Skip to Main Content

551 E. High St., Oxford, OH 45056

View map Free Event

Register Here

Presenters: Tarah Trueblood, Center for American & World Cultures; Devin Moran, Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion; Gillian Oakenfull, Marketing; Breanna Robinson, Intercollegiate Athletics; and April Smith, Psychology

Diversity in the classroom is both an opportunity and a challenge. The challenge: Both faculty and students experience conflict and tension related to the different views and lived experiences represented in the classroom. The opportunity; By increasing cognitive empathy, this conflict and tension can be leveraged to enhance teaching and learning for everyone. In this workshop you will gain strategies and tips to implement three highly effective, but easy-to-implement strategies for creating learning environments where students feel a sense of belonging and community. Strategies include the use of identity-related ice breakers; helping students distinguish between debate, discussion, and dialogue; and establishing ground-rules for intergroup communication. These strategies draw on 30+ years of research on intergroup dialogue conducted at the University of Michigan and eight affiliated universities. This workshop is intended for faculty, student affairs professionals, and university administrators, all of whom have an interest in student success, and is presented by the Center for American and World Cultures and CTE's Faculty Learning Community on Intergroup Dialogue for Faculty, Staff, and Administrators.

Tarah Trueblood joined Global Initiatives in March of 2018 as the Director of the Center for American and World Cultures. There she spearheads the new Global Readiness Certificate and a campus-wide intergroup dialogue initiative. Her educational background includes a Juris Doctor, Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She is currently pursuing a post-baccalaureate in Painting with Miami's College of Creative Arts. Trueblood comes to Miami from the University of North Florida (UNF), where she was the Associate Director of Diversity Initiatives and Director of the UNF Interfaith Center. She has background in diversity and inclusion consulting and is the Founder of Waking Up White in America—which provides workshops and coaching on data-informed strategies for inclusive excellenc. Prior to UNF she served as Executive Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of California at Berkeley where she led the develpment, entitlement, construction, lease-up, and management of a 4-story, student residential housing community oriented around diversity and inclusion. Trueblood began her career as a corporate finance attorney in Sacramento, California. After attending seminary in Berkeley she became an ordained United Methodist minister and served several California congregations.

Devin Moran (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director for Intercultural Initiatives in the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion. She was born and raised in Lexington, KY, where her family still resides. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Teaching from Western Kentudky University and her Master of Science in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Culture & Curriculum at Miami University. Her interests include spending time with family and friends, eating at a good restaurant, the arts, and learning new things. She always looks forward to building relationships with the students, staff and faculty at Miami University as an advocate for social justice and accountability.

Gillian Oakenfull, Ph.D., is a Professor of Marketing in the Farmer School of Business. She earned her doctoral degree in marketing at the University of Houston and an MBA and BBA from Lamar University. She currently serves as the Farmer School of Business Faculty Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Her research focuses on three areas of expertise: (i) social identity and marketing to LGBTQ consumers, (ii) measuring brand meaning and brand management, and (iii) sports marketing and fan experience. Dr. Oakenfull has won numerous national and international teaching and service awards, including being named a national finalist in the 2012 US Professor of the Year award program sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and being named Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Ohio Professor of the Year. She is a citizen of Ireland and England and came to the United States to Play NCAA Division I tennis and run track. She became a US citizen in 2006. She and her wife have three young sons, whom she enthusiastically coaches in soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis. She is a lont-time member of MUSE-Cincinnati's Women's Choir, an award-winning choral ensemble dedicated to musical excellence and social justice.

Breanna Robinson, a 2008 and 2011 graduate of Miami University, currently serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership & Diversity in the Intercollegiate Athletics Department. After spending two years at the Georgia Institute of Technology and four years as an administrator in secondary education at Toledo Central Catholic High School, Robinson returned to Oxford in 2017 to work as an Assistant Director for Student-Athlete Academic Support Services. As an academic coordinator, Breanna worked with student-athletes to monitor their academic progress, assisted in the development of students' learning skills, and served as a resource to prospective student-athletes and their families during their recruitment process. In her current role, Breanna serves on the senior leadership team and oversees diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition to her work with diversity, equity, and inclusion, Robinson is responsible for leadership program development which focuses on providing student-athletes opportunities to apply the transferable skills gained through sport by way of servant leadership. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration program at Bowling Green State University and expects to graduate in May 2021.

Dr. April Smith received her B.A. in Psychology and Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. She then taught English in Japan for two years as part of the Japenese Exchange and Teaching Program. Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. from Florida State University's Clinical Psychology Program in 2012, and completed her clinical residency at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Smith is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Miami University and the director of the Research on Eating Disorders and Suicidality (REDS) Laboratory. Dr. Smith was named a 2016 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, and in 2017 Dr. Smith received the Miami University Junior Faculty Scholar Award. Dr. Smith has received funding from NIMH and the Department of Defense to support her work.