Inclusive Excellence Symposium - 2019


Eri Bentley, Chair of Aggies Think Care Act

Opening Address

President Noelle Cockett

Keynote Speaker and Address

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide

Crystal Fleming

Crystal Marie Fleming, Ph.D. is an author, public intellectual and expert on white supremacy and global racism. She is an associate professor of sociology at Stony Brook University with affiliations in the Department of Africana Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Fleming is the author of two books: the critically-acclaimed How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide and Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France.

Fleming completed her M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2011) in sociology at Harvard University, where she was the recipient of the Derek Bok Award for excellence in teaching. Prior to her graduate work at Harvard, she earned degrees in French and sociology (with honors) at Wellesley College in 2004, where she graduated magna cum laude.

An outspoken advocate for people of color, black women and girls and the LGBTQIA* community, Fleming frequently speaks and writes on topics related to racial justice, gender, sexuality and activism.


Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Drawing upon critical race theory, as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance—and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change. (source: Beacon Press)

Crystal Marie Fleming

Breakout Session 1

Disrupting Barriers to Inclusive Education Practices

Amy Debruler and Dennis Kohler


This session engaged students, staff, and faculty in an interdisciplinary training to break down barriers in inclusive education practices. As a community we can empower students with disabilities through the use of reflection and discussion. We explored evidence-based teaching strategies and discuss how to implement these practices at Utah State University.


Macy Marin Keith


The basics of LGBTQA+ identities and their unique struggles in this safe-space seminar. We defined sex-assigned-at-birth, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and participated in an activity and discussion.

Addiction: Community Empowerment & Engagement Through Ethnography and Storytelling

Randy Williams, Sandra Sulzer, and Michelle Chapoose


This presentation included an interactive panel discussion about community-driven oral history and storytelling efforts. Presenters discussed archival autonomy, participatory engaged community building and tribal storytelling practices. Conversations about drug use frequently invoke stereotypes and stigma, stemming from the belief that substance use is the result of a moral failing. This attitude has the disquieting effect of frequently excluding entire populations from care and resources; this is particularly true for Native American populations. To this end, the Informing the National Narrative: Stories of Utah’s Opioid Crisis Project asks those most affected to share stories about their own, or a loved one’s, substance use. Download Presentation (PDF)

Disability and Diversity: The Politics of Being Disabled in America

Matthew Wappett and Sachin Pavithran


This presentation covers the importance of recognizing disability as a key element of diversity in American culture. The presenters discuss the fluid nature of disability identity and the ways in which individuals with disabilities navigate issues of intersectionality with other aspects of their identity, and ways in which individuals with disabilities can support and amplify diversity initiatives in higher education and communities.

Breakout Session 2

Tracking Cultural Competence Outcomes

Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, Maria de la Caridad Alvarez, and Elizabeth Tish Hicks


These pedagogical strategies fundamentally disrupt the status quo. By engaging students transparently, employees have the ability to model some fundamental skills in cultural competence (e.g., collegiality, openness). The data gathered to date suggest that grades are not affected by the degree of attitude shift. We measure their attitudes, but they chose if/how to shift them, which is consistent with liberatory practices in psychotherapy and social justice movements. The strategies used in class move the teacher from the role of Sage on the Stage, or even the Guide on the Side, to Ready Mentor. A Ready Mentor creates the structures to invite students into learning spaces and relies on students’ autonomy and interest to calibrate their engagement with the learning process.

Pursuing and Embodying Inclusivity in Research

Kristin Searle, Colby Tofel-Grehl, and Andrea Hawkman


This panel presentation highlighted the work being done by the CHAOS Learning Lab to work with communities across the state, including K-12 practitioners, informal learning practitioners, rural communities, LGBTQA+ youth, and Indigenous communities. It demonstrates how to think, care, and act in research settings by working with communities.

