Recognizing and Overcoming Accent Discrimination

Sent on behalf of Mark Faaita, Director of Forensics and READI equity fellow.

Dear Faculty,  

As the Director of Forensics, I have the benefit of working with students from a variety of majors and, of course, a diversity of backgrounds. To be competitive, students must delve beneath the surface of issues in order to craft arguments that are simultaneously unique and relatable to a diversity of audience members. In 2018, Kanako Otani, an International Student from Hiroshima, Japan (still featured on the International Admissions’ International Inspirations webpage), qualified for the most prestigious Speech and Debate national tournament in the country with her After Dinner Speech on accent discrimination. 

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion explicitly states that “people who speak any languages” are welcomed by Chico State. It is important to consider that this declaration should also stand for people who speak languages differently than an imagined standard. Dr. Rosina Lippi Green makes a case for the fluidity of language and the universality of accent in her book English with an Accent. The legitimizing role of accent discrimination against immigrants is an article that discusses the role accent discrimination plays in a variety of experimental circumstances towards enhancing prejudice. Considering the diversity of our student population, it is important we remember that an accent is not merely a marker of birthplace. How we talk can denote many things, but it should never be deemed by faculty as a means for judging comprehension, or ability.  

As a faculty member participating in groups made up entirely of faculty members, I have been present for the dismissal of narratives because of the “vulgarity” of the language used to share said narratives. I voiced my frustration with the dismissal in my own way, but I never returned to the groups. I am privileged to be where I am. I am a first-generation high school graduate who has managed to reach a place that allows me to currently be writing this to you, and I still struggle with discrimination and dismissal towards voices that sound like those that I grew up with. Our students deserve better. We have an opportunity, as faculty, to be a voice of acceptance and reassurance. The sounds of welcoming eventually outweighed the voices of rejection for me, but if we are not conscious about how we treat the diversity of voices with which we interact, our students may not be as lucky. 

Accent discrimination is a nuanced aspect of discrimination at large. Discrimination is by no means something that only happens intentionally. READI and Faculty Development can provide some resources. You can start from this teaching guide on Academic Language Development or this teaching guide on Language Development Through Coursework. Our role is to work with faculty on all their equity-related needs, so reach out and book a consultation if you need additional help and support. 

International Education Week

This week’s tip brought to you by International Education and Global Engagement (IEGE).

Chico State joins higher education institutions around the world in honoring and celebrating International Education Week from November 14-18, 2022. IEGE will be hosting a series of activities next week for faculty, staff, and students to engage in global learning and cultural events, we ask that you encourage your students to attend, and explore international research and teaching opportunities for yourself.

Faculty often report that teaching and conducting research abroad, or incorporating collaborative online international learning (COIL)opportunities into the classroom, can be life-changing, tapping into resources and developing pedagogy that incorporates global learning and engagement, a strategic priority of the University. Through these opportunities, faculty can also empathize with the experience of international students, staff and faculty at Chico State, as the instructor is immersed in different languages and cultures and learns to navigate a new educational system and environment.

Additional global engagement opportunities and resources available to Chico State faculty:  

  1. Attend our Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Networking Reception on Tuesday, November 15 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm in Colusa 100A to learn about the COIL experiences of faculty, students and teaching partners. IEGE supports faculty to internationalize their courses by adding a virtual exchange experience within a class. For more information on COIL Faculty Learning Community, please contact COIL Co-coordinator, Dr. Sara Trechter, strechter@csuchico.edu.
  2. Apply to become a Resident Director on a CSU International Program in France, Italy or Spain for a year, deadline to apply is December 31, 2022. Contact Chico State ACIP Rep, Dr. Fay Mitchell-Brown, with questions: fmitchellbrown@csuchico.edu
  3. Check out Fulbright Grant programs for US Scholars and attend the Fulbright “Ask Us Anything” session on November 14th to prepare for a 2024-2025 program application. 
    Additionally, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines for graduating college seniors, graduate students, and early-career professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad. 
  4. Invite a Study Abroad and Exchange advisor in your class(es) to present on program and study abroad scholarship options, specifically tailored to your department or student interests, by completing this classroom presentation request form
  5. Join the International Faculty and Staff Association. Open to all international faculty and staff and allies, the IFSA celebrates the collective broad-based experience and representation across all cultures, languages, beliefs and disciplinary backgrounds.
  6. Encourage your students to visit the campus English as a Second Language (ESL) Support Services, which offers free tutoring services for non-native speakers of English who want to improve their English proficiency. 
  7. Consider hosting a visiting international scholar in your academic department. 
  8. Take students abroad through Faculty-Led Study Abroad. Deadlines vary by term. 

