The Center for Teaching and Learning collaborated with the Diversity Fellow Prof. Nelson Nuñez-Rodríguez to develop a faculty survey based on cultural competencies and organize a panel focused on diversity matters during the CTL annal professional development day aka Spa Day. The Office of Academic Affairs Associate Dean Ann Mester; Prof. Hector Soto, Chair, College-wide Senate Affirmative Action Committee; Lauren Gretina, Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator; and Prof. Nelson Nuñez-Rodríguez facilitated this panel. This panel is twice too close. The second time can be substituted by “conversation”, these four Hostos family members shared outcomes from the 2018 AAC&U Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths, which they attended, as a benchmark to open a faculty conversation on this topic. The held panel and faculty comments during Spa Day demonstrated the need to organize a sustained dialogue exploring functional definitions of diversity, plurality and inclusiveness in our Hostos classroom environment and brought to the surface different faculty visions on this regard. Faculty members mentioned the need to clarify rules of the need to have more resources to navigate difficult situations in the classroom related to the diversity was also pointed out. It was also mentioned that using case studies helps to develop student cultural competencies and that each discipline nature shapes the depth and breadth of diversity conversations. The session also shared the outcomes from above-mentioned survey. Prof. Nuñez-Rodríguez composed this survey with several faculty members and received feedback from the CTL directors and faculty council members. Seventy-two faculty members responded to the survey. A preliminary analysis showed that, according to faculty perceptions, racial and religious minority student groups are the most needed cohorts requiring a cultural competent teaching approach. The majority of the survey participants think that a conversation with a group of faculty sharing best practices and a panel with a diverse group of students can be effective practices to develop faculty cultural competencies. In this regard, the majority of survey participants also pointed out that major challenges to addressing these issues are related with the narrow understanding about diversity by the faculty community and the perception that they know enough about it. These survey and Spa Day presentation outcomes served to gather useful information to design upcoming professional development initiatives focused on inclusiveness and diversity. Below available online resources were also briefly presented during the panel and represent another source of information to conceptualize future diversity conversations.
CUNY Policy on Sexual Miscounduct: http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/Hostos/media/Office-of-Compliance-and-Diversity/POLICY-ON-SEXUAL_MISCONDUCT-Final-9-11-15.pdf
CUNY Equal Opportunity and Non-DiscriminationPolicy: http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/Hostos/media/Of-fice-of-Compliance-and-Diversity/PolicyonEqualOpportu-nityand-NonDiscriminationandProceduresDecember42014.pdf
Physical Sciences Coordinator
Nelson Nuñez-Rodríguez is Professor of Chemistry, Unit Coordinator at Natural Science Department. He currently serves as Fulbright Specialist on STEM Education and Sub-award Principal Investigator for a NIH IRACDA program. His scholarly interests focus on developing scientific skills in urban college students. He received a Bachelor Degree in Biology from Havana University, Cuba in 1992, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from National University of Cordoba, Argentina in 2001 and developed a four year-postdoctoral training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.