Enhancing Your Classroom & Campus by Utilizing Veteran Students' Specialized Skills and Abilities

Tony Flores and Mike Nelson


This presentation provides information about the skills and life experiences that veteran and service members develop through military service. These unique skills and experiences often encourage resilience and success both for themselves and their community and classmates. We investigate ways to develop rapport with veteran and service member students and how these skills can enhance your classroom and community. Download Presentation (PDF)

Strengthening Institutional Practices to Support Native American Student Experiences at USU

Jim Dandy


This session provides cultural and traditional insights into establishing a respectful learning environment for Native American students and how to create a positive connection between the student and faculty, administration, and staff. Dandy shares his personal experiences towards academic excellence from the home to higher learning institutions.

All Lives Matter but Not All of Them Belong: Understanding the Psychology of Exclusionary Behavior as a Precursor to Implementing Effective Strategies to Create Inclusive Cultures

James Morales


Session participants explored the drivers behind exclusionary behavior, including the four main functions of exclusion and its consequences and outcomes. Attendees also participated in a discussion about creating and implementing strategies to combat exclusionary behavior with the goal of creating more inclusive environments.

Breakout Session 3

Disrupt Division through Intentional Connection

Nubia Pena, Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs


Despite unparalleled opportunities for connection through online platforms and social media, people are, in critical ways, as divided and isolated as they have ever been. This division is further fueled by our nation’s climate and history around race, class, politics, religion, sex, and gender identity and many other ways in which we have remained separate. This loss of community has serious implications because it promotes that difference is not welcomed, homogeny is preferred, and meaningful connection across the divide is unnecessary. In order to disrupt this division and create welcoming spaces where safety and belonging abound, we must redefine what community means to us, what we want inclusive community to look like, and then work toward getting there through intentional connection.

Being an Effective Ally to Marginalized Communities

Schvalla Rivera, Southern Utah University


This presentation discussed how individuals can become an ally. Issues with allyship: true allyship and performative allyship, as well as strategies to advocate within out-group communities and various privileged communities.

Teaching Multilingual Students: Perspectives and Strategies

Ekaterina Arshavskaya and Donna Brown


In this session, we discussed the process of intercultural learning that both students and teachers who teach multilingual students go through. We learned about ways to reach out to and use the strengths of multilingual students and share ways of promoting intercultural learning in a diverse classroom. The discussion ended by examining several case studies involving multilingual students in your classroom and brainstorm the best strategies to respond to them. Download Handouts (PDF) or Download Presentation (PDF)

Gender 101: Supporting Gender Diverse Students at USU

Kathryn Sperry and Erin Hofmann


This breakout session aimed to inform students and faculty about terminology surrounding gender diversity and the importance of pronouns. We engage participants in an activity to develop empathy for gender-diverse individuals navigating college life. Understanding the perspectives of gender-diverse students helps instructors both demonstrate empathy and encourage it in our students. Download Presentation (PDF)

Decentering Whiteness: Radical Inclusion in Teaching and Research

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde, Marisela Martinez-Cola, Mario Suarez, and Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq


This interactive workshop taught how to decenter traditional knowledge structures while engaging multiple marginalized and underrepresented (MMU) scholarship. We discussed how to make MMU scholarship accessible and how to engage and cite it appropriately in your research. In closing we discussed the importance of diversifying methodology to amplify insurgent voices. Download Presentation (PDF)

Breakout Session 4

Racially Engaged Pedagogy: Empowering Black and Brown Voices in the Classroom

Cree Taylor


This program invited instructors to engage with students of color by welcoming difficult discussions about race and privilege in their classrooms. By focusing on empowering students of color to speak about their experiences and encouraging white students to participate in racial dialogues – no matter how uncomfortable – teachers and instructors cultivate an environment where all students feel welcomed, valued, and respected. This program discussed the importance of race talk in the classroom and how to provide participants with best practices to engage students in race talk. Download Presentation (PDF)

Implicit Bias Disruption: Creating More Inclusive Interactions and Spaces

Emmalee Fishburn and Ugo Ezeh


Implicit biases influence our attitudes, beliefs, choices, and behaviors, often without our awareness. This interactive training utilized small and large group discussions as well as personal reflection activities to teach participants how to recognize some of their implicit biases and provide them with strategies for addressing them. Download Presentation (PDF)

Introducing the Center for Intersectional Gender Studies & Research

Christy Glass


This session reviewed (1) the process the Gender Studies Taskforce used to solicit feedback from USU stakeholders; (2) the new vision for gender programming at USU proposed by the taskforce; and (3) next steps for building intersectional and inclusive research, teaching, and outreach programs at USU.