Need more information than above?

Contact Dr. Jennifer Gruber, jlgruber@csuchico.edu, AVP, International Education and Global Engagement.

Perusall and Classroom Community

Sent on behalf of Dr. Alisa Wade, Assistant Professor of History and READI Equity Fellow.

Each time I open our Research in Equity, Antiracism, Diversity and Inclusion (READI) hub’s page on teaching instruction, I’m reminded of bell hooks’ powerful quote from Teaching to Transgress. “As a classroom community,” hooks wrote, “our capacity to generate excitement is deeply affected by our interest in one another, in hearing one another’s voices, in recognizing one another’s presence.”  

Finding ways to build a sense of community in our classrooms—and fostering a safe and accessible learning space for students from a wide array of diverse backgrounds, experiences, identities, and needs—becomes critical to encouraging student success. At the same time, though, this process can feel daunting: especially when taking variations in the sizes of our classes, the unique needs of students, or even disciplinary conventions into consideration. I want to highlight one digital tool that I’ve found to be exceptionally useful in promoting active learning and reading, and, in turn, helping to foster dynamic discussion among a wider array of students in the classroom: Perusall.  

Perusall is a free platform for collaborative, social reading and annotation. It integrates with and can be accessed through our learning management systems, making it easy for students to open through an embedded link and syncing grades back to the class gradebook. Once classes are set up in Perusall, instructors designate materials to assign and design assignments around them (for some examples of how you might do this, see this library guide from Brandeis University). Instructors can choose to leave these assignments ungraded, grade them individually, or use and adapt Perusall’s automatic grading rubric for assessment. 

What makes Perusall so useful for building classroom community and contributing to equitable and inclusive pedagogy? 

Perusall enables faculty to assign a diverse array of material, at low or no cost to students. Faculty can create assignments from Perusall’s repository of existing textbooks and other readings, which does typically require students to purchase materials; but they can also upload their own PDFs covered by fair use guidelines, or channel materials that don’t meet those requirements through Perusall’s Copyright Clearance system (though students do pay a small fee for this process). Instructors can also draw on Open Educational Resources (OER) or link to other forms of digital media—podcasts, YouTube videos, or even open access online textbooks—for free, enabling students to engage with and annotate a wide selection of content representing a variety of mediums and facilitating creative approaches in the classroom (for more information on finding and selecting OER or affordable educational materials, see our Chico Affordable Learning Solutions (CAL$) program). 

It also helps build a sense of community (even in large courses!) and generates discussion inside and outside the classroom. In bigger classes, instructors can create smaller groups that carry over the course of the semester, encouraging students to get to know each other through their comments and annotations and interact in ways that are often difficult in large lecture halls. In smaller seminars, instructors can instead encourage the class to interact as a whole. It works well for in-person courses and can serve as a helpful tool for flipped classrooms, but as Professors Julie Lazzara and Virginia Clinton-Lisell have demonstrated, it is also incredibly effective in online or hybrid courses. And, it functions well across disciplines (see recent studies from the fields of biology, engineering, organic chemistry, philosophy, physics, political science, and psychology, for starters). 

Finally, Perusall also helps enhance student engagement with assigned class materials and address equity gaps in the classroom. Students are empowered, as individuals and collectively, to take ownership of readings and other content by asking and answering questions, making comments, annotating, and upvoting each other’s submissions. Instructors can easily see which portions are confusing to students and can answer any questions students might have as they work. This is particularly useful because academic reading can seem like such an intimidating undertaking for first year students, first generation students, and students for whom English isn’t their first language. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal for Multicultural Educationcorroborates the impact of Perusall’s open annotation system on fostering inclusive and equitable pedagogy in the classroom and empowering those who frequently feel silenced—students of color, women, nonbinary students, and others from historically minoritized backgrounds—to confidently share their ideas. 

For more details and tips for getting started, see our campus Perusall support page

Allyship is Not a Noun – Are You Ready to Take Action?

Sent on behalf of Katie Oesau, lecturer in the Marketing Department and READI equity fellow.

Dear Faculty, 

This Tuesday, I’d like to invite you to act. As we work towards a more inclusive and equitable campus, most of us understand these terms and how they show up in our spaces on campus. But ask yourself, when was the last time you acted? Awareness alone cannot dismantle systems of oppression. 

