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Professional Development Programs

  • Anti-Racist Teaching. Antiracist teaching is not just about acknowledging that racism exists, but consciously committing to the struggle of fighting for racial justice” (Bettina Love, 2019). This session is for faculty who want to deeply consider the impacts and dynamics of race and ethnicity in the classroom. The session examines how well-meaning instructors bring racism into the classroom, and offers strategies for teaching towards racial justice, regardless of your discipline.
  • Disability and Diversity. In October (Disability Awareness Month), Alicia Cohen, Director of Virginia Tech’s Intercultural Engagement Center, clarified “disability” and how and why language matters; explained the Americans with Disabilities Act, reviewed accessibility issues, and discussed case studies to enhance participants’ cultural competence.
  • Five Buckets Principle. In the COVID-19 environment this principle is especially relevant. This session, presented by Anthem Employee Solutions. highlights the importance of harmonizing at-work and at-home life. It is impossible to meet the competing demands of job, family, friends, school, and work. Participants can explore how to find the time to take care of all obligations — including time for yourself — by identifying priorities, making choices, and managing expectations.
  • Safe Zone Program. In recognition of LGBTQ Pride Month (June), you are encouraged to learn more about Virginia Tech’s Safe Zone Program, which aims to identify a network of allies who are concerned, empathetic, and knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues, provide evidence of the support of LGBTQ people and their allies within the VT community, reduce the fear of reprisal and discrimination by LGBTQ people and their allies within the VT community, and assist LGBTQ and allied students in achieving their educational goals by creating an environment in which they can be themselves.
  • “Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights.” In case you missed the school’s February 2020 Black History Month program, check out “a documentary that depicts a dramatic chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans.” Non-Virginia Tech users can learn more about this documentary at the production company website. Central to the story is how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a momentous, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country practically overnight. 
  • Making your Job Work for You.  In this session, VTCSOM Human Resources Manager, Patricia Wooten explores how to have conversations about your professional development journey, and how to ensure you are being fairly compensated for the work you are doing.
  • Exploring Implicit Bias. Professor Faye Allard from the Community College of Philadelphia, takes us on a journey to explore common implicit and unconscious biases. The session will help us recognize how biases can manifest in different behaviors and how biases can influence choices and decisions. To help address the issue, evidence-based strategies for decreasing the influence of biases in day-to-day workplace interactions are presented.
  • Inclusive language and terminology seeks to avoid words and phrases that exclude specific groups of people. Dr. Charlotte Baker shared why it's important to be more mindful of the language we use, and become more aware of how certain language can create a more supportive work environment. 

Virginia Tech's Professional Development Network

Virginia Tech's Professional Development Network offers numerous courses related to inclusive practices and is open to all Virginia Tech staff and faculty with a VT PID. View the course calendar.