Teaching Diversity: 
Challenges and Complexities, Identities and Integrity

147 Practical Tips for Teaching Diversity


William M. Timpson
Professor, School of Education

After finishing my bachelors degree in American History at Harvard University in 1968, I spent four years teaching junior and senior high school students in inner-city Cleveland. I moved on to complete a doctorate in Education Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1976 I have taught at Colorado State University (CSU), although a four year leave of absence allowed me two years as Director of the Center for Teaching at University of California, Santa Cruz, and two more years at the Tertiary Education Institute at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. At CSU, I have routinely taught courses on diversity and have infused diversity content into my other courses.

Raymond Yang
Professor, Department of Psychology

I grew up in Hawaii, where my grandparents had once emigrated to work on the sugar plantations. I received an education in developmental psychology and have since studied infants, elementary-age children, and at-risk youths. My research has dealt with abusive families, juveniles in adult prisons, and college-age minority studentsí adaptation to the challenges of university life. I have taught on six campuses, including Cornell University, the University of Georgia, Northern Illinois University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Hawaii. I am currently professor of Human Development and Psychology at CSU. I would like to thank Jill Kreutzer for her helpful comments after reading drafts of my chapter.

Evelinn A. Borrayo
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

I was born in Guatemala City and moved with my family to the U.S. when I was eight years old. I learned English as an elementary school student in Los Angeles. After returning to Guatemala for high school, I won a scholarship to the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas, where I earned my undergraduate degree. I received masters and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas and have post-doctoral training in gerontology from the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging (FPECA). I continue to be an Associate Researcher and collaborate with FPECA in conducting policy research. I hold a tenure-track faculty appointment at CSU, where I teach graduate courses in health psychology, ethnic minority psychology, and cultural diversity psychology.

Silvia Sara Canetto
Professor, Department of Psychology

I was born and raised in Italy, and after gaining a doctorate in Experimental Psychology at the University of Padova, I spent four years in Jerusalem, where I received a second graduate degree in General Psychology. In 1981, I came to the U.S. to pursue a third degree, in Clinical Psychology, at Northwestern University Medical School. I am a professor at CSU, where I have taught "Psychology of Gender," "Psychology of Women," "Life-Span Developmental Psychology," and "Diversity Issues in Counseling" since 1991. In 1997, my work on gender and culture in suicidal behavior was honored with the Shneidman Research Award of the American Association of Suicidolgy. In 1998, I was elected member of the International Academy for Suicide Research. More recently, I was elected Fellow of the Society for the Psychology of Women, as well as Fellow of the Division of International Psychology of the American Psychological Association. I have published over eighty articles and chapters and edited four books. 

Eric Aoki
Associate Professor, Department of Speech Communication,
Interpersonal and Cultural Communication

After completing my bachelors and masters degrees in Speech Communication at California State University-Fresno in 1990 and 1992, I moved to the Northwest and completed a doctorate at the University of Washington-Seattle in 1997. Prior to the defense of my dissertation, I was offered a position at CSUís Department of Speech Communication to begin in August of 1997. At the outset, I found that being part of an ethnic and sexual minority, and teaching Interpersonal and Cultural Communication in a smaller city like Fort Collins, would present both challenges and opportunities. Five years later I am now an associate professor, and I still find this to be true.

James H. Banning
Professor, School of Education

I was born and raised in rural Kansas. I received a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado-Boulder in the midst of the anti-war and civil rights movements. Participation in these efforts helped me realize the important role that systems play in human affairs. In the early seventies, I redirected my career from a being psychotherapist to one in university administration, and I spent nearly ten years as Vice-President for Student Affairs at Colorado State. Currently, as an environmental psychologist, I am a professor in the School of Education, teaching qualitative research, environmental psychology, and campus ecology courses.

James W. Boyd
University Distinguished Teaching Scholar;
Professor, Department of Philosophy

Upon completion of my BA in English Literature and Music at Lawrence University, I taught social studies and music to junior high school students for four years. During that time I also began working on my masters degree in History and Literature of Religions at Northwestern University. In 1962 I received a Fulbright fellowship to study at Banaras Hindu University in India. Subsequently I studied at Vidyodaya University in Sri Lanka and the University of Bombay, and after receiving my doctorate I continued to travel, study, and teach at a number of universities: the University of Shiraz, Iran; Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan; and within the U.S., at Harvard, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee.

Roe Bubar
Assistant Professor, Social Work

I attended college and worked in Upward Bound at the University of New Hampshire at Durham, where I received a BA in Psychology. After graduation I spent several years in an Indian Education program and became very focused on social justice issues and government policy. After receiving a JD from the University of Colorado in Boulder, I became a lobbyist for a small, Indian-owned corporation. A former director of a Childrenís Advocacy Center, I worked to develop such facilities in Indian Country and Native Alaskan communities, and I continue to support tribal initiatives in the Colorado area. I am currently an Assistant Professor at CSU, where I have joint appointments in the School of Social Work and the Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity.

Timothy Gray Davies
Professor, School of Education

I grew up in Clevelandís inner-city, and were it not for a high school coach who believed in me academically as well as athletically, I never would have accepted the football scholarship that began my academic journey. Having completed a bachelors and masters in English, I began teaching at Macomb County Community College outside Detroit, and over the next thirty years I taught at seven different community colleges, most of them in major urban centers. I see the community college as the most egalitarian higher education institution in the United States, and it was specifically to develop the doctoral program in community college leadership that I joined CSU--where I am now a professor--in 1995.

