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SIETAR USA Master Workshops 2022

15 Apr 2022 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Professional excellence is based on a solid academic foundation upon which we add experience and continuing education. The SIETAR USA pre-conference Master Workshops have earned a reputation for their high quality and benefit to members who want to increase their intercultural and DEI understanding and skills. The 2022 list of Master Workshops continues that tradition. We are pleased to introduce the Master Workshops with additional workshops and more information to follow.

SIETAR USA Master Workshops 2022

An Applied Polyvagal Approach to Intercultural Interactions and Decreasing Polarization
Dr. Cheryl Forster

Studying our nervous system as an access point for change can increase our ability to be effective during challenging life circumstances. According to Deb Dana (2020), the nervous system is key because when the brain and the nervous system do not agree, the nervous system will win every time. One influential framework for understanding the nervous system is Polyvagal Theory by Stephen Porges. Polyvagal Theory is often referred to as the neuroscience of safety and connection, and it is a core component of trauma work. Neuroscience in trauma therapy has exploded in the past twenty-five years. It has helped us understand our experiences, emotions, relationships, stories, communication, and ability to cope in more nuanced ways.

But what if we applied the concepts of Polyvagal theory to intercultural work? Could it help us with key intercultural skills? Could it help decrease the “us versus them” attitudes of polarization? Could it help us embrace more nuance and complexity in difficult conversations? Learning a Polyvagal approach can support our ability to connect across differences, which is essential for diversity work. Throughout this workshop, it will be established that it is hard to do effective intercultural and social justice work without a more embodied approach.

In this workshop, we will review essential Polyvagal concepts and then apply them to intercultural work, decreasing polarization, and difficult conversations. There will be demonstrations of coping strategies to regulate our specific nervous system states and other experiential exercises.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the three levels of the Polyvagal ladder
  • Demonstrate at least five active strategies to regulate your specific nervous system state
  • Discuss why the nervous system is an especially effective access point for change
  • Identify three factors that contribute to the neuroception of safety and how intercultural effectiveness, or lack of, may impact these
  • Apply Polyvagal work to intercultural skills and interactions
  • Apply Polyvagal work to decreasing polarization and increasing “embodied complexity” (Forster, 2022)

Dr. Cheryl Forster Dr. Cheryl Forster is a clinical psychologist and the Coordinator of Diversity and Psychology Programs at Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Student Health and Counseling. She also has a professional intercultural training business called Bookmark Connections; her workshops focus on integrating intercultural communication, social justice, and applied Polyvagal perspectives. Cheryl has obtained her Intercultural Practitioner Certificate from the highly respected Intercultural Communication Institute, completed the Brain, Mind and Culture certification from the Japan Intercultural Institute, and is a CQ Certified Facilitator and IDI qualified administrator, as well as a contributing author in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015) and a former ACCTA Diversity Scholar. For her clinical work, Cheryl has completed specialized training in attachment, trauma, EMDR, interpersonal neurobiology, Polyvagal Theory, integrative somatic trauma therapy, and asylum immigration assessments. From 2008 to 2018, Cheryl served as the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication’s (SIIC) mental health consultant. Moreover, she is currently writing a book entitled, An Intercultural and Polyvagal Informed Approach to Diversity Work: A Practical Guide for Mental Health Professionals. Learn more about Dr. Forster’s work at https://bookmarkconnections.com/.

How to Use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding
Kelli McLoud-Schingen & Dionne Lambert

One of the most powerful and under-utilized tools in cross cultural understanding is Theatre. Theatre is a form of storytelling that many feel that if they are not actors, or haven’t studied theatre, they aren’t equipped to work with theatre and drama as a tool.

Theatre is storytelling and it offers opportunities for listeners to merge the storyteller’s experience with their own – resulting in connections that can turn into trance-formational experiences. Everyone is a storyteller. We live inside stories, we communicate through stories. We have become more concerned with ideology which creates polarities but experiencing theatre, we connect with the person in front of us and we are compelled to pull for them, want the best for them, for them to have a happy ending.

