Events


2021 – 2022
Brave Space Coffee Hour: A Time to Discuss Higher Education Topics with Faculty Colleagues

You are invited to attend Brave Space Coffee Hour. In these Zoom-based sessions, you can discuss topics relevant to higher education professionals as you practice discussion facilitation techniques and research-based strategies for co-creating knowledge in inclusive classrooms. Please bring your thoughts and a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.

Each month, we will post a topic to inspire discussion. We have a growing list of timely topics, chosen to elicit thoughtful dialogue, however, Brave Space discussions tend to be far-ranging in nature. This is by design, to encourage academic discourse.

Click here to register for any session.

**Brave Space Coffee Hour occurs twice a month*.

Fall 2021
Tuesdays, 10-11 a.m.: 9/14, 10/5, 11/9*
Fridays, 3-4 p.m.: 9/24, 10/22
One topic per month will be discussed. You are welcome to attend either or both sessions.
*There will be one session only in November.

September 2021
Dates: 9/14, 9/24
Topic: Access and the 21st Century Student
Sources: Degrees of Hope (Video); Access to Attainment: An Access Agenda for 21st Century College Students; Chronicle Almanac Students Data Highlights
These sources will be used to begin the discussion. They are offered as discussion-starters, only. It is not necessary to consult each source prior to attending a session.

October 2021
Dates: 10/5, 10/22
Topic: Building Classroom Community During a Pandemic
Sources: Seven Practices for Building Community and Student Belonging Virtually; Understanding Gen Z Students
These sources will be used to begin the discussion. They are offered as discussion-starters, only. It is not necessary to consult each source prior to attending a session.

November 2021
Date: 11/9
Topic: What Wisdom Can We Draw from the Past?
Sources: Educators’ Quotes
These sources will be used to begin the discussion. They are offered as discussion-starters, only. It is not necessary to consult each source prior to attending a session.


Disrupting Academic Bullying

Presented by: Dr. Bryan J Hanson, Ombudsperson, The Graduate School at Virginia Tech

Wednesday, September 29, 2021
12-1:30 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom

Workshop overview:
Multiple dynamics within higher education institutions make academic bullying a complex issue. Major forces include the hierarchical nature of academia creating power and privilege dynamics, competitive environments with limited resources, and perceived barriers for discouraging toxic behavior. Fear often prohibits individuals from speaking up. Bullying can lead to psychological and physical harm of individuals and can create a culture that is hostile, unproductive, and demoralizing.

In this workshop, we will develop a shared understanding of the definitions and attributes associated with academic bullying. Interactive exercises and case study analysis will equip participants with the skills to address peer-to-peer and other forms of bullying. Participants will also learn intervention strategies to apply when they observe bullying. We will share resources and campus support structures to help individuals and leaders create a constructive environment. Participants will acquire the knowledge and tools necessary to facilitate the difficult conversation necessary to disrupt and prevent academic bullying.

About Bryan Hanson:
Bryan Hanson is an ombuds, educator, mediator, facilitator, and leader in the field of conflict engagement. Currently, Dr. Hanson is the ombuds for the Graduate School at Virginia Tech. In this role, he works with members of the Graduate School community so they may engage in and manage conflict in a constructive way. He has served on several national and state conflict resolution and mediation boards. He was a member of the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution’s advisory council, appointed by the state’s Supreme Court. Dr. Hanson has conducted numerous workshops on mediation and conflict resolution and has presented at several national conventions on the role of mediators and conflict specialists. He has also published articles on dispute resolution and the conflict field. Dr. Hanson earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Minnesota State University, a master’s degree in organizational psychology and a graduate certificate in organizational conflict management from John F. Kennedy University, and a doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership from Creighton University.

Register now to save your spot!

Co-sponsored by: Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Graduate School, and Office of the University Ombuds.


Visual Thinking Strategies

Join Amy Schmidt, Program Coordinator and Instructor in the Citizenship & Civic Engagement program at the Maxwell School, to discover Visual Thinking Strategies, a fun and simple way to engage students. This evidence-based method has been shown to increase critical thinking, observation, and evidentiary reasoning skills, while democratizing the classroom experience. You will utilize visual images to create inclusive, equitable, student-centered discussions. These techniques work in all disciplines. No prior experience is necessary!

  • Tuesday, October 5, 12-1 p.m. (geared toward courses with 41-80 students)
  • Friday, October 22, 10-11 a.m. (geared toward courses with 80+ students)
  • Monday, October 25, 2-3 p.m. (geared toward courses with 1-40 students)

Register online here to save your spot!


Focus on Teaching and Learning: Lunch and Learn Series

This series is a collaborative effort with Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment and aims to build your skills and knowledge while engaging in conversation and discussion with colleagues during a lunch and learn format. Connect your work with the workshop topic and leave with concrete ideas for incorporating it into your classroom experience.

Getting the Most Out of Mid-Course Feedback
September/October
Asynchronous (session materials available here)
Requesting and responding to student feedback are integral to creating engaging educational experiences. Students are best at voicing what it’s like to be a learner in your course and what small changes you can make midway to deepen their learning. Learn more about how the CTLE can assist you in gathering and using student feedback, as well as how you can use the University’s course feedback platform, EvaluationKIT, to gather input from your students.

I’ve got mid-course feedback: What do I do with it?
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 and Thursday, October 14, 2021

2:15-3:15 p.m.
Hall of Languages 500
Mid-course student feedback is powerful. Sometimes it is powerfully good. Sometimes it is a little anxiety-producing. Would you like to learn from what students are telling you without the angst? Join colleagues in a session where you read and reflect on student feedback privately and share and discuss possible course adjustments together in space and time. Participants will follow a guide for analyzing the feedback, reflecting on it, and planning how to use it to enhance student learning as the course continues. CTLE and IEA staff will be available to help you in this process. This session is offered twice to accommodate teaching schedules.

Engaging Students in Assessment Process
Friday, November 5, 2021
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom

Capturing student voices and providing opportunities for students to actively participate in the assessment process is mutually beneficial to both faculty and students. In this session, we will explore the benefits and strategies of engaging students in the assessment process.


DEIA Workshop Series

This series of workshops designed for faculty will heighten awareness of and provide worthwhile practice with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as they relate to the college classroom. Faculty who complete the five experiences will earn certificates of completion.

Identifying and Reducing Implicit Bias in Pedagogical Decision-Making
Asynchronous via Blackboard
This workshop affords participants a chance to explore some common types of implicit bias as they relate to education and fosters opportunities to think through ways to reduce these types of bias in higher education courses. Please register online to participate.

Establishing Civility and Positive Climate in Your Teaching Environment
Asynchronous via Blackboard
This workshop affords participants a chance to explore strategies for fostering civil behavior and positive climate in their courses. Please register online to participate.

Problematizing Identity and Intersectionality on the College Campus
Asynchronous via Blackboard
Explore the topics of identity and intersectionality as they relate to college teaching and learning. Please register online to attend.

Transparent Teaching: An Evidence-Based Inclusive Practice
Asynchronous via Blackboard
Evidence shows that making assignments transparent can positively impact students’ course performance and remove barriers to student success. Transparent teaching practices help to make classrooms inclusive and to create equitable learning experiences. Please register online to participate.

Navigating Challenges of Diversity in the Classroom
Asynchronous via Blackboard
Work through reality-based classroom scenarios dealing with issues of diversity and inclusion using a framework designed to build equity literacy. Please register online to participate.