perspectives as they help dispel the common—but untrue—myths that “sex sells” women’s sport , and no one is interested in it anyway. Effective strategies for increasing media coverage and creating images which reflect the reality of women’s sports participation and why this is so important are also discussed.

To view the entire program online now, click here. For more information on upcoming broadcasts, click here.

FSOS to host reception prior to NCFR

The Department of Family Social Science will host a reception prior to the start of the NCFR national conference, being held in Minneapolis this year.

“The Great Family Social Science Get Together” is an opportunity  for departmental friends and colleagues to reconnect.

The reception will be held on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, in Symphony Ballroom III, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

Learn more and RSVP for this event here.

Parents today spending more time with their kids

Professor Bill DohertyWCCO recently featured Department of Family Social Science professor Bill Doherty in a segment about how much time parents spend with their children.

According to the “Good Question” segment with Heather Brown, moms are spending about four hours a week more with their kids than they did 40 – 50 years ago. Dads are also spending more time with their kids.

“The big thing is interacting with them compared with just being around,” said Doherty.

He said there is no magic formula, but the key is being intentional with your time, and balancing quantity and quality of time.

Read the WCCO article and see the video here.

Learn more about Bill Doherty and his research interests here.

Spontaneous activities important for making family memories

Professor Bill DohertyDepartment of Family Social Science professor Bill Doherty was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal  article about the importance of doing spontaneous things as a family.

The author of the article tells the story of how she listened to her 10-year old son when he said he wanted to go from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to see the victory parade for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the 2016 NBA Championship.

Despite the crowds, booked hotel rooms, and the heat, the family took an impromptu road trip from Philadelphia to Cleveland for one reason: it would be memorable.

While parenting is often about structure and setting limits, “sometimes it’s good to say ‘what the heck’, and break out of what we normally do,” Doherty said.

He also said, “The thing about spontaneous family events is that they are a bit over the top. That is what makes them memorable.”

Read the Wall Street Journal article here.

Learn more about Bill Doherty and his research interests here.

 

It’s OK for “tweens” to be bored during summer

Dworkin-StrackJ-2003In a recent Star Tribune article about how kids spend their summers, Family Social Science associate professor Jodi Dworkin says it’s okay for kids to be bored.

Every year, parents in Minnesota face the quandary of what to do with their children during the summer, when school is not in session, according to a recent Star Tribune article.

For parents of young children there are many options, like day care or summer camp, but for parents of “tweens” (ages approximately from 12 to 15), summer can be a challenge. Tweens are too old for day care, but too young to work.

As a result, parents try to fill summers with activities for tweens, which are often expensive, to keep them active, off their phones, and out of trouble.

However, Dworkin says despite the pressure parents feel to fill up their kids’ summers with enriching activities, it’s OK for them to be bored, too.

“Allowing your children to be bored not only gives them a chance to be creative, it also gives them a chance to refresh and get ready for another school year,” she said.

Read the Star Tribune article here.

Learn more about Jodi Dworkin and her research interests here.

 

 

Weiler awarded Hennepin-University Collaborative Grant

Lindsey WeilerDepartment of Family Social Science assistant professor Lindsey Weiler is part of a team researching homeless youth in Hennepin County, which has been awarded the Hennepin-University Collaborative Grant.

The project investigates homeless youth’s perceptions of their education and employment interests, needs, and potential interventions. This award will bring together the Office to End Homelessness (OEH) and FSOS to give voice to youth interests and desires.

Read more about Lindsey’s research interests on her profile page.

Read more about the Office to End Homelessness on the Hennepin County website.

Read more about Hennepin-University Partnerships on their website.

Professor Lesa Clarkson receives award for inspiring women in STEM education

lesa clarkson
Lesa Clarkson, associate professor in mathematics education

Lesa Clarkson, associate professor of mathematics education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, was honored with the INSIGHT into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award and will be featured in the September issue of INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. The award honors “remarkable women in STEM professions who continue to make a significant difference through mentoring and teaching, research, successful programs and initiatives, and other efforts worthy of national recognition.”

Clarkson’s research agenda focuses on mathematics in the urban classroom, specifically identifying successful strategies that increase student achievement primarily among underrepresented student groups. She focuses on African-American students, specifically, because this group of students historically has the lowest scores on the national and state assessments. Clarkson believes, “The color of a student’s skin is not correlated to their achievement in mathematics.”

Clarkson’s research aims to find best practices that will provide all students with engaging mathematics experiences in addition to the basic “tools” that are essential for students.

J.B. Mayo, Jr. Receives Research Award for “Uncovering Queer Spaces in the Harlem Renaissance”

Jazz singer, Ethel Waters
Jazz singer, Ethel Waters

Each year, the  Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy grants Multicultural Research Awards that “transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.”  Associate Professor in Curriculum & Instruction, J.B. Mayo, Jr., received one of the prestigious grants for his proposal to integrate LGBTQ history into the social studies curriculum that covers the Harlem Renaissance.

The research project entitled “Uncovering Queer Spaces During the Harlem Renaissance” is aimed at breaking the silence within social studies education about LGBT people, themes, and histories. Mayo plans to engage intersectional realities that include race, gender, and sexual orientation while helping teachers to be more inclusive of LGBT people, themes, and histories within their social studies classes.

Another goal of Mayo’s research is to allow LGBT students, and particularly queer students of color, to see themselves positively represented. He plans to conduct intensive archival research this summer in Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Black Culture to find the stories of gay artists of color working during the Harlem Renaissance. He will then co-create an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum with local social studies teachers that center on the chosen artists’ work and identities. The finished curriculum will be field tested in area social studies classes. Mayo plans to observe the lessons as they are taught and follow-up with interviews with the participating teachers and selected students to discuss their impressions and to gather their perceptions of the impact of these lessons, which are aimed at not only changing young people’s views of history, but diminishing homophobia within communities of color and in society more generally.

Find out more about the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s commitment to diversity and social justice and the research degree in social studies education.

 

 

 

 

CEHD student services staff present on microaggressions at advising conference

Tracey Hammell and Don Riley, academic advisers in CEHD student services, presented this month at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 6 Conference in Omaha. Their presentation — “Microaggressions: Did that just really happen?” — examined what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others.