UGA group receives National Science Foundation grant to host

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will host a two-day national conference next spring that will focus on extending and expanding knowledge about the relationship between learning and diversity.

Faculty from the colleges of education and arts and sciences are collaborating in planning the conference titled, “The Intersection of Diversity and Learning,” scheduled to
be held March 31-April 1, 2006 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The conference is being funded by a $47,539 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The overarching goal of the conference is to generate knowledge about diversity learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Information
on effective strategies for teaching, learning and diversity will be disseminated throughout the symposium. The agenda will include keynote speakers, small group presentations, discussion and feedback sessions. Keynote speakers will be internationally recognized as emerging leaders or scholars in pre-K-12, higher education, workplace or community areas.

Goals of the conference include:
• teaching strategies for pre-K-12 education that will encourage girls and students of color to pursue STEM coursework;
• most effective practices for recruiting and retaining women and minority students in STEM majors and graduate school;
• organizational policies and practices that create inclusive climates for diversity within STEM professions; and
• strategies to employ technologies in order to create opportunities for community development, particularly in poor and minority communities.

The conference is expected to draw educators, researchers and student advocates for diversity in pre-K-12, higher education, workplace and community areas from across the nation.

“This conference will begin an interdisciplinary dialogue we need to have in order to move toward the establishment of a center here at UGA that will engage in research, and subsequently develop effective strategies for teaching, learning and diversity across the four context
areas,” said Jenny Penney Oliver, one of the conference planners and director of academic initiatives at the College of Education.

The grant team also includes UGA faculty members Kecia Thomas, of psychology; Janette Hill, of educational psychology and instructional technology; Robert Fecho, of language and literacy education; and Talmadge Guy of lifelong education, administration, and policy.