Destination Diversity

0883419C-A862-4180-B310-EA1239303511-1 Destination Diversity is a series of innovative presentations on how faculty and instructional staff can approach teaching challenges related to diversity. We bring in (virtually and face-to-face) a collection of voices to spark thoughtful conversation, mindful reflection, and positive action in the classroom. For 2014, we have an outstanding roster of presenters.


DE City Background Tuesday, March 25 at noon in B26 Alumni HallTeaching African American Males with Dhanfu Elston

A consistent demographic shift in the United States toward greater racial diversity has not only changed the racial composition of collegiate student bodies, but also challenged the delivery format of academic programs. Nationally, institutions of higher education have pursued new methods to support and retain African American males. The presenter will facilitate an interactive discussion of the challenges and opportunities, university support, teaching methods, and culturally based theoretical framework associated with the development of initiatives targeting African American males.


Dr. Dhanfu E. Elston is the Director of Student Success and Transition for Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana, with over eighteen years of student and academic affairs experience. Dr. Elston’s responsibilities include the development and implementation of comprehensive success and retention programs for underserved student populations, including the enhancement of campus-wide advisement processes. He has held previous higher education administrative positions at Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University. Dr. Elston received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University, and a doctorate in educational policy studies from Georgia State University. His research includes scholarship in the areas of student retention, learning communities, African American male mentorship, leadership development, white student disengagement, and historically black colleges and universities. He is co-chairperson elect of the NASPA-Higher Education Administrators African American Knowledge Community, and is the former recipient of the NASPA Region III Research and Assessment Grant.

Register for this event.

michele_hs Friday, April 14 at noon in B26 Alumni HallThe classroom climate for LGBTQ students: How does it impact learning?

Michele DiPietro

For decades now, Higher education literature has documented the ways in which the classroom climate can be “chilly” for various groups of students, including gender and sexual minorities. Recent studies have now documented the connection between chilly climate and learning and performance outcomes. In this seminar we will use the 7 principles of learning (Ambrose et al. 2010) as a lens of analysis, focusing on how climate can impact each of the 7 principles for LGBT students and we will brainstorm ways of creating an inclusive, productive climate for all students.


Dr. Michele DiPietro is the Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Kennesaw State University. He is also the immediate Past President of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education. He received his PhD in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. After work in statistical genetics and statistical finance, he has shifted his interest to education–the statistics of education and the education of statistics. His innovative course “The statistics of sexual orientation” has been featured on the Chronicle of Higher Education and several other magazines. Dr. DiPietro is a co-author of “How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching,” a synthesis of 50 years of research on learning, including the role of inclusion and stereotyping on learning and performance. His scholarly interests include learning sciences, student evaluations of teaching, diversity and inclusion in the classroom, stereotype threat, academic integrity, the Millennial generation, statistics education, the consultation process in faculty development, teaching in times of tragedy, and the connections between yoga philosophy and LGBT liberation. He has presented workshops and keynotes at numerous colleges and conferences, in the US and abroad. His scholarship has been translated into several foreign languages, including Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Korean and (forthcoming) Japanese. He has won the POD Innovation award in 2008 for his online tool “Solve a Teaching Problem,” co-authored with his former Carnegie Mellon colleagues.

Register for this event.

Lenka Garimella-Pict[1] Thursday, June 26 at noon in B26 Alumni HallTeaching International Students with Lenka Garimella


Originally from the Czech Republic, Lenka entered the field of international education in 2006 as a graduate assistant in the International Student Center at Kansas State University, where she received her master’s degree in English as a Second Language. While serving as a president of International Coordinating Council at Kansas State, Lenka gained an understanding about the process of cultural adjustment that international students experience. In 2008 she joined the International office at Georgia
State University in Atlanta as a student advisor and coordinator for international student associations. In addition to working at Georgia State, Lenka was actively involved in NAFSA (Association for International Educators), where she presented on regional and state levels on student leadership and programing for international students. Lenka is currently taking some time off to be stay at home mom and she spends her “free time” researching how to raise her daughter in trilingual environment.

This presentation will focus on what to consider when teaching and working with international students. Topics covered will include:

• Writing a syllabus that is clear to everyone
• Testing on content, not on culture
• Facilitating class conversation

Lunch provided.

Register for this event.