The Latinx Imperative: Latinx First Generation Students in Higher Education

Chris González


First generation students have become an understandably vital demographic for the future of institutions of higher learning. However, as often happens with “newly-discovered” student demographic blocs, there is an overgeneralization that states all first-generation students arise and are situated within the same kinds of contexts. This assumption could not be further from the truth. As the Latinx demographic surges (18% nationally; 14% in Utah; 12% in Cache Valley), it is imperative that higher education, generally, and the university community, specifically, understands and appreciates more fully these contexts that pertain to Latinx students in particular. This talk layed out the stakes and provide a plan for engaging with our Latinx students now and in the years to come.

Disrupted Lives: Discovering Yourself Through Artful AutoEthnography

Mehmet Soyer (presenter)

Panelists: Sophie Hancey, Allie Tomlinson, Angelia Klein, and Nanyal Rout


Panelists delivered their autoethnographies using an arts-based research approach. They share their recollections regarding their disrupted moments and how they navigate intersectional cultures, barriers, privileges, and imposed expectations. Panelists discussed topics including bullying, abuse, conversion therapy, age expectations, gender identity, stereotypes, race, and religious oppression.

Breakout Session 5

Interfaith Ally Training on Campus: Updates and Next Steps

Bonnie Glass-Coffin


This stand-alone program was developed on-site and has been offered at Utah State University since 2015. Participants experienced a "speed-faithing" activity, which is a key part of the training program. We then brain-stormed together next steps for increasing sustainability of this occasionally-offered training. Download Presentation (PDF)

Making Invisible Disability Visible

Storee Powell


Invisible disability brings on not only the struggles of the disability itself, but also the burden of having to prove disability to others, the microaggressions of toxic positivity culture, and inaccessible public spaces. But an accessible, welcoming environment can be cultivated in any place with empathy and the right guiding principles. Download Presentation (PDF)

Beyond Compliance: What Faculty Members Need to Know about USU’s Non-discrimination Policies and Best Practices for Preventing Discrimination in the Classroom

Alison Adams-Perlac


This workshop reviewed USU’s non-discrimination policies as they apply in the classroom and provides best practices for faculty members.

A Framework for Productive Disruption: the 4Rs of Disruption

Avery Edenfield, Jared Colton, Rylish Moeller, and Rebecca Walton


This workshop introduced participants to a framework for action called the 4Rs, which can help participants engage in productive disruption that fosters inclusivity. In addition to equipping participants with this framework, we shared five stories of productive disruption to illustrate the 4Rs in action: how to use them and what kinds of outcomes may result. Download Presentation (PDF)

MESAS Program for Native Student Success

Melissa Teehee and Al Savitzky


Utah State University has received a five-year Inclusive Excellence grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to establish a program that will support Native American students on the Logan Campus, especially those transferring from our campus in Blanding. Initiated in 2018 and still in development, we discussed the major components implemented this past year, including the Native American Living Community and cultural competence course for faculty, staff, and research students.


