Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

Students Participate in Diversity Forum at WCE

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Sixty faculty, staff and students attended a Student Diversity Forum at the Watson College on Feb. 23. The event featured five student panelists who shared their experiences and engaged in dialogue on a range of topics.

Student panelists were Olivia McNeill, Cheyenne Parker, Dwayne Morgan, Freddi Konefsky and Jasmine Stevens. All are student members of the Watson College of Education Diversity Committee.

Martin Wasserberg, assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Literacy and Special Education and chair of WCE’s Diversity Committee, gave opening remarks at the event.

“As faculty, we often ask our students to reflect on their experiences, but how often do we take our own advice?” he asked. “The event today will give us an opportunity to reflect on the university experience through the experiences of our students.”

Five core topics were discussed at the event: political correctness, silencing techniques, privilege, underrepresentation and finding allies. The students also shared their ideas for next steps. Some suggestions were “to take this conversation outside of this room,” build relationships with people who are different from you, don’t avoid topics that are uncomfortable for you and choose your battles because not every one is worth a fight.

The Watson College of Education Diversity Committee plays an important role for the Watson College by serving as an advocacy and advisory group on issues of equity and diversity; providing advice and support for recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff; and by assisting the Watson College in identifying best practices and resources.

For more information about the committee, visit www.uncw.edu/ed/diversity.