DCI: 2016-2017 Awards

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

DCI Grant Abstracts 2016-2017


I. Asian/ Asian American Educational Conference

Jungmin Kwon, Yeji Kim, and JungHyun Kim

Sponsors: Korean Graduate Student Association

Despite the large number of Asian and Asian American students at Teachers College, few efforts have been made to create an academic conference focusing on the educational experiences and voices of Asian and Asian Americans. The Asian/Asian American Educational Conference is an academic conference where students. Researchers, educators, and professionals can share their educational and teaching experiences and research on educational issues in Asia/ Asian American community.


II. Contributions of Indigenous Knowledge to Education: Responding to New Migration in New York City Schools (A Conference)

Regina Cortina and Amanda Earl

Sponsors: International and Transcultural Studies Department

The Contributions of Indigenous Knowledge to Education: Responding to New Migration in New York City Schools is a two day conference of academics, researchers, and students from Teachers College and wider NYC communities to learn and engage from conversation with indigenous leaders and educators who are wither from indigenous communities in Mexico or work closely with the communities from which many immigrants are entering the NYC public school system. The conference will host a series of panels of educators and academics working both in the US and Mexico.


III. Curriculum and Teaching Graduate Student Led-Conference

Sarah Van Den Berh & Dr. Haeny Yoon

Sponsor(s): C&T Student Advisory Council

The idea of the Graduate Student Led Conference (GSLC) arises from C&T’s spring 2016 ‘Creating Spaces for Diversity’ town hall, which is centered on the department’s Diversity Report and students’ lived experiences of diversity. The GSLC addresses multiple issues of diversity and community raised at those conversations and the subsequent conversations in Student Advisory Council, including 1) creating opportunities for student leadership and familiarization with the academic community norms to which all students have had access to; 2) making public advanced masters and doctoral student research that deals with issues of diversity and community; 3) creating spaces to promote the research of communities in particular who feel less represented in the academic discourse of C&T and education more broadly, including international students and teacher practitioners.

IV. Deaf Awareness Events

Rebecca Jennings and Maria Hartman

Sponsors: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

The Deaf Awareness initiative aims to educate members of the TC campus and broader public about topics surrounding the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. The planned events will focus on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a cultural minority. These events include: Religion in the Deaf Community which will discuss how being deaf has influenced the beliefs od Deaf people and how they are shared outside the Deaf community, Parenting a Deaf Child and Making which focuses on how the research and book of Laura Mauldin has impacted her own perspectives of educating Deaf children, and Noise in Silence which is a 19-minute film that immerses viewers into a completely Deaf world.


V. Deaf Music: Universal Design in the Classroom and Beyond

Hannah Ehrenberg & Dr. Julia Silvestri

Sponsor(s): Deaf Education Program-Health and Behavioral Studies Department (HBSE)

Deaf Music: Universal Design in the Classroom and Beyond, would build on the goals outlined in a previous Deaf music event at Teachers College by leading educators and musicians into the world of deaf music with the goal of collaborating on a project that underscores the principles of universal design to provide accessible musical education and produce accessible musical compositions. With a dual focus on education and production, the collaboration will explore Deaf culture and deaf education through the shared experience of music.


VI. A Discussion on the Medicalization of Mental Illness and its Effect on the Lives of People with Mental Illness

Dr. Helen Verdeli, Alaa Alhomaizi & Srishti Sardana

Sponsor(s): Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology

A Discussion on the Medicalization of Mental Illness and its Effect on the Lives of People with Mental Illness aims to bring together the TC community of graduate mental health students, professionals and educators, mental health professionals in the field, researchers, policymakers, members of the media and persons with lived experience to discuss effects of the biomedical model of mental illness. While the increases in research in epigenetics in psychiatry has benefited people with mental illness through the development of improved treatment modalities and nuanced, complex understanding of mental disorders, it inadvertently promoted a more deterministic and stigmatizing view of mental illness. Therefore, we aim to discuss in depth the advantages and disadvantages of assuming the medical model for the etiology of mental health diseases and the way it affects the lives of people with mental illnesses.


VII. 8th Annual Diversity in Research and Practice Conference

Andrew Mulinge & Brian Allen

Sponsor(s): Black Student Network

The Diversity in Research and Practice Conference is successfully entering its 8th year at Teachers College. The annual conference seeks to create a platform for sharing academic research that will impact and empower communities of color. Scholars invited to this conference will present original research papers, host roundtable discussions, and participate in symposia. There will be a keynote speaker and an esteemed panel selected by the conference committee. Each component seeks to provide attendees with exposure to current research in various disciplines dedicated to the advancement of minority and marginalized groups. A second and important goal of the DiRP Conference is to expose students interested in academic research to the conference format, and opportunities for networking so that they are prepared to thrive in settings of academic discourse.


