VOISES, or Viewpoints Of Inclusive Student Experiences, provides an engaging forum for students from various intersectionalities, and allows faculty and staff to hear their voices.
The goal is to improve faculty and staff understanding of the student experience and to focus on the perspectives of students from marginalized identity groups. The panels, organized by UNCG’s University Teaching and Learning Commons, highlight four to six students’ experiences over the course of one hour.
There are two upcoming VOISES sessions: the March 19 session will focus on Muslim Students and the April 8 session will focus on LGBTQ+ students. Panels start at 11:00 a.m. on both days and are held in the Faculty Center.
Through the panel discussion, attendees may gain new perspectives and empathy for the participants’ experiences and recognize the ways they have experienced marginalization and discrimination. The hope is that faculty and staff leave the sessions more empowered to support students from the marginalized populations in significant ways in classrooms and across campus.
“In every VOISES panel that I have attended, at least one of the participants has told a part of their story that took my breath away and made me examine what I do in my classroom and interactions with others,” says Tami Draves, associate professor of music education.
Nodia Mena, senior lecturer in Spanish, says VOISES helps her understand how to connect with her students. “Hearing that information from them helps me to figure out: okay, what else do I need to do better to establish a better relationship, a better rapport with my students?”
Iglika Pavlova, a professor in the Department of Biology knows that, for many students, an insensitive environment can have long-term effects on their progress. “But many participants speak of how a caring professor can make a huge difference,” she says.
Visit workshops.uncg.edu to RSVP for the upcoming VOISES panels.
Story by Johanna Evans, University Communications