Learn at Lunch

Held monthly during the academic year, the Learn at Lunch series presents informal seminars on a variety of topics related to inclusion, social justice and equity. Everyone is welcome to bring their lunch and join the conversation. Watch one of the 2017-2018 sessions here

The Learm at Lunch series is sponsored in collaboration with the Academic Advancement Network, the Associate Provost’s Office of Undergraduate Education, the Graduate School and MSU Libraries. The sessions bring important topics related to inclusive teaching to the campus community, with a focus on presenting best practices and fostering dialogue in an effort to build inclusive communities.


Past Seminars

Equity and Learning While Abroad: Being Mindful of the Local-Global Dynamics

April 19, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
MSU Union, Room 50, Garden Level 

Global and intercultural learning is an essential component of education abroad; however, educators must also attend to intragroup diversity. Creating an inclusive study abroad program is more than having a diverse group of participants; it is about ensuring that the program environment provides all students with equitable learning outcomes. This session used a case study approach to foster discussion about how inclusion and inclusive teaching interface with education abroad before, during, and after travel.

Speakers:

  • James M. Lucas, Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Christine Trinidad, Education Abroad
  • Eduardo Olivo, Residence Education and Housing Services

Groups and Teams in the Classroom: Maintaining an Inclusive Learning Environment

March 15, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Main Library, Green Room, Fourth Floor West 

Group and team projects are an important part of students’ growth and development in college. By learning to work with other people, they are practicing skills they need to be effective members of intercultural societies and organizations. Although many instructors use some form of collaborative learning in their classrooms, all instructors can be more proactive in creating, monitoring and assessing the group process with inclusion, effective citizenship and cultural understanding in mind. This session highlighted best practices for forming and using groups, managing interpersonal issues within the group and assessing students’ learning experiences in groups.

Speakers:

  • Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, Assoc. Dean, Research and Faculty Development, Professor, Lyman Briggs College
  • Adele Denison, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology
  • Kathleen Hoag, Associate Professor, Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program
  • Dustin Petty, Academic Advisor, Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholars Program
  • Jennifer Rivera, Assistant Professor, RCAH and Director, Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholars Program 

Building Inclusive Classroom Communities: Religion and Political Ideology as Protected Statuses

January 18, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Main Library, Green Room, Fourth Floor West  

The classroom should be a place that welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, and a place in which students, faculty and staff can engage in deep, scholarly dialogues about essential questions, grand challenges, and contemporary issues. As instructors seek to foster such environments, the plurality of voices can sometimes lead to conflict and misunderstanding. At times, instructors may question if a comment represents freedom of expression and/or might create a sense of vulnerability amongst some students. This session provided policies, best practices, and techniques for engaging all students in safe, inclusive classroom communities and conversations.

International Students in the Classroom: Nationality in an Era of Nationalism

September 21, 2017
Noon to 1:30 p.m. 
Main Library, Green Room, Fourth Floor West 

Moderator: Elizabeth Matthews, Office for International Students and Scholars

Panelists 

  • Gabe Ording, Integrative Studies in General Science 
  • Patricia Walters, English Language Center
  • James M. Lucas, Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Many international students come from countries with very different academic cultures than the United States, and they bring with them different histories, worldviews and perspectives. Beyond international students, the MSU community contains individuals of many national identities, including students who grew up in other countries, migrant students and students with migrant parents.

This session provided an overview of international student issues at MSU, as well as methods to encourage engagement and inclusion in the classroom, resources to support inclusive teaching and best practices for working with non-U.S. national identities in the classroom.

Being an Ally When You're in the Majority

February 24, 2017
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Akers Hall, Room 133

Moderator: Nicole Namy, Office of International Students and Scholars

Panelists

  • Jeanne Gazel, Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE-ICA)
  • Tome Jeitschko, Department of Economics
  • Naoko Wake, Lyman Briggs College and Department of History

Participants heard a range of perspectives and experiences from faculty who advocate for those across the margins of difference in their personal and professional lives. Attendees also discussed ways to become more active and intentional advocates.

Academic Freedom vs. Ideology in the Classroom

February 3, 2017
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Erickson Hall, Room 222

Moderator: Eric Freedman, School of Journalism

Panelists

  • Joe Darden, Geography
  • Amy Derogatis, Religious Studies
  • Jenifer Fenton, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Where is the line between academic freedom and ideology? Is there a line? Does that line move? Is it expected to move? Panelists provided a range of perspectives on teaching and discussing controversial topics in the classroom, as these relate to faculty vulnerability and the potential for curriculum to become politicized (or viewed as such).

Facilitating Difficult Dialogues

October 13, 2016
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Natural Sciences, Room 304

Moderator: Jessica Garcia, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and Department of Sociology

Panelists

  • Austin Dorell Jackson, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
  • Gerald Urquhart, Lyman Briggs College and Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Participants learned effective strategies for facilitating difficult dialogues on current social and cultural issues in the classroom (e.g. climate change, stem cell research, politics, and racism).