VIII. Fracturing the Silence(s): Life Writing for Survival for Same-Gender Loving (SGL) African American Men

Dr. Janet Miller, M. Irene Oujo, Joyce Maxwell & John-Martin Green

Sponsor(s): Department of Arts and Humanities & English Education

The workshop Fracturing Silence(s): Life Writing for Survival for Same Gender Loving (SGL) African American Men will be a two-day event connecting same-gender loving men living within the Harlem community to the TC community. The initiative focuses on storytelling, life writing, memoir, memory and personal history as creative tools for empowerment and positive mental/emotional health. The workshop goals; are manifold; however, the primary goal is to launch a healing paradigm grounded in self-reclamation by creating safe spaces in which African American men articulate and share their stories about racialized identity, masculinity and sexuality.


IX. Intercultural Film

Lauren Norville and Portia Williams

Sponsors: Office of International Services

Intercultural Film event seeks to display the film The Dialogue (or known as Crossing Borders) and engage in meaningful dialogue between international and domestic students at Teachers College. The initiative aims to provide a safe space to discuss a range of potentially sensitive topics raised in the film, such as identity, cultural perceptions, and culture shock. There continues to be a gap between student views and experiences. This event hopes to not only take a step toward bridging the gap, but also allow participants to re-assess or re-think their place in the world.


X. Language that Labels! Deconstructing Negative Discourse Brown Bag Series

Martha St. Jean and Rashida Moore

Sponsors: Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology

Within urban education, words and phrases including trouble-maker, at-risk, defiant, have been used to define and explain the experiences of certain boys and girls, thereby affecting and determining their treatment in schools. Instead of identifying students by their names, they are perceived through behavior. This space is not the final solution but will play an important role in transforming how educators of students of color, within urban spaces, interact with and address the politics of schooling. Brown Bags are an informally positive method of disruption. The space will be used to address the negative schema developed through the years by students about success, failure, and school, with the goal of what educators can do to initiate formal and lasting change.


XI. Leadership Salon

Chloe Wright & Jumpei Kato

Sponsor(s): Organizational Leadership Association

This event is composed of panel discussions and round table activities hosted by students or alumni from different programs with different backgrounds and will end with a group discussion with the facilitator(s). Through communication, it is our hope that the attendees will gain an opportunity to exchange ideas with students from variety of programs on the topic of leadership and what that looks like in a variety of fields. Leadership is one of the core values most of our academic programs promote. However, there are very few opportunities to cross-pollinate skills, and knowledge across departments. It is our hope to create a community space where together, faculty and students and discusses leadership and what leaderships looks like in a diverse community.


XII. Mapping LGBT History

Dr. Melanie Brewster & Kenya Crawford

Sponsor(s): The Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project 

Mapping LGBT History will be an event that invites historians from the NYC LGBT historic Sites Project to come to Teachers College and lead a lecture educating the audience on the history of the LGBT community specifically within NYC. After the lecture, there will be a walking tour of sites on campus, the surrounding Upper West Side, and within the Harlem community. Through collaboration with the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Program we hope to promote diversity regarding the LGBT history and enhance community ties. The event’s goal is to create a cohesive community amongst the surrounding communities while simultaneously educating people about NYC LGBT historic sites.



XIII. Martin Luther King Speech Competition

Lema Moliga & Jacki Tuliau

Sponsor(s): Office of Residential Services & Student Development and Activities

The Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Competition is an opportunity for TC students to share their passion or interest in social justice issues with the TC community. Students will have the opportunity to submit speeches related to a social justice issue that they are passionate about and a committee will narrow down the submissions and select 4 finalists to recite their speeches at the speech competition. Speeches must be 5 minutes or less and must stick to the theme of “Keeping the Dream Alive.” Students will be able to share personal experiences, things they’ve learned in the classroom or issues/topics that are close to their hearts. 


XIV. MASCLAB Participatory Screening Series

Joe Riina-Ferrie, Cristina Salazar Gallardo & Lisa Mertes Sepahi

Sponsor(s): Media and Social Change Lab

The Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab) participatory screening initiative is our way of putting into action the idea that engagement with media products can be more than a passive act of receiving information. Rather, we aim to use three screenings to intentionally build connections between the community participants that both produce and watch media. We will use these film screenings to anchor events that invite people to use what they have learned and seen to engage across institutional boundaries on the social issues presented: immigrant rights, foster care, and gun violence. This series invites people to be active participants in a set of ideas, conditions, and challenges--to accept roles as not just attendees of a series but as co-inquirers and citizens. This supports a focus on diversity and community by bringing together many interested parties through the use of a common media artifact to start conversation, allowing for common ground outside of our usual patterns and partners of discourse.


