The Clark College Faculty Speaker Series showcases recent experiences that have enriched both the life and teaching of a Clark faculty member.
Faculty members share their developmental experiences with the college community – and members of the community at large – while addressing some of today’s most intriguing issues.
Established by Clark College with support from the Clark College Foundation, the series honors individual faculty members and celebrates academic excellence.
Winter 2014 – Habari gani? ("What's happening?")
Support for a diverse workforce through communities of practice
Feb. 13, 2014
In Swahili, the phrase "Habari gani?" means "What's happening?" It was a question asked by village elders to younger members of the community as a way to gauge how they were doing. The habari gani menta (literally, "the person who asks, 'What's happening?'" but often translated as "mentor") was charged with providing mentees with support to keep them from feeling disconnected.
In her Faculty Speaker Series presentation, Professor Debi Jenkins describes how many employees from historically disadvantaged communities feel disconnected from their workplaces, leading to challenges in employee retention - and how we each can become a habari gani menta to our coworkers to help overcome those feelings of disconnection, thereby fostering a workplace environment that truly honors and supports diversity.
Using current research and her own scholarship, Professor Jenkins creates a framework for supporting workplace diversity based on the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), Imani (Faith).
"My research focuses on higher education, but really these are practices that could be incorporated into any workplace interested in fostering diversity," says Jenkins. "I want people to ask themselves, 'What is their role as an individual to support a diverse workforce?'"
This event will be held on Thursday, February 13, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Gaiser Hall room 213 (the Ellis Dunn Community Room).
Individuals who need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College's Disability Support Services (DSS) Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-991-0901 (VP). The DSS office is located in room 137 in Clark's Gaiser Hall.
Spring 2014 – Borderlines: Political and Economic Differences between Nicaragua and Costa Rica
May 8, 2014
Costa Rica is one of the richest countries in Central America while its neighbor, Nicaragua, is one of the poorest. Costa Rica has a liberal democratic system, while Nicaragua is more authoritarian. What led these neighboring countries to develop so differently? Carlos Castro, professor of Sociology, will offer his interpretation of why two neighboring countries with strong cultural similarities can differ so dramatically. This event is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 8.