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Research symposium to encourage students to redefine diversity

Ohio University will host its second annual Student Research Symposium on Diversity on Friday, May 20, at Brasee Hall on Ohio University's Lancaster Campus.

This year's free event includes a multitude of pieces ranging from poetry dealing with autism, gender and identity to presentations on experiential learning in South Africa.

Supported by an 1804 grant, the Ohio University Women's Center and the Office of Diversity, Access and Equity, the symposium is titled "Building Community through Diversity." It will provide undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to share their understanding of diversity, multiculturalism and identity.

"We're trying to give students an opportunity to define diversity through their own lens," said Monica Jones, director of diversity for regional campuses. "We're also trying to link what they learn in the classroom to their perception of diversity in real life. The event is also meant to engage students in the practice of conducting and presenting research while helping them understand how their daily coursework exemplifies and relates to diversity in the real world."
This year's symposium will include transportation from Athens and breakfast and lunch at no cost. Transportation from Athens will depart at approximately 8 a.m. and the event is expected to last till 4 pm. There will be an optional transportation departing the event at 1 p.m. for those who need to return to Athens early.

"Students need to have an open dialogue about how diversity affects their lives," Jones said. "There is a need for awareness. We need to approach the subject with a sense of value and respect."

Here is a complete list of events on May 20:

•    Check-in and registration will take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. A
continental breakfast will be provided.

•    Becky Brooks, interim coordinator of the Deaf Studies and Interpreting program at Ohio University-Chillicothe and Deaf Studies and Interpreting and Communications instructor at Ohio University-Lancaster, will deliver the keynote address titled, "Diversity: It's more than Black and White" at 10 a.m.

•    One-hour concurrent breakout sessions will be held at 10:15 a.m., 11:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. Students will discuss various diversity issues during these sessions.

•    A screening of the film, "Poverty in America," will be held at 2:50 p.m. This will be followed by an open discussion on the state of diversity at Ohio University.

Vice Provost for Diversity, Access and Equity Brian Bridges said this event will build on the May 13 Student Research and Creative Activity Expo, because students will be presenting focused research work on diversity.

"Hopefully this event helps students realize the importance of diversity in the classroom," Bridges said. "It also will demonstrate the academic foundations of diversity."

In order to sign up to attend the event or for additional questions, contact Monica Jones at jonesm4@ohio.edu or at 740-588-1509.