The term “Ally” is something familiar to us all. But how do you consider this term in your work? Is it a Noun (something you are) or an Action (something you do)?

Dr. Makini King (she/her/hers), Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, believes that Ally is Not a Noun. In her work, she states “Allyship is one of the first action-oriented tools one learns in social justice and bias trainings. Awareness of injustices; racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism (to name a few) is of course, the first step toward advocacy, but awareness alone is not enough to dismantle systems of oppression. To be an Ally requires that a person not simply notice an injustice, but also take action by bringing attention to the injustice and requesting that it be corrected.”

I invite you to read her short article, and consider the thought experiment contained within:

“As you move throughout your day; sit in a classroom, a department meeting, a social space… I want you to think about the inequality that might exist in that space…

Consider who is represented in that space and who is not and then ask why. Then ask yourself how you might ACT as an Ally in order to support those people who may not be represented, or who may not have a voice in order to actively make the space more equitable.”

So, are you ready to take action?

Have an idea for an action, a project or a change you’d like to make involving equity, but aren’t sure where to start? READI can help! 

READI is a hub for the study of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) and antiracist practices from the perspective of faculty instruction and research. READI engages in the production of new and innovative scholarship on EDI and serves as a hub for pairing faculty needs with resources on EDI and antiracism. Our role is to work with faculty on all their equity related needs. This includes faculty mentorship, grants, campus collaborations, research, pedagogy and more. Contact us today!

Where Would We Be Without Grad Students?

Sent on behalf of the Office of Graduate Studies. View a text version of this information.

Join This Vibrant Community of Teachers/Scholars —> Open to ALL faculty

Do you want to be part of a dynamic and growing group of Chico State faculty who are doing amazing work with graduate students?

We invite you to join the Office of Graduate Studies and the more than 220 faculty from across campus, who are actively working with and supporting graduate students in doing incredible things every day. And the best part, you don’t need to have a graduate program to participate—just enthusiasm and passion for your field and working with students.

The benefits of working with grad students are way too many for us to list, but here are a few key ones….

callout circles with icons and text highlighting the benefits of working with graduate students

  Don’t believe us? Here’s what fellow faculty have to say….

different shapes with faculty quotes inside

Here are a few things you may not know about Chico State grad programs….

callout circles highlighting facts and statistics about Chico State grad programs

We invite you to Reignite your Passion—Working with Graduate Students and Faculty, hosted by the Office of Graduate Studies on October 28th from 12—1:30 p.m. in Colusa 116 for the FDEV Friday Forum

Join us for a great opportunity to network, share ideas, and get inspired at this drop-in event. You are welcome to join us in-person or on Zoom.

No need to have a graduate program of your own! There are many ways you can jump in and start or advance your experience as a Graduate Faculty member. And we want to help you succeed.

Bring your lunch (we’ll have cookies and drinks) and connect with other faculty while learning how you can be a part of our growing community of Graduate Faculty at Chico State.

Physical Activity and Self Care

Sent on behalf of Aubrey Newland, Associate Professor of Sport & Exercise Psychology

Self-care…sigh. Is that really a thing for professors? Yes! One way of making sure we have our own backs is to make time for regular physical activity in our lives. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening per week, but the majority of people across the United States struggle to meet these guidelines. 

Why is it important? 

Regular physical activity (PA) has more benefits than just the obvious physical ones. For example, did you know that physical activity improves mood, cognition, and confidence? The connection between physical activity and general well-being is well-studied. There are massive amounts of evidence extolling the benefits of exercise! We have the physiological and psychological evidence that it is good for us. So why aren’t most of us meeting the daily guidelines for PA?  

Tips for Overcoming Barriers 

For many people it boils down to lack of time and motivation. Based on research in the field of exercise psychology, here are a few practical tips for increasing motivation:  

  1. You don’t have to exercise so intensely that it hurts! Research shows that as exercise intensity increases, emotion (affect) decreases.  
  2. Start slow and have realistic expectations.  
  3. Do something you enjoy. Exercise is more likely to be done if you enjoy it! A recent research article supported the idea that enjoyment leads to more regular exercise adherence. Another article highlighted the importance of fun as a key to regular exercise.   
  4. Make it a habit. 
  5. Reflect on your values and see if they align with your priorities (actions) in life. For instance, what are you spending most of your time doing each day? How does that time spent align with what you say you value? 

Practical  

How do I fit PA into my schedule? 

