Train & Learn

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Professional Development Opportunities

Online Training Modules

LGBTQ on Campus Training
Learn how to create a more supportive campus culture for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) students in line with our campus non-discrimination policy and Statement of Community. After completing the simulation, employees will be better equipped to: effectively manage classroom discussions in which discriminatory language is used; conduct an effective, supportive conversation with a student who discloses an LGBTQ identity; and identify when a student may be distressed and connect them to resources and support services. (Note: This online training replaces some previous Safe Zone trainings.)


Mental Health Training
Learn to recognize when a student is exhibiting signs of psychological distress, and manage a conversation with the goal of connecting them with the appropriate campus support service. After completing the simulation, employees will be better equipped to: identify warning signs; manage conversations; develop awareness of negative stereotypes and misconceptions about mental distress; understand a school’s process for student referral and mental health support services.

Learning Circles at Allegheny

Allegheny College’s Office for Diversity & Inclusion, in conjunction with the Provost’s Office, invites continuing faculty and educational support staff to collaborate on courses that meet the new distribution requirements. Learning Circles are lunchtime series designed to support new pedagogical strategies. They meet six times a semester and are co-facilitated by faculty with expertise in the areas. All Learning Circles welcome colleagues from humanities, social and natural/physical sciences. The lunch series will culminate in a 4 hour workshop designed to help the group produce specific teaching resources and activities. Participation is capped at 10 participants. Lunch is provided, and all participating faculty will receive a formal letter from the Office for Diversity & Inclusion, recognizing this service to advance the strategic priority of the college, to be placed in their personnel files. It is anticipated that the learning circles will continue annually. If you are interested in participating, or would like to propose a future Learning Circle, please contact the Office of the Provost.


Learning Circle: Power, Privilege & Difference (PPD)
A lunchtime learning series to help develop pedagogical strategies for courses meeting the Power, Privilege, and Difference distribution requirement. This circle is co-facilitated by Courtney Bailey (Associate Professor, Comm. Arts) and John Christie-Searles (Assistant Professor, Political Science/Black Studies). The Learning Circle will focus on pedagogy-based topics such as creating an inclusive learning culture, developing a shared vocabulary for addressing issues of diversity, intersectionality, and privilege, and working for social justice on campus. These discussions will draw from ongoing national debates, classroom experiences, and targeted readings, with the goal of generating concrete and pragmatic group outcomes.


Learning Circle: International and Intercultural Perspectives (IIP)
A lunchtime learning series to help develop pedagogical strategies for courses meeting International & Intercultural Perspectives distribution requirement. This Circle is co-facilitated by Ishita Sinha Roy (Associate Professor, Comm. Arts) and Hoa Nguyen (Assistant Professor, Economics). IIP Learning Circle dialogues will focus on translating the criteria into pedagogical strategies and practices. The criteria include creating Global Self-Awareness, encouraging Multiple Perspective Taking, facilitating Cultural Diversity and Personal and Social Responsibility, studying Global Systems, and testing Knowledge Application in tackling global issues. These discussions will draw from ongoing national debates, classroom experiences, and targeted readings, with the goal of generating concrete and pragmatic group outcomes.

Sustained Dialogue Institutes (SDI)

“Overcoming Challenging Moments in the Classroom”
This workshop is an opportunity for faculty to learn inclusive classroom strategies, dive into several aspects of identity, and learn to manage difficult moments in the classroom related to a variety of social identities. (This year will build on last year’s workshop “Faculty as Skilled Facilitator”. However, attendance at the previous workshop is not required.)

The workshop is being developed by Alice Deckert, Ishita Sinha Roy, and Ande Diaz. The workshop will be will be conducted by a consultant from the Sustained Dialogue Institute.


“Thriving in a changing workplace: skills to navigate intention, impact, and cross-cultural engagement.”
This interactive workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to learn tools for managing communications effectively to insure an Allegheny community that welcomes all backgrounds. Included in the workshop we will practice various effective communication strategies and problem solving skills. The workshop is designed to support Allegheny’s hourly and salaried staff to:

  • Consider ways that social identity and culture impact our work
  • Increase intercultural awareness and practice skills that apply in the workplace
  • Learn conflict de-escalation strategies and communication skills
  • Explore interaction styles, and more!

Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

This national training model has been shown to increase cultural competencies regarding a wide range of domestic and international cultures. Participants receive a brief orientation followed by an online survey. The participate is provided with a personalized report as well as a one-hour confidential coaching session to create their own individualized Intercultural Development Plan. Allegheny holds regular Orientation Sessions. Requests for IDI assessments and intercultural development plans may be directed to the Office of the Provost or the Office of Human Resources.


