Session Descriptions

Session Descriptions


Global/Cultural Competencies (Morning Session)

Provocateur: Andrew Ranson, Executive Partner/Strategist of Giant Partners, L.L.C.
Moderator: Ruki Ravikumar (CFAD)
Writer: Dr. Susie Popplewell (CEPS)

The first challenge to becoming globally competent is to understand your own biases and cultural assumptions.  What techniques might you use to help students uncover their biases? What exercise might you do to get students to observe carefully their surroundings in a culturally sensitive context? Even the way questions are asked can be culturally competent or not. What basic questions, or types of questions should be asked? Explore how asking questions and listening carefully to the answers can help avoid judgments that can get you into cultural trouble. How can the principle of seeking common ground be applied to situations requiring global competency?

Health/Wellness (Morning Session)
Provocateur: Dr. Patricia A. LaGrow, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Moderator: Dr. James Allen (Wellness Center)
Writer: Dr. Bill Pink (CEPS)

There are two challenges to becoming competent in the health/wellness tenet of transformative learning. The first challenge is defining health and wellness itself. The second more difficult challenge it to help students connect health and wellness to their own capacity to meet personal, academic, and long-term goals. How are health and wellness best defined? What strategies might the university create to assist students in overcoming barriers to living a healthy lifestyle? What curricular and co-curricular activities might faculty and staff create to help students become more observant of how factors such as peer influence, policy, and the environment impact the development of a healthy lifestyle? How specifically can the university empower students in fostering a sense of community as an approach to improving public health?

Leadership (Morning Session)
Provocateur: Dr. Brian Bush, Executive Director of Oklahoma Christian University's Academy of Leadership & Liberty
Moderator: Dr. Rozilyn Miller (CLA)
Writer: Dr. Gayle Kearns (CFAD) & Amanda Horton (CFAD)

The difficulties for teaching leadership in higher education are connecting the theoretical understanding of leadership to the daily practice and development of leadership in a student. By bridging the gap between theory and practice educators can provide academic programs and courses that not only measure the intellectual understanding of leadership but also promote individual leadership development. This is often easier said than done. The challenge for teaching leadership and developing leadership is twofold: Is it possible to measure the development of a student's capacity to lead and what methods and practices afford an institution the ability to examine students in a  leadership role? Our conversation will center on ways to facilitate both of these issues. 

Discipline Knowledge (Afternoon Session)
Provocateur: Dr. Cathy Webster, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, UCO
Moderator: Beth Adele (Career Services)
Writer: Dr. Jill Devenport (CEPS)

For an undergraduate, what is the purpose of discipline knowledge, commonly found in the form of a major?  At some colleges, the role of any one specific major is greatly de-emphasized; the goal is to gain skills in critical thinking, analysis, argumentation, speaking and writing.  The content, in many cases, is irrelevant. This session asks the following questions: How far into a discipline can we expect a student to go? Who defines a discipline? What of a combined or independent major? Does student preparedness play a role in our teaching students content? Does delivery make a difference? Will discipline knowledge be better learned, understood, and applied if it is transmitted in ways that today's students find appealing and attractive? Do we expect students to learn facts, to manipulate these facts, to interpret them? Is discipline knowledge strictly informational? How can it be transformational?

Research, Creative & Scholarly Activities (Afternoon Session)
Provocateur: Dr. John Mateja, Director of the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Office and the McNair Scholars Program at Murray State
Moderator: Dr. Luis Montes (CMS)
Writer: Amy Johnson (CFAD)

The presentation will focus on the question "why change?"   Change requires an investment of time, effort and resources.  Is this investment needed to maintain the U.S.'s global influence and competitiveness?   To answer this question, Dr. Mateja looks at the challenges the U.S. and the world are facing, discusses the skill areas needed to meet these challenges and then will look to see how well the next generation of students is being prepared to solve problems.   Finally, a snapshot look at today's U.S. workforce is taken to see what the composition of the workforce portends for the future of the United States.

Service Learning and Civic Engagement (Afternoon Session)
Provocateur: Gina M. Wekke, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Executive Director of Oklahoma Campus Compact
Moderator: Dr. Kathryn Gage (VP, Student Affairs) & Dr. Patti Loughlin (CLA)
Writer: Dr. Tom Hancock (CEPS)

Description: Transforming Campus Efforts to Community Rewards
From services on campus to local elections, one challenge of civic engagement lies in informing and energizing people at multiple levels.   In the first Oklahoma Civic Health Index (2010), the strengths and weaknesses of our state have become a platform for understanding and beginning to address issues that promise to ensure the economic and social progress Oklahoman's deserve.  As part of this solution-seeking process, volunteerism, service learning, and civic engagement efforts are posed to make a difference IF we can find ways to make them happen everywhere from the backyard to the boardroom. In this model of transforming our state, every person has a role. The key is to find ways to help others take ownership of their role in the process and make a difference at whatever level they can.  This means parents providing both sides of a political debate at the family dinner table, campuses using a deliberative poll or similar process to get underrepresented students involved in campus life, and political information being presented in an accessible way to the general public. The goal of this session is to determine what each of us can do to contribute positively to this process?  So what can you do? 

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