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Reimagining Social Identities: Utilizing Intersectionality to Create Inclusive Spaces (RE)IMAGINE

Amber Benton (she/her/hers), Director of Diversity Programs and Student Engagement

Erie Room

In this session I will lead the attendees in a social identity wheel exercise to explore their own identity. Next, we will discuss how these identities intersect and compare this to Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw's concept of intersectionality. Finally, we will have a dialogue on how to be conscious of and helpful to people with multiple, marginalized identities.

More on Amber:

Amber Benton is an experienced higher education professional interested in exploring the intersections of identity and social inequities facing underrepresented students. She currently serves as the Director of Diversity Programming and Student Engagement in James Madison College. In addition, she is a PhD candidate for the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) program in the College of Education.

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For Graduate Students By Graduate Students: The Leadership Institute as a Graduate Student-Led Community of Practice  (RE)IMAGINE

Makena Neal (she/her/hers) & Madeline Shellgren (she/her/hers), Co-Coordinators, Leadership Institute

MSU Room

Too often graduate students are an under-visibilized population in higher education, bridging both student and professional worlds. This session will utilize a case of a leadership community of practice that was designed and facilitated for graduate students, by graduate students in an effort to create a structured, collaborative space to grow in and engage with action, change-oriented leadership at our institution. Our case will be utilized to discuss the strengths and opportunities of this model, and participants will have the opportunity to engage in facilitated activities that aim to help them think critically about graduate student capacity and development as leaders.

More on Makena:

Makena is a doctoral candidate in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program at MSU where she focuses her scholarship on social learning and communal knowledge. In addition to her role as a student, Makena is the co-coordinator of the Graduate School's Leadership Institute and a Lead Ambassador for the #iteachmsu Commons. 

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The World Needs You to Lead as You (RE)CENTER

Sarah Schultz (she/her/hers), Director, My Spartan Story,  Undergraduate Education

Superior Room

Today more than ever, students need to lead from the passion and talents they possess. This session will help students explore who they are as a leader through discussion and interaction around the Student Leadership Challenge tenets. 

More on Sarah:

Sarah Schultz serves as the Director of My Spartan Story, where she oversees Michigan State University’s new co-curricular record. In her role, Sarah works with the MSU community to help capture the out-of-class experience of undergraduate students through My Spartan Story, allowing students to discover opportunities, engage in Spartan experiences, and reflect on their learning. Sarah has dedicated her career to help students grow and transform through co-curricular experiences to positively shape their college experience and life beyond graduation. 

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Groups on Campus Engaged in Gender Equity RESIST

Women's Council, DreaMSU, PERIOD. MSU, Mission Menstruation

Introduction by Gabby Wahla (she, her, hers), Graduate Assistant, Women’s Student Services

Huron Room

Has WILD inspired you to get involved in initiatives to create gender equity at MSU and beyond? In this session you’ll learn about why getting involved and doing something is an important way to engage in social change. Then, student leaders from four different student organizations on campus will share a bit about their missions and visions for change.

More on Gabby:

Gabby came to MSU to get her Master’s in Student Affairs Administration to work toward her goal of educational equity and social justice. She is very passionate about this position because it allows her to work toward her goal of social justice in higher education through an intersectional feminist lens. She grew up in Metro Detroit then came to Michigan State for her undergraduate degree in the Residential College in the Arts & Humanities. After graduating in 2017, she moved to Kalamazoo to be a college adviser in a high school. She found a passion for equity in access to higher education, so she came back to Michigan State University to get her Master’s in Student Affairs Administration.


"Leaning In" as Wonder Women: Complicating Popular-Culture Images of Women in Leadership (RE)IMAGINE

Dr. Heather Shea (she, her, hers), Director, Women’s Student Services

Ontario Room

In this session, we will explore how books, films, and other media from popular culture influences women’s experiences in leadership and perspectives on the barriers women face in leadership roles. Participants will discuss how these media influences self-concept and how they might see themselves in leadership roles. In addition, we will also provide tools to investigate and become critical consumers of these images in media.

More on Heather:

Dr. Heather Shea (she, her, hers) is the director of Women*s Student Services at MSU. She is a transplant to the midwest: she grew up in the western U.S. and came to MSU in 2013 and recently completed her PhD at MSU in higher education administration. In addition to working in Women’s Student Services, each summer she leads an undergraduate education abroad program for students in teacher education to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France.

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