Big Response For NMSU Las Cruces Diversity Conference

Mar 6, 2012

New Mexico State University is hosting a campus wide conference aimed at discussing diversity issues in higher education using cutting-edge research and best practices. Originally slotted to hold 75 participants, organizers were forced to close registration recently after an overwhelming 205 people signed up for the event. 

"Research, Pedagogy and Other Institutional Practices: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Diversity in Higher Education," begins from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 8, and continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 9. Both days of the event will be held at the N.M. Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, with a reception scheduled for Friday immediately following the event.

"This overwhelming response to our diversity conference suggests that at all stakeholder levels there is a need and desire to continue dialogue and action on diversity issues at NMSU," said Julie Steinkopf Rice, an assistant professor of sociology at NMSU and one of the organizers of the event. "Our participants represent graduate students, researchers, teachers, staff and administrators, all of whom are committed to advancing issues of diversity and inclusive excellence at NMSU."

The conference aims to provide faculty, staff, graduate students and administrators at New Mexico State University and its four community colleges with opportunities to articulate, listen to, and reflect on research, pedagogies and other institutional practices related to diversity in higher education.

Delivering keynote addresses are Eileen M. Trauth, a professor of information sciences and technology with an affiliate professorship in women's studies at Pennsylvania State University, from 1-2 p.m. Thursday, March 8, and Northern New Mexico College President Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Friday, March 9.

Trauth's research is concerned with societal, cultural and organizational influences on informational technology and the information technology professions with a special focus on gender diversity and social inclusion. She is particularly interested in the linkages between diversity, social inclusion and economic development.

She has published nine books and over 150 scholarly papers on her work on gender and social inclusion, the information economy, qualitative research methods, critical theory, global informatics, information policy, information management, telecommunications policy and information systems skills.

Barcelo took office in 2010 as president of Northern New Mexico College (NNMC). Prior to her appointment, she served as vice president and vice provost for equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from Chico State College, her Master of Arts degree in recreational education from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. in higher education administration.

Co-organizing the event are Vickie Aldrich, a professor of mathematics and physical sciences at Dona Ana Community College; Azaheh Osanloo, as assistant professor in the Department of Educational Management and Development at NMSU; Julie Steinkopf Rice, an assistant professor of sociology at NMSU; NMSU English Department Head Monica Torres; and Judith Weisinger, an associate professor in the Department of Management at NMSU.

"NMSU is a higher education institution entrusted with helping to shape our society's citizens and future leaders, and thus it is imperative that we prepare these students for the realities of working, living and giving in an increasingly multicultural society," said Judith Weisinger, one of the organizers of the event.

The conference is made possible by an I.D.E.A. grant from the NMSU Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. For more information visit the conference website