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Professional Development

Faculty & Staff Workshops

Below is an overview of workshops the ACM consortial office will provide to enhance intercultural skills among ACM faculty and staff. The sessions will cover a range of topics from in-class facilitation, to student advising/mentorship and other institutional processes and decisions. Our goal is to provide skills and evidence-based practices that individuals can take back to their specific departmental and divisional contexts.

Workshops are scheduled for every fourth Thursday of the month from 4:00 - 5:30p.m. (CT). Sessions will be recorded and made available on this page within a week of the session. Alternative dates will be identified for November (Thanksgiving) and December (Winter Break).

REGISTRATION For February is open!

Click here to register for our February workshop!

Session 1: Charting the "How": Coalition Building and Policy Change in the Age of Anti-racism

Date & Time: Thursday, September 24, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (CT)

In the past, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on many of our campuses have been the purview of staff offices devoted to intercultural relations; beyond that, much of the work has often fallen by default (and in the form of uncredited labor) into the lap of faculty, staff, and students of color. The work has also often been reactive - responding to a racist incident on campus, for example - rather than sustained.  Events of the last two years have illustrated the need to have a more intentional, proactive, and cooperative campus-wide effort to create a culture of equity and anti-racism.  In this presentation, staff and faculty from Lake Forest College will share the work they have done over the last two years to create partnerships among faculty, staff, and students that have led to a multi-faceted set of initiatives and policy changes.  We are at the beginning of this work, but we hope that sharing our challenges and successes will lead to a meaningful discussion among the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.


  • Claudia Ramirez Islas, Director for the Office of Intercultural Relations, Lake Forest College (she/her/hers)
  • Anna Jones, Professor of History and Director of the Office of Faculty Development, Lake Forest College (she/her/hers)
  • André Meeks, Assistant Director for the Office of Intercultural Relations, Lake Forest College (pronoun indifferent)


Session 2: Taking the Measure of our Gatherings: Identifying points of access and exile, and creating belonging in our spaces

Date & Time: Thursday, October 22, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (CT)

In this workshop, we will discuss the ways in which our identities give us points of access and subject us to points of exile within our many professional contexts, and how assessments that seek to understand experiences as well as outcomes can be used as tools for equity.


  • Devavani Chatterjea is a Professor of Biology at Macalester College. Devavani works at the intersection of inflammation, allergies, and environmental health to study intersections of allergies and chronic pain.  She enjoys working collaboratively on art/science initiatives and STEM equity and inclusion projects.
  • Sedric McClure is Assistant Dean for College Access, Retention, and Success at Macalester College. Sedric’s work has revolved around college access for underrepresented students, social justice education, as well as creating pathways for students’ academic trajectories and self-actualization.
  • Nancy Bostrom is Associate Director of Assessment at Macalester College. Nancy helped to establish an institutional framework for assessing student learning outcomes in and out of the classroom. She also works with faculty and staff across Macalester to define goals and appropriate assessment plans given a department’s specific objectives.


Session 3: Inclusive Discourse – Free Speech & Disagreement

Date & Time: Thursday, November 12, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (CT)

Academic inquiry requires the ability to test ideas, consider multiple perspectives, and actively seek and constructively engage disagreements. With little training and even fewer models of talking about, with, and across difference, students (and faculty, staff, administrators, and community members) often fear discussing controversial issues or diverse perspectives or do so in ways that can be detrimental to both the mission of open discourse and the campus climate. Through an examination the principles of academic freedom of expression, this session explores developing student and campus capacity for vigorous, inclusive, and productive discourse.


Leila Brammer is Director of the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse at the University of Chicago. Through curricula, programming, and outreach, the Parrhesia Program seeks to foster robust, inclusive, productive discourse in classrooms, campus life, and the community. To this work, Leila brings a background in rhetoric, civic learning, and faculty development. Prior to University of Chicago, she spent over two decades at Gustavus Adolphus College in the Communication Studies Department (she/her/hers)


Session 4: "1 Angry Black Man" Film Discussion with Writer/Director Menelek Lumumba

Date & Time: Thursday, December 10, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (CT)

We are joined by Colorado College alum and award-winning filmmaker Menelek Lumumba ('02) to discuss his film "1 Angry Black Man." The film takes place in an African-American literature class at a liberal arts college and critically examines discussions of race, boundaries of identity and political correctness, and how what happens outside the classroom shapes the people and discussions inside the classroom. It's a film with themes that resonate vividly following the fraught conversations about race and racism that emerged following the death of George Floyd. Lumumba was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He double majored in English and Film Studies at Colorado College and attended Howard University's Master of Arts program, concentrating on Cinema.

We encourage everyone to watch "1 Angry Black Man" prior to our conversation. The film can be rented at YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vimeo, and select on-demand cable platforms. 


Session 5: Creating Effective Systems of Support for Historically Marginalized Students

Date & Time: Thursday, January 28, 4:00 - 5:30 pm (CT)

Significant advances in psychological science have shed insight on how to best support the achievement and well-being of students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The interactive workshop will review the latest experimental research evidence on the effects of strengths-based approaches to engaging with students. Participants will explore how the study findings apply to their own campus resources, programming, and practices.


