“Doing the Work in Uncertain Times: Navigating Current Challenges and Opportunities to Transform Institutional Culture and Support Students” 


Wednesday, June 21st

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Informal Opening Reception and Dinner (refreshments and heavy appetizers at the on-campus home of vice president Eric Estes, 38 Charlesfield Street)

Welcoming Remarks by Tricia L. Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, and Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America


Thursday, June 22nd

8:15 – 9:00 a.m.  Buffet Breakfast (Faculty Club)

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.  Welcome from CHAS Steering Board

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Panel and Discussion, “Faculty and Curricular Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives”


Liza Cariaga-Lo, Senior Advisor to the Provost for Academic Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Brown University
Robbin Chapman, Associate Provost, Academic Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and Lecturer of Education, Wellesley College
Ambereen Dadabhoy, a professor of literature at Harvey Mudd College
Dana Hamdan, Associate Dean of Students, Oberlin College and Conservatory

Moderator:  Miriam Feldblum, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, and Professor of Politics, Pomona College, and CHAS Steering Board Member

10:45 – 12:00 p.m.  Nancy Khalek, Talk and Discussion “Negotiating Political Climate and Student Identity: Perspectives from the Classroom”

Nancy Khalek is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and specializes in Late Antiquity and early Islam. She received her Ph.D. in history from Princeton University in 2006. In addition to her focus on the formative period of Islamic history, other interests include hagiography and historiography in the Byzantine and Islamic worlds, relic and saint veneration, Christian-Muslim dialogue, and the relationship of material culture to religious life. Professor Khalek has conducted archaeological and ethnographic field work in Jordan, Syria, Greece and Turkey. Her first book is entitled Damascus after the Muslim Conquest: Text and Image in Early Islam (Oxford University Press, 2011), and she has both published and forthcoming articles in a number of scholarly journals including the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Der Islam, and the Dumbarton Oaks Papers, among others. She is currently researching the hagiography, biography and material culture related to the Companions of Muhammad in the context of claims to orthodoxy and authority in medieval Islam.

At Brown, Professor Khalek has connections and affiliations with several departments and programs, including the Political Theory Project, the Programs in Medieval Studies and Middle East Studies, The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, and the Department of History.

12:15 – 1:45 p.m.  Lunch and Discussion “CHAS Matters”

We encourage all participants to attend an update on current and future planning and opportunities. Announcement of new steering board members.

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.  Panel and Discussion, “Navigating the Center: Multicultural Center and Diversity Staff Discuss Being Visible, Valuable, and Vulnerable on Campus”


Toni Myers, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and Assistant Dean of Students, Oberlin College
Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Assistant Dean of Students for Multicultural Programs and Services, SUNY Geneseo
Joshua Segui, Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color, Brown University

Moderator:  Ed Pittman, Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life and Diversity, Vassar College, and CHAS Steering Board Member

3:30 – 4:45 p.m.  Sue Layden, Talk and Discussion “Using Campus Climate Data to Create Positive Spaces for Belonging and Learning about Difference”

Susan Layden is the Research Analyst for Enrollment, Retention and Achievement at Skidmore College; she also teaches in the departments of Anthropology and IGR. Before taking on this role, she was the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Skidmore College, with responsibility for both Student Academic Services (SAS) and the Skidmore College Opportunity Program (OP). Under Sue’s guidance, the Opportunity Program at Skidmore received national recognition for its emphasis on the access and high academic achievement for first-generation under-served students in higher education. Sue’s Ph.D. is in literacy education, with a focus on reading/literacy, anthropology in education and academic identities. Before coming to Skidmore, she taught in the Schenectady City School District, where she was also responsible for writing grant applications for creating a model educational program for at-risk high school students in the public schools (G.E. Scholars Program) and to support programs for young adults transitioning back to school and work from Division for Youth facilities. Sue also serves as a CHAS Steering Board Member.

She will use three cycles of survey data (2004, 2009, 2014) collected from students at CHAS institutions.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Reception and Dinner (Sayles Hall)

Friday, June 23rd

8:15 – 9:00 a.m.  Buffet Breakfast (Faculty Club)

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.  Panel and Discussion, “First Generation College and Low Income Student Initiatives”


Julio Reyes, Program Director of the First Generation College Low-Income Student Center, Brown University
Rachel Edens, Assistant Dean and Advisor to First Gen and Low Income Students, Dartmouth University
Christine de Denus, Director of the First Gen Initiative and Associate Professor of Chemistry, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Jennifer Baszile, Director of Student Success and Interim Director of Career Development, Trinity College

Moderator:  John F. McKnight, Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, Connecticut College, and CHAS Steering Board Member

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.  Kevin Escudero, Talk and Discussion “Institutionalizing Support for Undocumented and DACA Students”

Kevin Escudero is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies and in Fall 2017 will begin his appointment as Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. He is also Special Advisor to the Provost on Undocumented and DACA Students. His book manuscript, “Organizing While Undocumented,” is a multi-sited ethnography focusing on the political activism of Asian and Latina/o undocumented immigrant youth, specifically instances of racial/ethnic coalition building and the use of the law as a tool for social movement organizing in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City.

Professor Escudero received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a M.S.L. from Yale Law School. Previously he was a Visiting Research Scholar at the American Bar Foundation, Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation Fellow in Latina/o Studies and Assistant Director of the Mellon Mays and Alison Davis Summer Research Colloquium at Williams College. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, UC-MEXUS Institute and U.C. Berkeley Center for Law and Society.

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.  Lunch and Discussion “Proactive Planning for the Fall Semester on Our Campuses”

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.  Brown Campus Tour by student leaders

The resistance tour is a way students teach the history of activism at Brown to their fellow students especially first years.


2:15 – 2:45 p.m.  Wrap Up