Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

OU’s 2024 Teaching Symposium spotlights ‘Cultivating Inclusion Through Connection’

Participants can attend the April 19 event in person or via Zoom

icon of a calendarApril 5, 2024

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OU’s 2024 Teaching Symposium spotlights ‘Cultivating Inclusion Through Connection’
Student group at whiteboard
OU's 2024 Teaching Symposium will explore strategies for linking students with their community, classroom and campus. The event takes place 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Friday, April 19, in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms.

With the theme of “Cultivating Inclusion Through Connection” Oakland University’s second annual Teaching Symposium aims to unite teaching and research faculty alongside campus educators. This full-day event includes a buffet lunch and requires registration

Participants will explore strategies for linking students with their community, classroom and campus during the event, which takes place from 8 a.m. -3 p.m. on Friday, April 19, in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms. A Zoom option is also available. Faculty, graduate students, and staff are all encouraged to attend.

“The theme of this year’s symposium comes at a time when campuses across the nation are grappling with the effects of DEI legislative changes on teaching and learning equality,” said Dr. Sarah Hosch, faculty director of the OU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). “Part of CETL’s mission is to lead and cultivate inclusive, innovative and high-impact teaching practices. With this framework in mind, our symposium brings together faculty, students and staff to learn how we can leverage our collective talents to enhance student learning.”

The event features networking opportunities, faculty presentations and two keynote speakers. OU faculty presentations include: 

  • “How to Train Your Algorithm: Responsible AI in the Classroom” | Bridget Kies, Ph.D., Film Studies and Production, CAS 
  • “Experiences That Promote College Readiness in Learners from Low-SES Areas”| Kyeorda Kemp, Ph.D., Foundational Medical Studies, OUWB 
  • “Interviews as a Learning Activity to Cultivate Connections” | Helena Riha, Ph.D., Linguistics, CAS

  • “Campus Farms: Teaching S.T.E.M. Though Food and Farming” | Fay Hansen, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, CAS

“Oakland University is home to creative and committed faculty who bring a breadth of experience in student-centered learning,” said Dr. Hosch. “We will highlight their work in an effort to celebrate and share the unique ways our OU teaching community can ‘Be Golden.’”

The keynote talk is titled “Recognizing the Community Cultural Wealth of Academically Successful Black Science Students.” Community Cultural Wealth is a framework focusing on students’ assets, including skills and dispositions from their families, communities of origin, cultures and personal experiences. 

“Our keynote speakers will bring us insight into how we can nurture our students’ cultural wealth to become better instructors, mentors and OU community members,” Dr. Hosch added.

Meet the keynote speakers 

Dr. Julie Dangremond Stanton is an Associate Professor of Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia. Although she was trained as a cell biologist, Dr. Stanton’s passion for helping students learn led her to pursue education research as a faculty member. In her primary research area, she investigates the metacognitive development of undergraduate life science students. In addition, Dr. Stanton studies the strengths and assets of Black science majors with Dr. Darris Means (University of Pittsburgh) and the self-advocacy experiences of students with learning disabilities and ADHD in STEM with Dr. Mariel Pfeifer (University of Mississippi). She is the Principal Investigator of two National Science Foundation grants for biology education research, including a CAREER award to study metacognition. Through her teaching and research, Dr. Stanton is dedicated to helping undergraduates learn and persist in life science majors. 

Birook Mekonnen is a Health Services Officer in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, currently serving as an Emergency Management Specialist in the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response in Washington, D.C. Birook serves as a Health and Human Services instructor for the FEMA Interagency Logistics Course representing public health and medical services federal assistance program categorized as emergency support function #8. Before his current position, he has worked in numerous state and federal public health agencies including the Georgia Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and the Immigration Health Service Corps. Birook earned a B.S. in Biology and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Georgia. He is a former student co-researcher on an National Science Foundation study on the success of Black science majors. As a student, he co-authored three peer-reviewed papers, including two papers on Community Cultural Wealth. 

The symposium is co-sponsored by OU’s Division of Student Affairs and Diversity and the Center for Excellence in Medical Education. For more information, contact OU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at [email protected] or visit the event web page.

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