  1. Plan it into your day. Block it off on your calendar. This is called implementation intentions. Sign up for a class and take a friend. If you take time to sign up for a class, you’re more likely to go.  
  2. Do a little each day. Here are some examples of manageable ways to fit it in.  
  3. Take advantage of small opportunities! For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator when you have the choice. Or park farther away at the grocery store.  

Keep an eye out in the first month of each semester for announcements about enrolling in PA counseling sessions that target motivational issues. Students in the Kinesiology Department offer this service as part of an upper-division course for staff, faculty, and community members. Contact Aubrey Newland for more information or to reserve your spot for next semester!

Wildcats VOTE!

Sent on behalf of Dr. Amy Magnus, Civic Engagement Faculty Fellow and Rural Partnerships Liaison, and the Office of Civic Engagement.

The upcoming election on November 8 is right around the corner! Now is an important time for our campus community to consider how to bring civic engagement into our classes. Below are several ideas for discussing the importance of registering and turning out to vote, for those eligible, in the upcoming election: 

Connect Civic Engagement to Your Own Disciplines and Classes

Voting and other forms of civic engagement are cross-disciplinary! All of us are impacted by our elected leaders and issues on the ballot. While we may think of certain majors as being “more political” than others, all disciplines can connect civic engagement to their classes. For example, we can help students understand the impact of the election on the industries and careers they want to pursue. We can help them better understand how particular issues connect to what they are studying in class. In this way, specific examples can help students feel connected to the election (and civic engagement, more generally). It can help them understand the local and personal impacts that civic engagement can have, and it can also help them recognize their own responsibility in participating in voting. It is critical that we, as faculty, help our students recognize their connections to the politics of our time. 

Use Multiple Modalities – and Multiple Times! – to Share Information about the Election

Students do well when provided information in different formats and modalities. Sharing information about the upcoming election, voter registration, etc. verbally during class and via email announcements, for example, can help solidify their role in the upcoming election and what they need to do to participate. It may also be helpful to break down this information in relevant chunks at opportune times (rather than providing all information at once that they will need to track over time). Please see below for information you can share with students as the election approaches.

Refer Students to the Office of Civic Engagement!

Importantly, we know you have a lot to manage as faculty. We do not expect you to be experts in all-things civic engagement, in addition to your other responsibilities. The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) is happy to help anyone in our community better understand how and why they should register to vote if eligible, how to ensure their vote counts, ways to create a voting plan, and how to find additional information about voting. There are also several upcoming events happening to help get students excited about voting (see below)! Please promote these events to your students and always feel free to refer students to OCE if they need additional support!

Please see below for relevant election-related information that you are encouraged to circulate to your students and learning communities throughout the next several weeks:

Election Day is November 8! 

The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) website has important information and dates listed to make participating in the upcoming election as easy as possible. We are defending our championship title in the CA Ballot Bowl, a competition to register the most voters! Click here for the voter registration link.

Monday, October 24 is the last day to register online to vote in California.  

All California registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot about 29 days before the election. Everyone can track their ballot at ballottrax. If your vote-by-mail ballot is lost or destroyed, check with your county for a replacement ballot or go to a Voter Assistance Center in BMU 203 November 5-8.  

Find detailed information about what’s on the November ballot at Easy Voter Guide and the Butte County Voter Information Guide.  

Key Dates 

  • Monday, October 24: Last day to register online to vote  
  • Monday, October 10 – Monday, November 7: Deliver ballots to the secure Ballot Box on the streetside of the BMU (or place in the US Mail) 
  • Saturday, November 5 – Tuesday, November 8: In person voter registration for a conditional ballot or other voter assistance is available in BMU 203 

Upcoming Civic Engagement Events 

Campus Voter Film Series 

  • Wednesday, October 12: Local Voices: Your Vote Matters! video reveal, 5-6pm, Colusa 100A, Snacks will be provided! 
  • Thursday, October 20: Documentary Screening: “Willie Velasquez: Your Vote is Your Voice” screening 5-6:30pm, SSC 150, Snacks will be provided! 

Goater Registration: Join CAVE on Tuesday, October 18 between 11- 1pm in Trinity Commons to pet a goat while you register to vote! 

Resources and Support for Neurodiversity

Sent on behalf of Dr. A. Josephine Blagrave, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and READI Equity Fellow

As we continue to improve access, equity and a sense of belonging for our students, and work to improve student retention, it is important to include our students with disabilities. Previous resources from FDEV include a teaching guide and a podcast on neurodiversity in higher education and the work Jaime Gunderson is engaging in with Universal Design for Learning. Helping our disabled and neurodivergent students, faculty and staff connect and engage with each other in shared community is important. Here are some new resources that are currently available or coming soon to improve connections and support.