This interactive session will explore using theatre and story as ways to open connections with others and equip participants with a new tool for their work.

Kelli McLoud-Schingen Kelli McLoud-Schingen is Artistic Director of World Stage Theatre Company, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Tulsa, and President of KMS Intercultural Consulting. She is a global diversity and inclusion specialist as well as a theatrical actor and director. She specializes in storytelling, cultural competence, and healing racism. She has been a facilitator for educational, non-profit, government and corporate institutions in the USA and internationally since 1989 deftly fusing her theatre and social justice training. A certified professional mediator, she holds a BA degree in Communication from Aurora University and a MA in Cross-Cultural Studies from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Kelli also trained with the Center for the Healing of Racism in Houston, TX. Her theatrical training was at Aurora University, Roosevelt University and a summer semester at the Oxford School of Drama in Oxford England. Kelli has performed as an amateur and professional actor in England, Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston and now, Tulsa. In 2017 Kelli founded the World Stage Theatre Company in Tulsa. This socially engaged theatre is an extension of her global diversity and inclusion work to further cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and compassion.

Dionne Lambert Dionne Lambert is Program Coordinator for the Center for Public Life at Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, where she facilitates community-focused dialogues through a trauma-informed lens and is currently leading a community-based research initiative that is focused on Black reproductive health equity in Tulsa. She is also the Founding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant for Chrysalis Consulting. Dionne’s perspectives include what psychiatrist Bruce Perry calls post-traumatic wisdom*, inherited by her tumultuous upbringing on the south side of Chicago, IL. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, where she was introduced to storytelling through song and theatre, and learned to incorporate what she’s learned as “edu-tainment” (entertaining educational tools) into her DEI presentations. Her most rewarding acting and storytelling experience was as the indomitable lead character Ann Atwater in Mark St. Germain’s “Best of Enemies”, in a 10-day overseas tour to The Netherlands. She is currently a proud and active Board Member of World Stage Theatre Company, and most recently acted as Assistant Director in World Stage’s adaptation of Tug Yourgrau’s “Song of Jacob Zulu”.

*What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, Dr. Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey, Flatiron Books.

Building the Inspired Inclusive Organization: 
Engaging with Race Issues as a Catalyst for Change 

Noor Azizan-Gardner

How can an intercultural leader build the trust and bridges necessary for optimum engagement and heightened sense of belonging? What knowledge- sharing must occur with the organizations’ diverse employees and leaders? What skill sets must be developed and honed? Can we do this in the extremely polarized political climate of today?

This workshop invites participants to reflect, discuss and develop skill sets to effectively engage and provide safety and support for candid and difficult conversations on race as part of a critical process for transforming the organization to a more inclusive, innovative, and human-centric workplace.

Using the principles of human-centered leadership advocated by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, among others; we will discover together concrete ideas for creating exceptional, inspired, and inclusive organizations which embrace the uniqueness and talents of its diverse employees, authentically honor the history of racial conflict and inequities and to share experiences and knowledge in a supportive environment.

Participants will learn together:

  • How to enhance self-awareness, self-reflection and self-management around issues of race
  • How to create an authentic belonging community
  • How to harness the power of openness
  • How to develop skills to have meaningful complex conversations around race to achieve a common goal

Noor Azizan-Gardner Noor Azizan-Gardner, originally from Malaysia is founder and president of Baru Global Creatives Group, LLC, a consulting company which assists organizations and institutions with building innovative inclusive organizational culture through fostering inspired leaders and employees. Previous leadership positions in DEI include the University of Missouri where she created the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative which provided consultation and services in the areas of diversity, cultural competency, equity, EEO compliance, Title IX, and ADA education and accommodation. Actively maintaining her research and consultation on intercultural issues in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia she is a sought-after speaker in her specialty area of intercultural competency and leadership. She has presented innumerable intercultural competency lectures, facilitated leadership workshops, and consulted on diversity and intercultural competency for the private and public sectors and the armed forces.In the Columbia community, she has served as a member of the Diversity Study Circle Project’s steering committee sponsored by the Human Rights Commission and the City of Columbia and a member of the board of advisors for Prism, a support group for LGBT youth. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Contemporary Ballet and the Ragtag Film Society which stages the annual internationally acclaimed and beloved documentary film festival, True/False. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Crosby MBA Program in the Trulaske College of Business at MU.

