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Hocking College administrator Molly Watson raises her hand to make a point in the 2011 SIDE training

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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SIDE group discussion in 2011

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Summer Institute for Diversity Education expands advertising area

Participants will receive diversity training certification


Ohio University's third annual Summer Institute for Diversity Education (SIDE), which will take place July 8-11 at the University's Human Resources and Training Center, enters its third year with the goal of expanding the geographic area of its participants.

This year, organizers advertised SIDE at four-year universities in Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, in addition to Ohio.

SIDE was created to empower and train participants to effectively manage cross-cultural communication, implement diversity programming and facilitate diversity education opportunities.

"We are looking forward to the expansion of SIDE and building bridges from the campus to the community," said Stephanie Sanders, SIDE coordinator and graduate assistant in the Ohio University Office for Diversity and Inclusion. "By expanding the reach of the training, we will build more relationships in the region and collect more feedback and perspectives to learn from."

During the training, each participant creates a professional development plan that details how they will use their diversity training in the future. Many past graduates of the training have served as facilitators for the University's Diversity Essentials program.

It's a train-the-trainers activity, so the facilitators will have an opportunity to implement what they learned from SIDE," Sanders said.

Last year's class included City of Athens Chief of Police Tom Pyle, City of Athens Assistant Service Safety Director Ron Lucas and Chair of the Athens Community Relations Committee John Schmieding. In addition to community members and members of the Athens campus community, the class also included faculty and staff from OHIO regional campuses and nearby Hocking College.

The idea for SIDE was created in 2009 amid discussions between former Ohio University Vice Provost of Diversity, Access and Equity Brian Bridges and Mark Orbe, an OHIO alumnus who serves as a professor of communication at Western Michigan University.

Orbe, a nationally renowned educator, author and consultant, said the goal of SIDE is to gather people together who are interested in being diversity advocates and creating a network.

The registration fee for SIDE is $800, which covers all sessions, a resource manual, an opening dinner, lunches and daily continental breakfasts. After completing the training sessions, each participant receives a certificate in diversity training and three continuing education units (CEU).

Anyone interested in participating in this year's SIDE training should call 740-593-2431 or email dae@ohio.edu.