How the Undergraduate Research Office Increases Academic Diversity and Success

Amelia Ashby, Alexa Sand, Athena Dupont


The Office of Research’s Undergraduate Research (UR) Program works to increase diversity within UR and promote the positive effects associated with UR experiences. This is accomplished through our partnership with other offices on campus, the range of research opportunities offered, and the support of research events catering to minority populations. Download Presentation (PDF)

Fostering Mental Health Wellness in Students of Color

Andrews Larios Brown and Ty Aller


While transitioning to college can be difficult for most students, students of color encounter added concerns in their pursuit of higher education, especially in predominantly white institutions. This poster aims to empower students of color to build resilience through tools designed by people of color for people of color. Download Presentation (PDF)

Civil Rights Compliance in USU Extension: Ensuring Equal Access to Non-formal Programs

Lendel Narine, Celina Willie, and Andree’ Walker Bravo


Competencies are the knowledge and skills employees need to succeed professionally. Significant demographic changes across the United States have prompted the need to prioritize and strengthen Extension professionals’ competencies on civil rights and multiculturalism. This study sought to assess priority competencies for civil rights compliance in USU Extension. Download Presentation (PDF)

Just Start. Bridging Theory and Practice for Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Graduate Students

Michelle Wilson and Kylie Madsen


What’s working to engage prospective students? How can colleges and universities align strategies to build inclusion and diversity? This poster details findings from research literature and effective practices from the Ruffalo Noel Levitz 2018 Marketing and Student Recruitment Report to create a roadmap for improving student recruitment and retention.

Intersectionality & Microaggressions: How to Empower Students from Diverse Backgrounds

Alexandra Tebbs and Sterling Bone


This discussion will define intersectionality and microaggressions, especially as they pertain to college campuses. This program also aims to create an open dialog about how intersectionality impacts students and how to identify and eliminate microaggressions.

Utah Food Corps: Address Student Hunger Across Utah

Sean Damitz


The Utah Food Corps is a new AmeriCorps VISTA project centered out of USU's Center for Community Engagement that seeks to expand existing hunger and food security efforts across multiple Utah higher education institutions while strengthening collaborations for the benefit of food insecure students and residents across Utah.

Open Educational Resources

Erin Davis


Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or low-cost, openly licensed learning materials such as textbooks, lecture slides, test banks, videos, and other resources that professors can use instead of traditional textbooks. One of our main goals is to work with professors to make education more affordable and accessible for all students through the implementation of OER. As you know, the financial burden of college can be a great obstacle to student success and retention. OER can help with that by providing low-cost or even free textbook options for classes students already have to take. Download Presentation (PDF)

Disability: The Largest and Most Underrepresented Minority

Lindsay Thunell


One in five people have a disability, making it the largest minority group in the world. Even at USU disability remains one of the largest underrepresented groups. This presentation explores the factors responsible for this and what we, as a campus community, can do about it.

Presenter Bios

Alison Adams-Perlac

Alison Adams-Perlac is the executive director of the Office of Equity at Utah State University. She previously worked for the Utah State Courts as an associate general counsel where she oversaw projects involving disparate minority impact in juvenile court and in fine and bail. She also managed the court’s language access program. She received her Juris Doctor from the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2009.

Maria de la Caridad Alvarez

Maria de la Caridad Alvarez is a doctoral student in the combined clinical counseling psychology program. Her research and interests focus on the development of cultural competence through teaching interventions.

Ekaterina Arshavskaya

Ekaterina Arshavskaya is an associate professor in USU’s Intensive English Language Institute. She is also in charge of the international teaching assistants’ training at USU and is involved with pre-service language teachers in the master of second language teaching program. Her research and teaching interests include intercultural learning, multilingual literature, computer-assisted language learning, critical pedagogy, and teacher education.

Donna Brown

Donna Brown has a bachelor’s and Ph.D. in textile technology/textile chemistry with an emphasis in wool science from the University of New South Wales. Brown retired from the University of Wyoming in 2018 after 31 years serving in multiple administrative roles. She is currently the head of academic initiatives and a scholar in residence at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art and a professor in Family and Consumer Sciences Education at USU.

Michelle Q. Chapoose

Michelle Q. Chapoose is a member of the Ute Tribe, Uncompahgre Band. She is a licensed substance use disorder counselor with more than 22 years’ experience working with her Native American community in various capacities. Chapoose works to deliver trauma and culturally informed prevention and recovery counseling to tribal communities.