XV. Mind-Body Wellness for Special Needs

Shivangi Khatter, Saloni Dev & Jin Zhao

Sponsor(s): Neurodiversity & Student Development and Activities

Neurodiversity is the philosophy and civil rights movement that advocates the fact that the conditions identified as developmental disabilities (e.g. Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD) are natural expressions of the human brain and mind. Akin to the intersectional identities based on sex, gender, race, ethnicity. These conditions can be considered as different cognitive orientations. People diagnosed with such conditions often have a remarkable talent in certain areas, however, those exceptionalities are often overlooked, and said people are stigmatized for not conforming to the typical majority. Nevertheless, a healthy society needs all kinds of minds to work together, as well as educators who are versatile to learning differences. NeurodiversiTC aims to reach students, faculty, and staff across many departments to shift the paradigm on curricula, pedagogy, assessment and policy. The motto behind our work is: “Different, not less”- Temple Grandin. 


XVI. Queer TC Week

Jason Wang & Darius Brown

Sponsor(s): Queer TC

Queer Week (Q-llage) brings together scholars, citizens, members of the media, and civic figures to discuss the real life issues faced by members of the LGBTQ community. Participants will engage in thoughtful, critical discussion about a variety of topics spanning the LGBTQ spectrum. There will be up to 5 sessions over the course of the week, which will address intersectionality between Queer TC and other collaborating student groups: Black Student Network, the Coalition of Latin@ Scholars, the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project, and Peace Education Network.


XVII. SIEats Dinner

Carihanna Morrison, Olivia Pan & Elizabeth Park

Sponsor(s): Society for International Education

After conducting a survey of the Teachers College community, SIR found that there is a strong desire for more social events and opportunities to learn more about the community at TC. The SIEats Dinner provides that opportunity to bring the Teachers College community together, specifically to celebrate our diversity with a community dinner sponsored by several cultural organizations. In Everett Lounge, we will provide student organizations and independent groups of students with individual tables where they will bring two to three cultural dishes (one grain-bases and one meat-based) and music. In the center of the room will be several round tables to seat our 40-50 expected participants. Students and faculty will be able to eat, connect, and learn about the home and culture of a few of their classmates at these tables. These conversations will also be facilitated and nurtured by discussion and art activities. We expect at least five organizations to participate and two student groups representing Jamaica and China have been confirmed.


XVIII. Stories from an American Institution

Dr. Brandon Velez, Sarah AlSaidi & Dalal Alhomaizi

Sponsor(s): Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology

This initiative is a first time event for the TC community. This is a unique opportunity to engage in a multidisciplinary conversation on mental health care and policy in America with Lucy Winer, a person with lived experience of mental illness. The film reveals the painful legacy of our state hospital system and the crisis left by its demise. The screening of Kings Park will bring a new lens to discussions on public mental health care and stigma. We aim to provide students and the TC community with a safe space to discuss stigma and mental health care as well as bring awareness to the issues impacting our country’s mental health care system.


XIX. Strengthening Community Collaborations around Rights and Justice: Non-profit Organizations, Academia and the Community in Dialogue

Dr. S. Garnett Russell, Fatima Abdelwahab & Sandra Sirota

Sponsor(s): George Clement Bond Center for African Education

In the 2017 spring semester, the George Clement Bond Center for African Education will launch an event series at Teachers College including presentations, panels, and workshops that bring together the Teachers College community, the greater New York City communities, and the global communities that are engaged in work, research and activism related to education, rights and social justice in Africa and the African diaspora. Our goal is to foster meaningful dialogue and collaboration around the pressing issues facing these communities today. Racial discrimination has been brought to the forefront locally, nationally, and internationally around issues such as police and community relations and unequal access to education. The Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and Fees Must Fall movement in South Africa are just two examples of a coordinated response to this discrimination. The Center hopes that by bringing different actors seeking to end discrimination into dialogue they may work in collaboration towards justice and equity.


XX. A Workshop on Revolutionary Love: Exploring Individual & Collective Understandings of Race, Culture, and Self within Education

Moira Pirsch and Christina Chaise

Sponsors: Hip Hop Pedagogy and Research Group & Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME)

This is an interactive workshop that will offer not only opportunities for participants to experience these creative workshop styles, but also to be able to apply their own contexts to utilizing these contexts. This workshop will expand beyond the walls of the room it is housed in, incorporating the use of social media and sharing/exploring ideas with a global community online through twitter and facebook. The workshop will utilize contemporary Hip Hop cultural practices, small groups, interactive exercises and creative prompts that lead the audience to collectively brainstorm.