Fostering Inclusive Excellence in the Classroom: Penn State Resources & Further Reading

This academic year, the Schreyer Institute is sponsoring a workshop series exploring the topic of Inclusive Excellence, or how college instructors can harness the power of diversity in their classrooms as a function of good teaching. The series is comprised of three workshops, the first of which was held last week:


The other two workshops will be taking place over the next few weeks, with the whole series to be repeated in the Spring semester:

Register for this workshop here.

Register for this workshop here.

As a follow up to the first workshop, and to spread the information more widely, I’ve posted the workshop Prezi here and included information below on some of the resources available at Penn State in support of student and faculty diversity. If you know of other campus resources that can be used in support of teaching, please feel free to post them in the comments section!

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There are several offices/organizations on campus that provide diversity-related support for students and faculty. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with these resources so that you can refer students (or yourself) for support.

  • Affirmative Action Office – offers diversity education programs, provides links to policies, statements and definitions related to diversity, and responds to complaints of or concerns about prohibited harassment or discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status.
  • Center for Women Students – provides information to students about gender-related violence, personal health, body image, and classroom climate. The Director, Peggy Lorah, provides free workshops for faculty, staff and graduate students on improving classroom climate for women in higher education. If a student is having relationship problems or has experienced abuse or violence, refer them to talk with Dr. Lorah.
  • LGBTA Resource Center – provides a safe space for LGBTQ students to hang out; maintains a library of literature related to gender, gender expression, sexuality and relationships; runs the Straight Talks program (panels of speakers comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally students from a wide range of beliefs and background who educate the university community on sexual orientation, gender identity, oppression and diversity); coordinates events and support groups related to LGBTQ issues.
  • Center for Ethics & Religious Affairs – CERA offers an inclusive environment to “explore a multitude of faith traditions in a compassionate, open-minded setting [and] aims to promote an environment that stretches beyond tolerance to a genuine appreciation of and respect for religious and spiritual diversity.” CERA also puts on workshops related to faith and spirituality.
  • Penn State Office of Global Programs – provides a hangout space and community-oriented programming and activities for international students. Maintains a clearinghouse of practical information and can put students in contact with tutors or spoken-language-improvement programs (like conversation buddies).
  • Office of Disability Services – Coordinates academic accessibility for disabled students, tests students for learning disabilities and works with faculty to provide accommodations for such students (they provide a quiet place for students to take exams, extended-time, etc). Provides a handbook for faculty.
  • Office of Veterans Programs – Helps veteran students negotiate the campus system, provides resources for such students to apply for benefits/financial aid, provides support personnel to answer questions.
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) – Provides counseling services, support groups, and outreach for students, faculty, and staff experiencing crisis or mental-health-related concerns. Provides information to faculty and staff about worrisome student behaviors, and how to intervene when you are concerned about a student. CAPS will consult with you about a specific student issue, and CAPS staff also provides workshops to the greater campus community.
  • Penn State Learning – provides free tutoring (math, writing, language), guided study groups, and work spaces for students. You can contact them to have a tutor visit your class (say, if you have an upcoming essay assignment) and discuss the services they offer.

Below is a list that I have been working through of texts related to the topic of Inclusive Excellence, in case you’re interested in exploring specific avenues related to the topic. This is by no means an exhaustive list! I’ve included links wherever possible. 

General Diversity



  • Chesler, S. 1997. Perceptions of Faculty by Students of Color. CRLT Occasional Papers Series. Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan, No. 7
  • Kardia, D.B. & M.C. Wright 2004. Instructor Identity: The impact of gender and race on faculty experiences with teaching. CRLT Occasional Papers Series. Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan, No. 19
  • Rockquemore, K.A. and T. Laszloffy. 2008. The Black Academic’s Guide to Winning Tenure – Without Losing Your Soul. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  • Sue, D.W, A.I. Lin, G.C. Torino, C.M. Capodilupo, and D.P. Rivera. 2009. Racial Microagressions and Difficult Dialogues on Race in the Classroom. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 15(2): 183-190
  • Sue, D.W., G.C. Torino, C.M. Capodilupo, D.P. Rivera and A.I. Lin. 2009. How White Faculty Perceive and React to Difficult Dialogues on Race: Implications for Education and Training. The Counseling Psychologist July 30, 2009.


  • Cress, C.M., and J. Hart. 2009. Playing Soccer on the Football Field: The Persistence of Gender Inequities for Women Faculty. Equity & Excellence in Education 42(4), 473-488
  • Fisher, B.M. 2001. No Angel in the Classroom.
  • Gender & Student Evaluations: An Annotated Bibliography
  • Madera, J.M., M.R. Hebl, and R.C. Martin. 2009. Gender and Letters of Recommendation for Academia: Agentic and Communal Differences. Journal of Applied Psychology 94(6) 1591-7599.
  • Touchton, J. 2008. A Measure of Equity: Women’s Progress in Higher Education. AAC&U.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

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