Neurodiversity and Disability Symposium (September 23, 2022): Formerly the Northern California Autism Symposium, this year’s keynotes include Steve Silberman and Alycia Anderson.  

Neurodiversity Student Club  

Chico State Neurodiverse club is established to support students who identify as neurodivergent and their allies, through networking, educational activities, and events. This student group will work with the Chico State Neurodiverse Task Force, to help improve student success and support for neurodivergent students at California State University, Chico. The purpose of this club is to allow all neurodiverse students and allies to engage in social activities that help build a sense of belonging and community. Additionally, this club will host group discussions on several topics within their college career and adult life. Outside the school, the club will engage in helping neurodiverse campus and community members by participating in several events throughout the year.  

Chico Autism Spectrum Empowerment (CASE): open to all CSUC students who identify as being on the autism spectrum.  “Let’s Talk About…” sessions are held the second and fourth Mondays of each month starting at 4:00pm.  This semester’s topics include Career Preparation, Communicating with Faculty, Choosing a Major/Courses, ASD and Accommodations, etc.  Additionally, each session will provide time for open discussion regarding topics of interest related to being on the autism spectrum.  Students that are interested in getting more information can contact Terry Quinto at Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) 530 898-5959. 

Wellcat Counseling Center, ADHD Support Group: Going through college with ADHD can be challenging at best! Learn how to work with your brain’s natural strengths and get support around its obstacles. This group is designed to be a comfortable space to unmask, share some skills, gain psychoeducation about ADHD, and have some comfort in a chaotic world. Feel free to bring lunch, fidgets, drinks, and wear comfortable clothing for floor sitting if you choose! Clients do not need a formal diagnosis to be eligible to participate in the support group. All genders and types of students are welcome. 

Neurodiversity Task Force (Faculty & Staff): in Fall 2021, President Hutchinson established a Neurodiversity Taskforce to explore ways to raise awareness and acceptance and to better serve neurodivergent members of the campus community. This group continues to meet and partner with other programs on campus to improve supports, services and community for our neurodivergent students.  

Neurodiversity and Disability Affinity Group (coming soon!) 

Teaching Climate Change & Sustainability

Dear faculty, 

In an attempt to continue supporting efforts towards climate change and resilience, we are partnering this year with Jennifer Rotnem, Director of Energy & Sustainability, to approach these conversations from different and more diverse perspectives. Leading these efforts and conversations is once again Dr. Mark Stemen, who has been a tireless champion in advancing timely and challenging discussions about climate change and environmental justice. Mark is serving as Sustainability and Climate Change Faculty Fellow, collaborating with both our units. 

On behalf of this team, I want to share three main updates: 

  1. A number of resources are available to you on the Teaching Climate Change & Resilience Page. Here you can access books, resources on curriculum design and instruction, and be informed about upcoming events. 
  2. Speaking of events! Mark your calendars for Dr. Britt Wray’s visit on October 13th, 6:00 p.m at ARTS Recital Hall. Dr. Britt Wray is a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, and her expertise includes studying the impact of climate change on mental health, especially on the younger generations. She is the author of Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis. She has recorded a video for us that is available on the page linked above. 
  3. Lastly, be on the lookout for announcements and communication about opportunities to come together to discuss sustainability and climate change. We look forward to having a dynamic group of faculty join us! If you are interested in participating in these conversations, please let us know! 

We look forward to expanding awareness about sustainability across the campus! 

RTP Forum Resources

Dear faculty,

ah, what a day yesterday was! Between the excitement of the RTP discussions and Labor Day, my week got all confused, so here you are getting a Tuesday Tip on a Wednesday! Way to spice up FDEV!

I am happy to share resources from yesterday’s RTP forum, so if you missed it, you can access all information asynchronously.

RTP Forum video recording
RTP Forum slides (the last two slides offer resources and dossier samples you can access and explore)
(both resources are posted in the Friday Forum page)

I also want to take this opportunity to share a great video (Passcode: 2M1!kV5k) that Director of Civic Engagement Dr. Ann Schulte put together to show how the Collaboratory: Community Engagement Database can be used to enhance your dossier.

We will be offering a Friday Forum in the near future about all the possibilities Collaboratory offers, so stay tuned for that announcement!

I truly hope the forum was useful, and please remember that the Office of Faculty Development is always open to help you in the tenure, retention, and promotion journey!