Bonnie Glass-Coffin

Bonnie Glass-Coffin , Ph.D., M.Div. is professor of anthropology, affiliate professor of religious studies, founder of the USU Interfaith Initiative and director of the USU Interfaith Leadership Certificate. She developed the Better Together Interfaith Ally Training Program to build capacity for bridging religious difference on campus and in the community. In addition, Glass-Coffin is also a professionally trained, multi-faith chaplain and an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister.

Jared Colton

Jared Colton is an associate professor of technical communication and rhetoric and the director of graduate studies in the Department of English at Utah State University. His work addresses the intersections of rhetorical theory, ethics, and politics within technical communication and related fields.

Jim Dandy

Jim Dandy graduated with a bachelor’s in secondary education/physical education and a minor in health sciences and coaching from Brigham Young University. Dandy currently serves as the program coordinator for the Utah State University Blanding Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Project. A member of the Navajo tribe, Dandy speaks fluent Navajo and mentors many Native American students at USU Blanding.

Amy L. DeBruler

Amy L. DeBruler is the assistant director and academic coordinator for Aggies Elevated. She graduated from Utah State University with her education specialist degree in school psychology. She is particularly interested in educating others about how to differentiate education in post-secondary settings and providing equal educational opportunities to students from all backgrounds and with all ability levels.

Avery Edenfield

Avery Edenfield is an assistant professor of technical communication and rhetoric at Utah State University. His research agenda works at the intersections of technical and public rhetorics with attention to the technical writing strategies marginalized communities employ for self-advocacy.

Ugo Ezeh

Ugo Ezeh is an undergraduate student at Utah State University studying economics and women and gender studies. She is vice president of USU's Black Student Union, and student coordinator for the university's Anti-Racist Solidarity Group. She also works with the Office of Equity in harassment and discrimination prevention efforts.

Emmalee Fishburn

Emmalee Fishburn is the prevention specialist in the Office of Equity at Utah State University. In her role, she coordinates harassment and discrimination prevention efforts for faculty, staff, and students at all USU campuses. She has her Master of Public Health degree in professional health education and is a certified health education specialist.

Tony Flores

Tony Flores is the director of the Utah State University Veterans Resource office. He also serves as the president of the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators and member of the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs Education and Employment Work Group where he works with leaders in the military affiliated education field.

Christy Glass

Christy Glass, a professor of sociology, joined USU in 2005 after completing her Ph.D. at Yale University. Her research focuses on gender and racial/ethnic inequalities in work organizations. She was recently named interim director of USU's Center for Intersectional Gender Studies & Research.

Christopher González

Christopher González is an associate professor of English and the founding director of the Latinx Cultural Center at Utah State University. His research and teaching areas include 20th century American literature; multiethnic literatures of the United States; Latinx literary and cultural production; film; comics and graphic novels; narrative theory; and American studies. He received his Ph.D. in English from the Ohio State University in 2012.

Sophie Hancey

Sophie Hancey is pursuing a degree in sociology at Utah State, with a double minor in criminal justice, and behavioral health psychology; all while working full time and supporting her husband through nursing school.

Andrea M. Hawkman

Andrea M. Hawkman (she/her) is an assistant professor of social studies education and cultural studies in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Utah State University, and an associate of the CHAOS Learning Lab. Her research focuses on the enactment of racialized pedagogies in the PK-20 classroom and the intersection of education policy and social studies education.

Elizabeth Tish Hicks

Elizabeth Tish Hicks is a doctoral student in the combined clinical/counseling psychology program at Utah State University. Broadly, Hicks is interested in contributing to the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions to increase cultural competence and reduce the impact of prejudice on behavior, as well as in raising awareness of power and privilege, implicit biases, and micro aggressions to promote ally behavior.

Erin Hofmann

Erin Hofmann is an assistant professor of sociology at USU where she has focused on gender, demography, and international migration. Since coming to USU in 2012, she has taught undergraduate courses in sociology and the general education program, graduate seminars, and study abroad in Armenia and Georgia. Hoffman has done extensive international research in Russia, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, and loves to bring a cross-national perspective to the classroom.

Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq

Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq (KAY-nuh OO-loke itch-OH-key-yuck) is a Ph.D. student in technical communication and is the managing editor of Technical Communication Quarterly. Itchuaqiyaq’s research addresses how mainstream academic practice often perpetuates the marginalization of underrepresented scholars and communities and consequentially interferes with diversity and inclusion efforts and is the winner of multiple national awards and scholarships.

Macy Marin Keith

Macy Marin Keith is a queer woman raised in Utah who is dedicated to awareness and education of queer topics to help encourage the flourishing of Utah State University’s LGBTQA+ students, staff, faculty, and community members.

Angelia Klein

Angelia Klein is pursuing a degree in conservation and restoration ecology with a minor in geospatial information systems. Angelia is the mother of three children.

Dennis M. Kohler

Dennis M. Kohler is program coordinator at Utah State University where he works with academic support including TRIO Student Support Services. He has spent the last 30 years teaching philosophy, linguistics, learning strategies, and English as a second language at universities in the United States, Kuwait, and Korea.

Marisela Martinez-Cola

Marisela Martinez-Cola is an assistant professor of sociology specializing in race and ethnicity at Utah State University. Martinez-Cola is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Loyola University School of Law, and Emory University. She has enjoyed a career committed to diversity and inclusion that stretches over 15 years.

Ryan or Rylish M. Moeller

Ryan or Rylish M. Moeller is an associate professor in the department of English at Utah State University, where he teaches courses in technical communication, rhetorical theory, and game studies. His book, Computer Games and Technical Communication (co-edited with Jennifer deWinter), demonstrates the intersection of his teaching and research interests. His research focuses on how emergent technologies affect human agency, especially within the consumer electronics and computer gaming industries.

James Morales

James Morales serves as vice president for student affairs at Utah State University. Prior to coming to USU, Morales served for over 17 years in various admissions, enrollment management, and student affairs capacities within the University of Minnesota system and at the University of Connecticut. Morales is fluent in Spanish and Japanese.

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson is both a combat veteran and a scholar. He works in the USU Veterans Resource office where he helps to implement veterans’ benefits for student veterans. He graduated from USU cum laude with a bachelor's in social work, and is currently pursuing a master's in social work at Colorado State University with a certificate in military and veteran culture.

Sachin Pavithran

Sachin Pavithran is the policy director at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities and the program director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP). Pavithran earned his education at USU, most recently finishing a Ph.D. in disability disciplines. He serves on multiple national boards and advisory committees including an appointment by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Nubia Peña

Nubia Peña is the director for the Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs. She is a national training consultant dedicated to bringing awareness to intersections of trauma where she has actively sought to bring awareness to issues of violence and systemic oppression through her personal faith-based initiatives. Peña is the founder and director of Royalty Rising Youth Ministry, a culturally relevant and gender specific outreach initiative for at-risk and marginalized young adults.

Storee Powell

Storee Powell is a 2011 graduate of USU in journalism, and the winner of multiple journalism awards. For the last 9 years, Powell has worked at USU’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, where she has learned about disability advocacy and disability rights, giving her the tools to become her own disability advocate as she lives with a rare genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

Schvalla R. Rivera

Schvalla R. Rivera , Ph.D., CDE, currently serves as assistant to the president for equity and inclusion at Southern Utah University. With 15 years of experience in higher education administration, Rivera has experience in fields such as residence life, multicultural student affairs, international student affairs, and academic advising. A strong believer in servant leadership, she hopes to change the world through education, grace, and humor.

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez is a professor of psychology. Her research and teaching activities focus on advancing cultural competence and knowledge that might facilitate the reduction of health disparities.

Al Savitzky

Al Savitzky joined USU in 2011 as head of the Department of Biology, a position he held until 2018. He had previously served for 29 years on the faculty of Old Dominion University in Virginia. Now a professor of biology, he teaches and conducts research on the biology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, primarily snakes, and serves as program director of the HHMI Inclusive Excellence grant to USU.

