Difficult Dialogues Training Program to Be Offered Again for IUP Employees

Posted on 1/30/2019 10:50:41 AM

Guest speaker Libby Roderick will conduct a two-day training on “Difficult Dialogues” for interested faculty and staff on Thursday and Friday, February 28 and March 1, 2019. This interactive workshop will be held in the HUB Ohio Room from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

It is not necessary for participants to be present for the full program; participants can participate as their schedules permit, either for one day only or for partial day or days. Lunch will be offered to participants who are attending the program over the lunch hour.

This is Roderick’s second visit to campus this academic year, and she will duplicate the training presentation given in December, for those who were not able to attend.    

Libby RoderickRoderick serves as director of the Difficult Dialogues Initiative and associate director of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and as vice chair of the Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center. She works with faculty across the United States and in South Africa to increase their capacity to effectively conduct difficult dialogues in higher education, and to apply indigenous ways of teaching and learning. She is also an internationally recognized and award-winning singer/songwriter and recording artist. 

If interested in participating in this workshop, registration is requested and can be made to social-equity@iup.edu

More than 60 people–a mixture of faculty and staff–attended the December training at IUP.

Gwen Torges, Department of Political Science, has already seen a positive impact on her teaching because of the training she received in the program.

“One of my classes includes many class discussions involving controversial topics,” Torges said. “I had the class develop a set of class discussion guidelines that we’re going to use throughout the semester – similar to the exercise we did with Libby.

“I was delighted, and a bit surprised, by how engaged the students were and how thoughtful the guidelines they wrote are. One of the three small groups even had a suggested guideline for the course instructor (i.e., me) that will be included in the final set of guidelines.

“The students were particularly excited about the use of the ‘oops’ and ‘ouch’ technique that Libby described.  The outcome exceeded my expectations, and I was especially impressed by how quickly this exercise seemed to break the ice and bond the students. Though only the second class of the semester, the level of comfort and chattiness among the students was similar to what usually takes half a semester to develop.”

Office of Social Equity