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Building inclusion in the classroom

An expert workshop provides tools on how to promote inclusivity on campus

September 22, 2021

The Center for Academic Innovation at Mount Saint Mary’s University, in collaboration with the Center for Equity, Diversity and Justice, kicked off the fall semester with a timely and relevant workshop on “Inclusion in the classroom,” provided by expert guest speaker Krishauna Hines-Gaither, PhD.

Dr. Hines-Gaither serves as the interim vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the director of the Intercultural Engagement Center at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.
Dr. Hines-Gaither serves as the interim vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the director of the Intercultural Engagement Center at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.

The workshop, tailored to faculty and staff members at the Mount, offered useful tools for how to create an inclusive classroom setting and discussed some pre-course and syllabi content ideas to help improve inclusion on campus. Attendees participated in the virtual session and had the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with colleagues during the 90-minute workshop.

Hines-Gaither, who serves as the associate vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, talked about the importance of recognizing “internalized stereotypes and beliefs that dominate our culture” and acknowledging “our own mistakes in order to build trust with students and promote more inclusive environments in the classroom.” She provided specific examples from her almost 20 years of teaching experience to illustrate different situations in which campuses can become more inclusive. Hines-Gaither also shared some relevant resources to help promote inclusive spaces in higher education.  

“This was an outstanding workshop offered under the care and expertise of Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither,” said Suzanne Williams, dean of the Weekend/Evening & Online College at the Mount. “From my vantage point, understanding and incorporating the principles for creating an inclusive classroom — from the first email to students, to the course syllabus, to our campus spaces and on — should be required for all faculty and staff supporting our goal to become an anti-racist University.”

The workshop was part of the Faculty Friday program organized by the Center for Academic Innovation, which offers trainings and informative sessions to faculty and staff members throughout the year.