Nathalie Kees
Associate Professor, Counseling and Career Development,
School of Education

I have been training counselors for the past fifteen years. I am a licensed professional counselor and Iíve had a private counseling practice for ten years. Before that, I was a school counselor and music teacher. I received my EdD from West Virginia University and an MA in Counseling from the University of Wyoming. I have served as a multicultural trainer at CSU for the past fifteen years. I am also Director of CSUís Presidentís Commission on Women and Gender Equity, and I founded the Womenís Interest Network for the American Counseling Association. My writing is mainly about women and diversity issues in counseling with a focus on working with groups.

Jane Kneller
Professor, Department of Philosophy

After receiving my PhD in philosophy in 1984 from the University of Rochester, I taught for a year and then returned to graduate studies in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at the University of Cincinnati. I have taught philosophy courses that encourage studentsí exploration of voice and plurality in ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and the philosophy of religion. I have become increasingly aware of a wealth of material that remains largely unexplored in my own areas of research, and I bring some of that to my students in the form of newly discovered or republished documents representing historically marginalized or unusual voices.

Rosemary Kreston
Director, Resources for Disabled Students;
Instructor, The "Handicapped" Individual in Society

I received a BA in psychology in 1973 from Wayne State University in Detroit and a Masters in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in 1976. I was hired by the State of Colorado as a rehabilitation counselor in 1978. In 1980, I was hired to direct the Resources for Disabled Students department at CSU. More than two-thirds of these students have learning disabilities, and the emphasis of the office embraces attitudinal access and advocacy as well as physical access and accommodation. My course focuses on the interdependency between individuals with disabilities and those who provide support.

Chance W. Lewis
Assistant Professor, School of Education

After completion of my BA in Business Education from Southern University I taught for four years in the inner-city schools of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during which time I completed a masters program in Education Administration. In 2001, I completed a PhD in Education Leadership at CSU while working as Department Chair and faculty member of the Computer Information Systems department at Front Range Community College. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Education where I teach in the areas of Education Technology and Multiculturalism.

Valerie A. Middleton
Assistant Professor, School of Education

After graduating from Illinois State University with a BA in Special Education, I spent nine years in public school settings on the southern outskirts of Chicago as a special education inclusion consultant and teacher. In 1992, I became a full-time graduate student and teaching assistant at CSU. During this time I taught courses in teacher licensure to preservice teachers-in-training. Within three years I earned a Masters Degree in Special Needs, and over the next two years I earned a PhD in Teacher Education and Staff Development, both from CSU. I am currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at CSU, teaching and researching courses on diversity, special needs, and educational methodology.

Angela Paccione
School of Education                                                                           Elected Representative, Colorado House District 53, 2002-2006

I grew up in the South Bronx, New York. As a child, my love of learning competed for a while with my love of basketball, until both found their fulfillment at Stanford University. I was among the first to receive a full athletic scholarship to Stanford, where I graduated with departmental honors in Political Science. I played professional basketball for a couple years before returning to school to earn my teaching certificate. While pursuing a masters degree in Educational Administration, I was recruited to CSU to enter the PhD program and to work with a teacher preparation program. In 1998 I earned my PhD and was hired by CSU. There I  worked as an Assistant Professor with teacher preparation for over five years. Since 2002, I have also been an elected Representative of Colorado House District 53.

Nina S. Roberts
Education and Outreach Specialist, National Park Service

I completed my BA at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and my Masters Degree at the University of Maryland-College Park. For eight years afterwards I was a park manager and adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland-College Park and George Mason University. I have been a research associate for the Student Conservation Association (SCA), I have served as Assistant Director of SCAís national urban and diversity programs, and I have participated in leadership training through the National Outdoor Leadership School, Woodswomen, Project Adventure, Pro-Image, Washington Women Outdoors, and the SCA. Currently, I am working for the National Park Service as an Education and Outreach Specialist.

Mona C.S. Schatz
Professor, School of Social Work;
Director, Education and Research Institute for Fostering Families

I completed the bachelors program in Sociology and Political Science at Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1976. In 1979, I completed a masters program in Social Work at the University of Denver, and shortly thereafter moved to the Mid-Atlantic region, where I consulted on projects related to rural health care delivery for young Latino women. After beginning my academic career at Southwest Missouri State University, I completed a doctorate in Social Work in 1986 at the University of Pennsylvania. I have taught in the School of Social Work at CSU since 1985 and have long been a part of the Education and Research Institute for Fostering Families (ERIFF). I currently mentor and teach undergraduates, preparing them for work with Latino and Native American families.

Suzanne Tochterman
Assistant Professor, School of Education

After completing an undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt and a masters degree in Education at The George Washington University, I taught students with special needs in the Washington, DC area. Currently I am helping to prepare secondary teachers across content areas. My courses address methods, standards and assessment, diversity and communication, classroom management, foundations, special education, and literacy. When asked to teach "Diversity and Communication" I was concerned, because faculty of color had traditionally taught the course. I wondered what I might have to offer my students. My chapter in this book is a reflection on my experience.

Irene S. Vernon
Director, Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity (CASAE);
Professor, English Department and CASAE

I received a BA in Native American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. After receiving an MA in History at the University of New Mexico, I returned to UCB, where I received my PhD in Ethnic Studies. My area of specialization is Native American, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies, and I have taught courses on various aspects of Native life including religion, law, history, literature, and economic development. As the Director of the Center for Applied Study in American Ethnicity (CASAE), I work toward deepening appreciation of our various ethnic traditions, the patterns of interaction among groups, and the nature of problems that arise from the abuses and misunderstandings about ethnic identities.