Women & Minority, Artists & Scholar Lecture: Saving Muslim Women

When I parked my CR-V on the side of Wall St. this afternoon at 4:55, I had no idea that by 6:55, I’d be sitting in Torgerson 3100 awaiting a lecture from Dr. Juliane Hammer, a specialist in Islamic studies and religion in the Americas from UNC Chapel Hill.  At the present moment, I sat, and reconsidered my parking choice. Although it was in a convenient location, I cringed while I took in the scene of broken branches that lay scattered all around the yard next to me. The oak I was parked under clearly lost them in the recent … Continue Reading →

Proud for Progress; Pressing on for Inclusion & Change

It’s HokiePRIDE week here at Virginia Tech and I am looking forward to participating when I can during this jam-packed week of activities and engagement at the university. This week, and in recent weeks, I’ve been thinking very hard about inclusion and acceptance. (Radical acceptance, really.) I am writing this post this week because I wanted to share some of the experiences of the people where I am from and to show a glimpse of the climate in Mississippi towards equal rights. I haven’t always been in places where the community was so supportive of and encouraging to people who … Continue Reading →

“The Blog” as a living, breathing, evolving body of work

The featured image is of saucer magnolias blossoming in front of Burruss Hall. Like these blossoms that are finally coming into their season, we graduate students are future faculty and we are beginning to come into our own as well. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the role of a blog is to academia. In this graduate class, like many others across Tech’s campus, blogging is a requirement for the course. Professors point to the blog as a space for sharing ideas, for collaboration, for practicing writing, and for developing a digital presence–kind of like a next generation CV … Continue Reading →

Reconciling Privilege in the Academy

I was thinking about my post after I published it yesterday and I wanted to add just one thing to put it all in context. My approach to blogging (since VT) has been to do the readings FIRST and then look at the Prompt so that I am able to form my own ideas before I look at the issues through the lens provided by the Prompt. So, with that in mind, I think you can better understand the frame of mind I was in while creating this piece of writing. This week, we were assigned two readings. The first, … Continue Reading →

Seeking Knowledge on Diversity & Inclusion

I’m taking a course this semester called Diversity for Global Society. It is part of the Virginia Tech Graduate School’s Transformative Graduate Education Initiative and this course is designed to introduce students to concepts in diversity, inclusion, and equity and how they relate to higher education–both here at Virginia Tech and from a global perspective. The environment in which a person grows up and the culture experienced therein results in many underlying assumptions, misconceptions, and biases that influence the way a person experiences the present. This background often influences a person’s experience of diversity, inclusion, race/racism, class, economy, and equity. In this class, … Continue Reading →

Introductions from a Global Diversity & Community Perspective

I’m doing this a little bit out of order. Ideally, I would have written a little bit about what I’m doing with Diversity for Global Society before my first post, to give it a little context, but that blog post is still in draft form. Anyway, below is my response to the course’s first blog prompt. It was written after I had to respond to a series of deep-thinking questions about who I am, what bothers me, where I come from, what my goals, dreams, and aspirations are. It was a nice lead into thinking about what to write for this … Continue Reading →