Daemen Learning and Teaching Symposium to Focus on Inclusivity

By | January 17, 2023

Daemen University Learning and Teaching Symposium logoThe Daemen University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) will host the 17th annual Learning and Teaching Symposium for faculty and administrators on Thursday, Jan. 19, in the Wick Center Social Room. 

Sponsored by the university’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Systems Integration (IESI), the symposium will explore a range of topics related to identity, inclusiveness, and belonging. Topics will focus on fostering learning environments where individuals feel valued, helping students overcome existing barriers to success, and creating inclusive learning communities where individuals’ unique contributions matter. 

Daemen faculty and staff members can register, as well as view the agenda for the symposium, which will begin with a joint welcome from Daemen University President Gary Olson and Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Brogan.

A keynote address will be given by Tracie Marcella Addy, associate dean of teaching and learning at Lafayette College and co-author of the 2021 book titled, “What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching.” 

Daemen University keynote speaker Tracie Addy

Tracie Marcella Addy

Addy will discuss the importance of equity and belonging within higher education and how instructors and professors have implemented inclusive teaching approaches. Following the address, Daemen’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) will lead a talk-back session.

“The symposium’s subject matter is certainly timely and based on what faculty told us they were most interested in right now,” said Hella Jacob, director of the CETL. Based on a recent survey of Daemen faculty members on potential topics for workshops and professional development programs, this year’s symposium was developed to address a strong interest in culturally responsive teaching. 

“A sense of belonging as a key to student success has emerged as an important focus in higher education of late,” said Jacob. “It also clearly aligns with our institutional values, as put forth in our five-year strategic plan.” 

Daemen’s 2020-2025 strategic plan specifically calls for professional development opportunities to create “a learning and teaching environment that is safe, welcoming, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of our diverse campus community.”

“My team and I are looking forward to collaborating with the CETL on the symposium,” said Tiffany Hamilton, chief diversity officer at Daemen. “We are always happy to have conversations about fostering a campus community where all students can learn and thrive.”

Mike Ross, faculty development director for the CETL and associate professor of physical therapy, said the symposium is a chance for faculty to learn new ideas and strategies and bring them back to the classroom.

“Coming at the midpoint of the academic year, the symposium provides a chance to reenergize and ramp up for the new semester ahead,” explained Ross. “The symposium will offer many takeaways that can be applied immediately.” 

Breakout sessions that build on the symposium’s theme will offer a chance for staff and faculty to share their expertise and highlight strategies. Participants can look forward to learning more about using mindfulness for stress reduction as well as restorative practices that engage students as whole beings. 

Furthermore, colleagues from the offices for accessibility services, veteran services, and academic support and engagement will shed light on issues around equity that student populations are facing. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the implications of AI-based writing tools, such as ChatGPT, on university coursework—especially on assignment design and general education learning outcomes.