Mesmin Destin is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Mesmin studies how socioeconomic circumstances influence individual thoughts, identities, and behaviors. Building upon theories of identity and motivation, his research investigates social and psychological factors that contribute to disparities in educational outcomes from middle school through early adulthood. He employs a combination of secondary data analysis, laboratory experiments, and field experiments to uncover effective strategies and supports that guide young people’s perceptions of self, society, and opportunities as they navigate inequality and pursue goals.


Session 6: Culturally Responsive STUDENT Mentorship

Date & Time: Thursday, February 18, 4:00 - 5:30 pm (CT)

Students look to faculty and staff for guidance in navigating their time on our campuses. Research has shown that a single model of mentorship may not resonate with all students given different backgrounds and preferences. This session will introduce mentorship and advising skills to better connect and build a relationship with students of color throughout their academic experience.


  • Shanna Greene Benjamin is a biographer and scholar who studies the literature, lives, and archives of Black women. With over twenty year of higher education experience as a teacher, administrator, and change agent, Dr. Benjamin's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice shines through in her public presentations, which bring scholarly expertise to institutions and organizations seeking to ground their initiatives in historically contextualized best practices.
  • Hemie Collier is Senior Diversity Officer and Director of Intercultural Life at Cornell College. He also serves as an Assistant Lacrosse Coach for Cornell's women's program. Hemie has been with Cornell since 2016. He holds a Bachelors from Luther College and Masters in Educational Leadership from Concordia University - Ann Arbor.  He's also currently a Doctoral Candidate with Concordia University - Chicago.


Session 7: Culturally Responsive FACULTY Mentorship

Date & Time: Thursday, February 25, 4:00 - 5:30 pm (CT)

This workshop will offer tips for developing a mentoring program that benefits all faculty, including those of color, and that has the potential for advancing conversations about inclusion on your campus. In small group sessions, faculty and administrators will have a chance to consider their standard approaches to mentoring and ways that they can think more broadly about this work.


  • Heather Lobban-Viravong is Vice President for College and Community Engagement and Professor of English at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. In addition to supporting diversity and inclusion efforts for faculty, staff, and students, she is charged with strengthening the college’s relationship with community partners, and she is currently the liaison between the Trustees and Ursinus in their efforts to develop a new strategic plan. Prior to arrival at Ursinus, Dr. Lobban-Viravong was Special Assistant to the President at SUNY Geneseo, and before that spent 16 years on the faculty of Grinnell College, five of which were spent as an Associate Dean. In her capacity as Associate Dean, she played a leadership role in designing programs to improve faculty development and support their integration into the liberal arts approach to teaching, including the creation of a highly successful mentoring program for new faculty. She is currently working on a collaborative memoir, Black and White & In-Between Us, that partially reflects on her own relationship with her mentor almost 20 years ago.
  • Mark Schneider is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean and Professor of Physics at Ursinus College. As chief academic officer, Dr. Schneider has helped lead the faculty through the establishment of a new core curriculum that takes a holistic approach to residential liberal education, with faculty mentoring and development playing a central role in that process. Dr. Schneider has held faculty positions at Grinnell College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Princeton University, in addition to visiting positions at Harvard University and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. He was a founding director of the Grinnell Science Project, a mentoring program for science students from underrepresented groups that was recognized by the Obama White House and the NSF as an exemplary mentoring program. He also designed and implemented the inaugural year of Project Kaleidoscope’s “Faculty for the 21st Century,” a faculty leadership development program, while serving as Scientist in Residence in 1994.

Session 8: Diversifying Pedagogy

A syllabus is a communication of course goals, materials that faculty want students to engage, and a roadmap for a semester/term/block. Syllabi can also inadvertently convey unintended impressions about who has educational value. This workshop offers guidance and reflection on reviewing syllabi and how bringing in historically marginalized scholars can support our teaching goals.

Session 9: Cultural Taxation

Coined by Amado Padilla in the mid-1990s, “cultural taxation” refers to the burden placed on faculty and staff of color for engaging in campus service that is directly connected to their personal identity. Actions like mentoring students of color, serving on diversity committees, and other forms of “invisible labor” take a toll on faculty of color over time. This session highlights areas of cultural taxation on campus, methods for making that labor visible, and how campus colleagues can best support their peers in these spaces.

Session 10: Hiring, Promotion, & Tenure

Even as our campuses diversify their student populations faster than regional or national averages, there remains a gap in hiring diverse faculty and retaining them. While more people are familiar with implicit bias as something to be aware of in evaluation, how our biases influence decision-making can be different along one’s professional journey. This session reviews common challenges to faculty diversity and offers evidence-based best practices attendees can customize to their institution for addressing faculty diversity.

Session 11: Names and Commemorations

History and tradition are commemorated in higher education through naming conventions, including endowed fellowships, named professorships, naming rights for buildings, and other forms of recognition. While maintaining that cultural significance is important, there are renewed calls to review these symbols and their meaning. This workshop focuses on how campuses balance their historical origins with contextualizing their significance in our current environment.