PCAL Funds DEI Initiatives for 2021-2022
- Jessica Luna
- Monday, September 19th, 2022
The Potter College of Arts and Letters (PCAL) Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee at WKU awarded $4,900 in funding to departments and student organizations for DEI initiatives that closely align with the college’s DEI mission. From music colloquiums to guest artist residencies, all projects prioritize underrepresented minority student recruitment, retention, and sustainable curricular innovation.
A complete list of projects awarded are listed below:
- How To College ($1,000): The Department of English held a 5-session workshop for underrepresented sophomores at Franklin-Simpson High School in Franklin, KY. Throughout the workshop, student participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves and engage with WKU as their potential college and build mentorship relationships with WKU faculty members and students. Contact: Dr. Trini Stickle
- The Motivation of Heritage Speakers to Study a Language Survey ($125): The Department of Modern Languages created a survey to determine the language learning motivations of heritage Spanish and Chinese speakers at WKU. Students were given gift cards in exchange for their participation. Contact: Dr. Alex Poole
- Mark Bonner, Music DEI Colloquium ($1,000): The Department of Music invited conductor, composer, and DMA candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Mr. Mark Bonner, to campus during Spring 2022 to show videos, pose questions, and invite discussion on a variety of DEI issues in music education. This event aligned with PCAL DEI’s mission to understand, discuss, and embrace the difference in our students, and to implement programs to help those individuals who need extra support. Contact: Dr. Sophie Benn
- Guest Artist Residency - Nathaniel Fister ($400): WKU alumnus and professional dancer/performer, Nathaniel Fister, returned to the Dance Program as guest artist to work with students. While in residency, he taught theater jazz dance classes in DANC 213: Jazz Dance II and DANC 413: Jazz Dance IV, the WKU Dance Company, and students of the Musical Theatre program. As a minority with a diverse background, Nathaniel was able to share his perspective of the professional world as well as his movement style with our students to prepare them for their post-graduate journey. Contact: Amanda Clark
- Guest Artist Residency - Cheri Stokes ($1,000): Brooklyn-based dance artist and choreographer, Cheri Stokes, taught a masterclass that blended her choreographic style of hip-hop and contemporary dance to all dance majors, dance minors, and other students within the Department of Theatre and Dance. The Dance program was able to provide an opportunity for dancers to engage with the work of a BIPOC woman/womxn, and through its public performance, for the WKU community and beyond. Contact: Anna Patsfall
- WKU Choral Activities – Music of Underrepresented Composers ($375): Four different pieces of music from underrepresented composers were purchased, rehearsed, and performed for university ensembles. These pieces of music include There Was a Time (Elaine Hagenberg – female composer), Our Phoenix (Mari Esabel Valverde – Hispanic, transgender composer), I’m On My Way (Anthony Trecek-King – African American composer), and I Dream a World (Andre Thomas – African American composer). Rehearsing the music, learning about the composers, and performing them before a live audience was truly rewarding for both professors and students. Contact: Dr. Paul Hondorp
- Chinese Music Performance and Audience Engagement Activity ($250): The WKU Chinese Music Club collaborated with the Department of Music to hold a free concert for the community. The WKU Chinese Music Club invited Middle Tennessee State University’s Chinese Music Ensemble to perform a concert, followed by a Chinese instrument showing. Since World music is not often shared on WKU’s campus, this was a unique and well-received event. Contact: Christina Lai
- The String Project - We Are All Connected ($750): PCAL hosted Chelsea and Mariano Cortez, The String Project Photographer Team for a large panels string project exhibit at FAC in April of 2022 with an accompanying mini-string photo station. All WKU faculty, staff, and students were invited to take fun, friendship selfies while holding the same string shown in the original string project photos. THE STRING PROJECT is a symbol of an invisible human connection and highlights the unity through mutual respect, compassion, love, empathy, and hope for the future we want to create together. Contact: Miwon Choe
The Potter College of Arts & Letters DEI Committee is committed to implementing DEI on our campus and supporting the fundamental values in the wider community, our nation, and the world. Learn more about DEI initiatives in the college at www.wku.edu/pcal/dei.php and follow @pcal_diversity on Instagram.
To view more information and photos of these projects, click here.