Kristin Searle

Kristin Searle (she/her) is an assistant professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University, and an associate of the CHAOS Learning Lab. Her research focuses on broadening participation in STEM, especially computing (through novel technologies), teacher professional development, and intergenerational, community-based learning. She is the faculty recipient of the 2019 Utah State University Diversity Award.

Kathryn Sperry

Kathryn Sperry has been a lecturer in the Department of Psychology since 2015. She teaches courses in psychology of gender, social psychology, research methods, and general psychology. Her research focuses on the blaming of rape victim and ways to reduce victim blaming.

Mehmet Soyer

Mehmet Soyer is a visiting assistant professor of sociology at the Utah State University. His research examines the link between environmental problems and the community responds through collective behavior, intersectional inequality, and the use of new and mass media.

Mario I. Suárez

Mario I. Suárez (he/him/él) is an assistant professor of cultural studies in Utah State University’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership. He has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University, as well as a master’s in mathematics education and bachelor’s in ethnic studies from The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests sit at the intersection of queer studies in education, STEM persistence, demography of sexuality and gender, curriculum studies, and quantitative research methods.

Sandra Sulzer

Sandra Sulzer is an assistant professor in Utah State University’s Department of Kinesiology & Health Science, and the health and wellness specialist for Cooperative Extension. She oversees the office of Health Equity & Community Engagement in the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center and is the project director of the Tribal and Rural Opioid Initiative.

Cree Taylor

Cree Taylor is a graduate student in the English literature and writing program at Utah State University. Her thesis research focuses on empowering the voices of people of color in the high school language arts classroom by using literature to help facilitate difficult dialogues surrounding race, identity, and privilege.

Melissa Tehee

Melissa Tehee, J.D., Ph.D., is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is an assistant professor at Utah State University in the Department of Psychology, director of the American Indian Support Project, and assistant director of Mentoring and Encouraging Student Academic Success. She teaches courses and trainings related to cultural competence locally and nationally.

Colby Tofel-Grehl

Colby Tofel-Grehl (she/her) is an assistant professor of science education in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Utah State University, and director of the CHAOS Learning Lab. Her research focuses on finding the most actionable course for teachers to bring new technology into classroom learning to ignite student interests and grow their preconceived identity notions in regards to STEM subjects.

Allie Tomlinson

Allie Tomlinson is a junior at Utah State University studying anthropology, sociology, and women and gender studies.

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She earned her doctoral degree at Texas A&M University in 2018. Her research interests include population health, social demography, and race and ethnic relations. Her current research investigates health outcomes among Black immigrants, Black Latinxs, and LGBTQ+ populations. Her work can be found in peer reviewed outlets including the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Rebecca Walton

Rebecca Walton is an associate professor of technical communication and rhetoric at Utah State University and the editor of Technical Communication Quarterly. Her research interests include social justice, human dignity and human rights, and qualitative methods for cross-cultural research. Primarily a field researcher, she has collaborated with organizations such as the Red Cross, Mercy Corps, and World Vision to conduct research in countries including Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, and Bolivia.

Matthew Wappett

Matthew Wappett is the executive director of Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, with an affiliate appointment as a research associate professor in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Wappett was formerly at the University of Idaho Confucius Institute, where he directed the university’s Chinese education and exchange programs. Most of Wappett’s research and teaching has been focused on creating and evaluating inclusive environments to accommodate the needs of diverse populations.

Randy Williams

Randy Williams is an associate librarian at Utah State University Libraries where she serves as the Fife Folklore Archives curator and is an affiliated faculty with the USU Folklore Program. She directs USU’s community-based fieldwork efforts and is principle investigator and partner with community scholars, Sandra Sulzer, Kandice Atismé, and other Extension HEART faculty of Informing the National Narrative: Stories of Utah’s Opioid Crisis.