14th Annual Professional Development Day, CTL Spa Day.
Transforming the Hostos Community: Fostering Inclusion, Cultivating Belonging, and Enhancing Retention

9:00 am – 9:50 am

Breakfast & Networking

9:50 am – 10:10 am

Opening Remarks

Asrat Amnie

Asrat Amnie
Assistant Professor


Shiang-Kwei WangShiang
Provost and Vice President of OAA


Daisy Cocco de Filippis
President, Hostos Community College

Cynthia Jones

Cynthia Jones
Lecturer, English
CTL Co-Director

Mr. Carlos Guevara, Director of CTL

Carlos Guevara
CTL Co-Director & EdTech Director

10:10 am – 10:50 am

A Conversation About “Welcomeness”
Join us as we explore the concept of “welcomeness” and its critical role in establishing a sense of belonging within the Hostos community. We will collaborate to define welcomeness from several angles. Then, through thought-provoking conversations, we will collectively explore the essence of welcomeness, its significance, and practical strategies to help ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the Hostos community.

Linda Miles

Linda Miles
Assistant Professor

Lauren Wolf

Lauren Wolf
Assistant Professor

10:50 am – 11:30 am

Harmony Within: Nurturing Connection through Yoga and Meditation
Explore fun and practical yoga techniques to experience a greater sense of connection, with ourselves and with each other. We will open our senses, relax the mind, and use our breath to feel that interconnection. Join us as we harness the transforming potential of these practices to forge a profound sense of community and shared experience, leading the way for the improvement of the classroom setting and the Hostos community.

Silvia Reyes

Silvia Reyes
Director of SP Projects
Student Engagement

J.C Williams

J.C. Williams
Adjunct Lecturer
Behavioral & Social Sciences

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Unleash the Learning Pulse: Catalyzing Student Growth through Assessment
Discover innovative, and yet simple approaches to assessment to unraveling the learning pulse. We will explore strategies to foster student progress, enhance retention rates, and create an inclusive and supportive learning environment by asking three foundational questions 1) What do we want students to learn? 2) How do we know if they learned it? 3) How can we better support them in learning it? Let’s unleash the power of assessment to propel student success and ignite transformation within the Hostos community.


Anders Jasson Stachelek
Associate Professor

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Expressions of Art: Unleashing Creativity to Foster Inclusion, Persistence, and Belonging
Join us for a dynamic and interactive series of hands-on breakout sessions that utilize art as a powerful medium to illustrate complex concepts such as belonging, inclusion, welcomeness, and persistence. Through poems, mask-making, songwriting, and acting, discover creative ways to express and embody these transformative principles, fostering a stronger sense of unity and connection within our community. This is the perfect opportunity to harness the power of art and creativity to shape a more inclusive and vibrant classroom and Hostos environment.

Cynthia Jones, Lecturer, English, CTL Co-Director
Carlos Guevara, CTL Co-Director & EdTech Director


Poetic Visions: Capturing Belonging through Words
Join this interactive session to explore the power of poetry in conveying complex concepts of belonging, inclusion, and welcomeness. Discover the art of crafting meaningful verses that evoke emotions and foster a sense of unity within the Hostos community.

Cynthia Jones, Lecturer, English, CTL Co-Director


“What Does Your Hat Say About You?” DIY Hat Craft – Creating A Sense of Welcomeness, Belonging, and Inclusion
Dive into the transformative world of crafting as a means to explore personal and collective identities. Engage in a hands-on crafting activity designed to foster self-expression, reflection, and communication. For this group activity, attendees will be making hats/crowns that represent “who they are.” Through this craft, attendees will also visually represent the multifaceted aspects of welcomeness, belonging, and inclusion, while fostering a deeper understanding of the self and others.

Stacey Cooper, Assistant Professor, Behavior & Social Sciences
Mayra Mojica, Lecturer, Business


Staging Inclusivity: Theatrical Explorations of Welcomeness & Belonging
Step onto the stage and embrace the transformative power of theater in promoting welcomeness and inclusivity. Through acting exercises and improvisation, explore narratives that highlight the importance of persistence and celebrate diversity, while fostering a deeper sense of belonging within the Hostos community.

Angel Morales, Lecturer, Humanities


Music Connects and Fosters Inclusivity in the Classroom
Experience the magic of songwriting as a tool for fostering connection and unity. Engage in collaborative activities to explore themes of belonging and persistence, and learn techniques to craft lyrics that resonate with the Hostos community’s shared experiences and aspirations.

Sanjay Arya, Assistant Professor, Allied Health Sciences
Joseph Caravalho, Assistant Professor, Humanities Department
Nicole Beth Wallenbrock, Assistant Professor, Humanities

2:05 pm – 3:05 pm

Creativity & Play for Community-Building in the Classroom – Share Back
In this session, we will explore strategies for incorporating creativity and play to help build community in our courses and at Hostos. We will reflect on the preceding creativity exercises, and consider practical ways to use low-stakes creativity and play activities to help foster an inclusive and supportive learning environment that nurtures social-emotional growth.

Linda Miles, Assistant Professor, Library
Lauren Wolf, Assistant Professor, Mathematics

3:05 pm – 3:15 pm

Closing Remarks

Cynthia Jones, Lecturer, English, CTL Co-Director
Carlos Guevara, CTL Co-Director & EdTech Director

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm


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