DMCI Scholarship Recipient – Ashley Stevenson


My experience at RMASFAA was a lot more than what I expected and I got so much more out of it than I thought I would. Being one of the Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives scholarship recipients, I am so grateful to be able to attend the conference in Wichita and meet so many amazing people.

Attending this conference really helped me branch out and network with people from all over the region. Since the conference, I have been in contact with many conference attendees to help get ideas on how to make my position better. Without attending RMASFAA I don’t think I would have such a strong network of people within Higher Education.

I attended a lot of great classes but one of the classes that stood most out to me was the ‘Becoming a Director’ class.  This class really helped put my goals in perspective and gave me a checklist of things I need to do in order to become a Director. One of the main points that has stuck with me is when the presenter said ‘Do the most you can possible do to be an expert in your job, so when the time comes that a director positions opens, you are already prepared.’ This really helped align my career goals and encouraged me to become more of an expert in my position and within my office. So when the time comes, I am prepared to lead.

Another great class was by Billie Jo Hamilton on ‘What is Leadership’.  She really helped explain that not all leaders are made the same and she encouraged us to find our individual leadership skills. She helped us realize our strengths as leaders and how we can become great influencers in our positions. She also dived into the difference of being a leader vs. being a manager. Not that one is more important than the other, but both are needed for different situations.
Lastly, she really encouraged us to find our passions as leaders and utilize our strengths.

This conference really helped me realize that my job here at Utah Valley University, is a lot bigger than me.  There are so many people in the region who are willing to help me succeed and for that I am thankful.

I am so grateful to attend the Wichita Conference not only as a DCMI Scholarship Receipt but also as a member of the newest Leadership Pipeline Class of 2017-2018. I am excited to see where this new journey will take me.

See everyone at Summer Institute in 2018!

Ashley Stevenson - DMCI Recipient
Ashley Stevenson
Federal Work Study Program Coordinator
Utah Valley University

DMCI Conference Scholarship


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The DMCI Wichita Conference Scholarship application is now available!

The RMASFAA Diversity and Multicultural Initiative Committee (DMCI) would like to announce the opening of our Wichita Conference Scholarship application. This scholarship will help RMASFAA members pay for costs to attend the RMASFAA Fall Conference (October 15-18 in Wichita, KS).

The deadline to submit the application is August 11, 2017.

The scholarship is intended primarily for underrepresented communities, but please do not hesitate to apply should you be interested in advocating for the mission of the DMCI Committee.

You will find the scholarship application on the RMASFAA website under “Online Forms”.  Below is the link to the application:

2017 DMCI Wichita Conference Scholarship Application

Note:  You must be a current member to be considered for the scholarship, so please make certain that your payment is current.

If you have difficulty with the application process, please contact Manuel Gant at mgantbernal@fortlewis.edu.

 

Avoiding Microaggressions


Microaggressions are casual acts of degradation or exclusion. They happen almost every day to people who are different from the majority. The difference may be skin color, background, accent, religion, etc. Microaggressions normally occur verbally, during a conversation, and they can be fueled by a person’s own prejudices or ignorance.

There is a difference between a microaggression and being impolite. Microaggressions are frequently occurring expressions or behaviors that occur consistently to an individual while rudeness is a one-time event, most likely in a confrontation. Furthermore, microaggressions rarely go beyond a subtle unintended verbal aggression. When it escalates to a physical attack or an intentional verbal aggression, it is no longer a microaggression.

Microaggressors do not typically hold ill intentions yet they can still be harmful to the individual. I would like to demonstrate this by some situational examples:

  • Can I speak to a man?” – A male library patron looking for car repair books to a female librarian. A librarian does not have to be male (or know how to fix cars) to do the job of finding books. This an example of gender microaggression.
  • “Where are you from?” – A stranger waiting in line in a restaurant to another stranger when ordering food and hearing a different accent (either from another state or from another country). This is an example of language/nationality microaggression.
  • “You got a C- in Calculus? You are Asian, you should’ve gotten an A!” – A classmate to another classmate. Being from a certain race or region does not automatically make you an expert on a subject, nor should you be expected to be. This is an example of race microaggression.

Although these can be expressed in a comedic fashion, without the conscious intention to degrade or offend, they can still be offensive and harmful to the person receiving the question or comment.

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For example, the question “Where are you from?” could be appropriate to ask when you know the person or you have had some introductory conversation and you are genuinely interested in learning more about that person. However, it is a microaggression and completely rude to ask abruptly for no other reason than you heard a different accent. This implies the person is not from “here” and thereby excluding them from the community they belong to and may have lived in for years.

In the situation about the grade in Calculus, asking about a grade could be asked without involving race or background. Although this situation is the one that most likely could be interpreted as a joke, it is offensive to a person who may have tried their best but is not particularly skilled on the subject.

In my opinion, most of these situations can be easily avoided with courtesy, respect, and awareness of social and cultural differences. It is easy to fall on the mentality of “where I live everybody is like this”. The reality is that where you live is not the only place there is and there are a diversity of beliefs and cultural practices that make up our nation, institutions, and communities. Ask yourself if you would like to be constantly tagged as “X” or asked the same personal question without really knowing the person who is asking.

Avoiding stereotyping and microaggressions requires developing a genuine interest in, and empathy for others different from ourselves. Keeping an open mind, treating everyone with respect and accepting social and cultural differences will avoid uncomfortable situations at work and in your personal life. It will also make it easier for everybody to feel part of a community, regardless of their gender, race, religion, nationality, etc.

 

Manuel Gant
DMCI Chair

Manuel

DMCI Scholarship Application


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APPLY TODAY! . . . The DMCI Summer Institute Scholarship application is now available!

The RMASFAA Diversity and Multicultural Initiative Committee (DMCI) would like to announce the opening of our Summer Institute Scholarship application. This scholarship will help RMASFAA members pay for costs to attend the RMASFAA Summer Institute (June 11-16 in Golden, CO).

The deadline to submit the application is April 21, 2017.

The scholarship is intended primarily for underrepresented communities, but please do not hesitate to apply should you be interested in advocating for the mission of the DMCI Committee.

You will find the scholarship application on the RMASFAA website under “Online Forms”.  Below is the link to the application:

2017 DMCI Summer Institute Scholarship Application

Note:  You must be a current member to be considered for the scholarship, so please make certain that your payment is current.

If you have difficulty with the application process, please contact Manuel Gant at mgantbernal@fortlewis.edu.

Manuel Gant
DMCI Chair

Manuel