Block 2 Afternoon Sessions

Learn more about the Block 2 Afternoon Sessions including speaker information and session descriptions.

Session 1: Inspiring Strategies to Promote Inclusive School Communities

Title: Promoting Culturally Inclusive Community-Based Practices for Latin-X students in K-12

  • Speakers: KSU Graduate Students: Christa Boske, Deanna Hermann, Jarred Zapolnik, Melissa Anderson, Beth Hampton, Andreas Johansson, Kristen Paulitzky, Jason Smith, Kelly Weitzel, Tabatha England, Nicole Zatezalo, Kimberly Micheller, Jrayene Nimene, Stephanie Marshall and Cara White, "Community Relations" Course Students in the Educational Leadership Program (EDLE)
  • Description: We welcome educators, students, community members, families, and other stakeholders to actively engage in creating effective strategies empowering Latinx communities. The purpose of this presentation is to promote culturally inclusive community-based practices to transform the educational experiences of Latinx K-12 students and families. Facilitators will engage in dialogue with participants in small groups centering on what it means to collect the stories of people who identify as Latinx; how to reach out in authentic ways; and how to listen and ask meaningful questions.

Session 2: Inspiring Readiness to Learn: Dealing with Trauma & Mental Health

Title: Supporting Our Youth's Mental Well-being

  • Speakers:
    • Dr. Karla Anhalt, Associate Professor of Lifespan Development & Education Sciences at Kent State University
    • Dr. Jennifer Walton-Fisette, Associate Professor and Director of Teacher Education at Kent State University
  • Description: Presenters will explore best practices and programs that are focusing on mental health, wellbeing, after school and support programs for youth and families.

Session 3: ReSílience and Equity in STEAM

Title: Full STEAM Ahead! Leveraging STEAM to Promote Resilience and Equity in K-12 Environments

  • Speakers:
    • Dr. Bridget Mulvey, Associate Professor at the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University
    • Dr. Robin Vande Zande, Associate Professor of Art Education at Kent State University
  • Description: This session will share exciting evidence-based practices on STEAM in K-12 environments to promote resilience and equity among diverse learners. It is key for STEAM to be viewed as a human enterprise, creative and influenced by people’s background knowledge and experiences. Design and literature connections within meaningful STEAM experiences help to draw on learners' diverse backgrounds, knowledge bases, interests, and talents while developing new interests and talents.

Session 4: Inspiring Latinx Teachers for Tomorrow's Classrooms

Title: Diversifying the Teaching Profession in Ohio

  • Speakers:
    • Dr. Jessica Mercerhill, Senior Director of Educator Preparation at the Ohio Department of Education
    • Dr. Cheryl Krohn, Strategic Administrator at the Center for Teaching, Leading and Learning at the Ohio Department of Education
  • Description: Ohio recognizes the critical importance of a diverse educator workforce. Employing more educators who look like and have similar experiences as students in our districts and schools ia priority for the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Higher Education, and Ohio's prekindergarten through grade 16 educational institutions. To address this priority, the state Superintendent of Education convened a task force to identify the root causes of low employment numbers for people of color, and to recommend actions to address them. This session will present the findings of the task force and provide time for participants to discuss how they may be part of implementation of the recommendations.

Session 5: Inspiring Leadership Through Co-Curricular Activity and Career & Technical Education

Title: The Experience of Career & Technical Education in Schools with High Number of Second Language Learners"

  • Speaker: Cathy Nicholson, Technology Integration Specialist (CTIS) at Cuyahoga Falls High School, Cuyahoga Falls City School District
  • Description: This session will explore resources available to help second language learners in being successful in Career & Technical Education classes.  The presenter will share best practices on how technology can be used to advance the education and success of SLL’s.

Session 6: Inspiring Policy Change for a Better Future

Title: A Conversation with Mary Jean Gallagher on Inclusive Communities

  • Speakers: 
    • Dr. Mary Jean Gallagher, Education Advisor to the Department of Education for the state of Victoria, Australia
    • Dr. Nadine Grimm, Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Rochester
  • Description: Ms. Gallagher is the former Chief Student Achievement Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Education, where she worked from 2008 to late 2015. In that role she led Ontario’s 5000 schools in raising literacy and numeracy results by 18% and graduation results by 18.5%.  Prior to the Ministry, she served as Director (Superintendent) of Education of Canada’s southernmost school district the Greater Essex County District School Board, and its predecessor, since 1995. Formerly a teacher of mathematics and computer science, she has also been Chair of the Council of Ontario Directors of Education, CEO of the Ontario Education Improvement Commission, a secondary school principal and a school Superintendent of Staffing and Development.

Session 7: Multinational Non-Spanish/Speaking Learners and Influences on K-12 Education

  • Speakers:
    • Daniel Nilsson (Facilitator), Director of the Office of Diversity Outreach and Development at Kent State University
    • Allyssa Torres, Bilingual Instructor at Cleveland Metropolitan School District
    • Dr. Joshua Englehart, Superintendent at Painesville City Local Schools
  • Description: This panel will discuss how language impacts Latin-X individuals ability to learn in an educational setting. We will explore how identity development differs between Non-Spanish Speaking, Multi-Racial and International Latin-X individuals both on the personal and social levels. In doing so, we will explore how to set up environments to positively support the resiliency and success of our communities.

Session 8: Inspiring Strategies to Promote Inclusive School Communities

Title: The Latino Faculty Association: A Crucial Partner for Latino College and HS Students

  • Speaker: Dr. Mauricio Espinoza, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Cincinnati
  • Description: As Latino student populations grow in Ohio K-12 schools and colleges, Latino university faculty and partners on campus play an increasingly important role in supporting the recruitment, retention, and success of this population in a political and cultural environment that has become hostile toward Latinos and other communities of color. This presentation uses the case study of the recently formed (2017) Latino Faculty Association (LFA-UC) at the University of Cincinnati to illustrate the importance of such organizations and the impact they can have on attracting and keeping highly motivated Latino/Hispanic faculty, spurring their involvement in university/community leadership, and promoting partnerships that benefit Latino college and high school students. Information will be provided about the history of the association, what strategies and partnerships made possible its formation, successes and challenges, coalition-building efforts, and aspects of governance. Additionally, there will be a discussion about how LFA-UC and similar organizations can employ their clout, resources, and networks to partner with Latino college student organizations to support their goals; and to partner with other campus organizations to support Latino high school students through programs such as mentoring and experiential learning, in an effort to increase college recruitment of this population.