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Taylor Team Presenting At The March 2020 AAC&U Diversity, Equity And Student Success Conference

The Taylor team will be attending the upcoming Diversity, Equity and Student Success conference here in New Orleans. Four members of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation will be presenting at the convocation, hosted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities from March 19-21.

This year’s theme is The Power of Collective Action and “will focus on building coalitions and breaking down institutional silos that often have divided and isolated those seeking to build more just and equitable campuses and communities.”

A few team members will present posters on their research on critical service-learning, which aims to build authentic and equitable relationships that support community efforts and imbue students with tools and commitments to redress unjust systems.  

Poster Session: (Critical) Service-Learning Methodology Through a Critical Lens

  • Presenter: Anna Monhartova, Ph.D., SISE Instructor and Taylor Center Research Fellow
  • Dr. Monhartova’s presentation will look at models that promote engaged citizenry and challenge societal inequalities. It will critically look at service learning, and what types of student experiences may reinforce the existing structures of elitism and modern oppression vs. those experiences that promote diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.

Poster Session: Implementing Critical Service-Learning through an Institutional Partnership

  • Co-Presenters:  
    Rebecca Otten, MPH, Associate Director of Social Innovation Strategy at Taylor and Director of the Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship (SISE) minor 
    Maille Faughnan, Ph.D., SISE Instructor, and Taylor Center Research Fellow will present on “Implementing Critical Service Learning through an Institutional Partnership.”
  • Otten and Faughnan will share initial findings of a case study of efforts to apply the spirit of a critical service-learning model to a shorter-term project within an introductory undergraduate course in social innovation. The PIs, both instructors of this course, complement this model with student diversity and inclusion training and a continued institutional relationship with a community-based organization. They explore the impacts of this relationship on students, partners, and instructors through a constructivist lens and invite the audience to help interpret their early-stage findings.

Facilitated Discussion: Designing Difficult Conversations: Using Design Thinking to Talk about Equity

  • Presenter: Lesley-Ann Noel, PhD, Associate Director for Design Thinking
  • Dr. Noel will lead this session in which participants will learn how they can use design thinking methods to help students talk about equity and diversity. She will challenge participants to co-create ways of encouraging difficult conversations. After discussing positionality, attendees will select an uncomfortable discussion that they would like to have with colleagues. Then they will design a roadmap, recipe, manifesto, or a game to help the conversation to happen. During the workshop, participants will also reflect on the types of conversations they would like their students to have to ensure their success. Finally, they will consider how to make this activity relevant to the context in which they teach, and to the students they support.

We look forward to joining this community working to make higher education more inclusive and equitable, in the classroom and our broader relationships with the world. 

Written by Dr. Laura Murphy 
If you have any questions about this article or Taylor Research and Scholarship in general, please contact
Dr. Anna Monhartova or Dr. Maille Faughnan.

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