Student Chloe Pearson (right) explains her research to judge Hannah Mueller-Miller, theatre and film faculty member.
Diversity in its many aspects explored by student researchers
The fourth annual Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity: Opportunities and Challenges for the Inclusion of Diversity in Higher Education on Feb. 15 showcased student research into a broad variety of related topics. Keynote speaker Amy Fidler, in her talk on “Inclusion X Design,” addressed a subject less often heard about in the current conversation: neurodiversity.
Fidler teaches graphic design at Bowling Green State University and is the parent of a neurodiverse child. She is committed to the idea that “a neurodiverse environment can serve everyone,” and incorporates teaching methods and activities in her classroom that support student mental health, such as brief, simple yoga breathing and movements, to optimize their ability to focus and learn.
“I try to meet students where they are, no matter their challenges,” she said.
Citing a popular Facebook meme, she asked listeners to consider: “What breaks your heart most about this world? What are your unique talents and gifts? And where are you called to service?” Her teaching is based on the belief that “design can make change and create public good,” and she advocates for “human-centered design,” encouraging her students to deeply invest themselves in who they are designing for. She also engages classes in high-impact, community-based projects.
The event is hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.
“As every year, even though it does not seem possible, the quality of the poster presentations was even better than in previous years,” said CURS director Dr. Cordula Mora.” It is incredibly important for students to have this opportunity to showcase their scholarly and research work related to such a wide array of diversity issues.”