Diversity in the Curriculum

Black Popular Culture – Black Studies

An examination of African American experience(s) through the lens of mainstream popular culture. We investigate sociological, historical, and theoretical perspectives for critiquing and examining topics related to African American popular culture(s), including film, music (Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, and Hip Hop), television, comedy, and minstrelsy. Students learn the ways that pop culture constructs cultural identities and stereotypes in relation to the unique contributions made by Black Americans. Students engage in community-based research where they question the value of Black Popular Culture at the college and in the city of Meadville.

Media and Identity – Communication Arts

Advanced reading in theories of media and identity. Students explore the ways in which media texts, industries, and practices work to both construct and challenge our notions of identity. Readings may focus on issues of nationalism, globalism, race, class, gender, sexuality, ritual, or other elements of media identities.

Introduction to Community and Justice Studies – Community and Justice Studies

An introduction to the theories and ethics of social action, with a focus on community service. Theories of social dynamics and ethical systems are explored as a way to understand how social action can be useful to a community as well as the problems that can arise in implementing social action plans. Students participate in a service-learning component, which they reflect upon in writing and discussion, so as to better understand how the theories apply and where they may fall short. Attention is also paid to the ways in which class, race and gender shape the processes and outcomes of social action.

Poverty, Inequality, and Efficiency – Economics

An examination of the characteristics of the poor in the United States and around the world. Current measures of poverty and inequality are examined in context of the trends in poverty over time and the causes of poverty and income inequality. The fundamental efficiency and equity concerns of social welfare policy are investigated. The class examines other key topics using real world examples, such as poverty and race, gender, immigration, education, and international development strategies on extreme poverty.

Literatures of Diversity in North America – English

A concentrated exploration of literary, cultural, and theoretical traditions in English or translation that exist alongside the dominant Euro-U.S. tradition. Literatures may include Asian American, Native American, Caribbean, Border, LBGTQ, Disability, and Working Class literatures.

Environmental Justice – Environmental Science

An examination of environmental issues and their implications for social justice. Topics include the history of the environmental justice movement, current conceptions and definitions of environmental justice, and case study applications. We draw from contemporary and historical case studies such as e-waste, industrial pollution, public transit, war and sustainable development. Emphasis is placed on student-led discussions of roles that gender, race, ethnicity and class play in environmentalism and environmental controversies.

The South in American History – History

A topical survey of major historical issues in the history of the American South from first settlement to the present day. Students focus on race relations, including slavery, segregation, and civil rights; the formation and persistence of a regional identity, including its relationship to national and other regional identities; and the evolution of Southern society, economics, politics, and culture.

Oppression and Liberation – Philosophy & Religious Studies

An overview of analyses of oppression and theories of liberation generated by groups traditionally marginalized in the United States.

Government and Politics of China – Political Science

An overview of government and politics in 20th-century China, with a stress on state-society relations. A major focus of the course rests on the post-Mao period and questions such as economic reform and the Tiananmen Square student movement and prospects for democracy. Other topics will include women’s issues, population and environmental issues, and China’s
foreign relations. The course draws on autobiographical, journalistic, and cinematic sources as well as text-based readings to chart Chinese politics in this century.

Psychology of Prejudice – Psychology

An overview of the theoretical perspectives, research methods, empirical findings, and practical applications of psychological research on prejudice, stigma, and intergroup relations. Topics include, but are not limited to, the development of prejudice among children, the role of cognitive, social, personality, and motivation factors in maintaining prejudice and stigma, the psychological consequences of prejudice and stigma, and strategies for reducing prejudice, stigma, and intergroup conflict. This course satisfies the structures of power and privilege (SPP) requirement for Psychology majors.

Islam: Faith, History, and Culture – Philosophy & Religious Studies

An introduction to the Islamic faith through its history and its practices from the seventh century to the present. We consider the way Islam has adapted and changed through time and over different regions, balancing universal aspects of the faith with the particular adaptations encountered in the lived experience of Muslims. Using a variety of media, including music and art, we examine the voices of Arabic-speaking Muslims (in translation), but also Persian, Turkic, and American expressions. This course counts toward the International Studies major.

Queer Lives – Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

An exploration of a broad range of queer issues and the lived experiences of sexual minorities in the United States. Students examine major events in the history and social construction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and queer communities, with the goal of understanding the role of power and privilege in constructing sexual identities. We consider how queer lives have been inflected by differences like race and class and how the struggles of sexual minorities have shaped larger cultural discourses around family, intimacy, law, and social change.