There have been a number of groups meeting around campus this academic year to examine and talk about diversity and explore ways that UST faculty, staff and students can increase their facility in being ambassadors for inclusion.

During Fall 2013 a reading group co-sponsored by Student Diversity and Inclusion Services and the Center for Faculty Development read and discussed the new book by Sociology professor Buffy Smith, Mentoring At-Risk Students Through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education. The group is generating suggestions for how to strengthen our mentoring of underrepresented students at UST.

Another group meeting this year to discuss diversity issues is a Faculty Learning Community sponsored by the Center for Faculty Development; members of this group are reading Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education and meeting monthly throughout the school year to draw out implications for UST’s policies and practices connected to our commitment to diversity.

Coming up in January:

  •  J-Term Book Club
    This year’s Student Diversity and Inclusion Services book club will examine Roxana Saberi’s book, Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran. The J-Term book club’s first meeting will be on January 8. Saberi will speak at St. Thomas on April 14, 7 p.m. in Woulfe Hall.
  • GLBT Allies group training session
    For interested staff and faculty on Friday, January 17, 9 a.m. to noon. Contact Cara Anthony, clanthony@stthomas.edu, for more information.

Finally, the Opus College of Business sponsored guest speaker Howard Ross in November and his session on understanding your own biases to transform organizations was inspiring and popular enough that OCB, in collaboration with the Center for Faculty Development, is organizing a Spring semester reading/discussion group for staff and faculty, focusing on Ross’s book, Re-Inventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and Performance.  This group will meet once a month on the Minneapolis campus, starting in February. Contact Bill Woodson (wood6289@stthomas.edu) or Ann Johnson (a9johnson@stthomas.edu) to take part.

Ann Johnson is the director of the Center for Faculty Development and a professor of psychology.