Crossing Party Lines: Building Bridges between IC and DEI in Higher Education 
Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson

Increasingly, missions and strategic plans of higher education institutions (HEIs) include references to the development of intercultural competencies, the cultivation of global citizens, and commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Many of these HEIs, however, struggle to operationalize their intentions meaningfully and across the entire institution. In this hands-on workshop, we will work together to generate possibilities for scaling up intercultural learning and equity-minded pedagogy to all areas across universities and all levels of organizational structures. Taking into consideration the unique contexts of participants, we will draw on case studies, scholarship, and lived experiences to exemplify strategies that broaden impact without sacrificing depth of learning or quality of teaching.

After participating, attendees can expect to be able to:

  • Articulate for stakeholders the value of scaling up intercultural learning and equity-minded practices,
  • Grasp the tensions between breadth and depth of impact,
  • Analyze their home institutional contexts for challenges to and resources for concrete and comprehensive planning, and
  • Identify short and long term SMART goals that address those challenges and leverage resources effectively.

Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair earned a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Arizona State University in 2008. Before coming to Purdue University in 2016, she served as a faculty member in Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University for 7 years and was awarded a year-long Fulbright Scholar grant to research and teach in Honduras in 2015. At Purdue, she now directs the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) and holds a courtesy faculty position in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. CILMAR's mission is to support intercultural development for everyone in the Purdue community. She is a well-published scholar with recent research interests focusing on the development and assessment of intercultural competence, including innovative federally-funded projects to create and test virtual reality simulations that foster the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to interact successfully across cultural differences. Known for her theoretical work on topics such as silence, transformative learning, emotion labor, and cultural adaptation processes. She consults at peer institutions on strategic planning for large-scale intercultural and global learning initiatives, often facilitating workshops on assessment planning, mentoring best practices, and the backward design of curricula for on-campus, study abroad, and virtual exchange programs. Raised as a third culture kid in a military family, she grew up without strong roots to any place, but these days she enjoys being more connected to the land on her small farm in rural Indiana.

Nastasha E. Johnson Nastasha E. Johnson is Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University Libraries & School of Information Studies in West Lafayette, IN. She also serves as a Provost Fellow in the Office of the Provost, Division of Diversity & Inclusion and an Intercultural Learning Officer for the Center of Intercultural Learning, Mentoring, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR). She is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development (IDI) and Beliefs, Events, Values Inventory (BEVI), and has completed Phase 1 of the Racial Equity Institute of REI in Greensboro, NC. She is currently a facilitator of the Purdue Institute on Racial Equity, where faculty, staff, and graduate students are led through 6 modules that elevate anti-bias intervention, inclusive excellence, and equity-mindedness. For over five years she has been a team member for the Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT) initiative, where faculty redesign their courses to be student-centered by aligning learning outcomes with assessment strategies. Her other responsibilities include being a library liaison to the Mathematics & Physics Departments and maintaining the Mathematical Sciences Library and the Physics and Astronomy library collection.

Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change

joe gerstandt

In recent years, and in the past year especially, increasing amounts of time, attention, and resources have been directed toward organizational efforts relative to diversity, inclusion, and equity. While there are certainly exceptions, these efforts consistently disappoint with negligible impacts on both organizational demographics and organizational culture. Far too many leaders and organizations have been comfortable demonstrating activity without much real impact. Activity is not enough, and we have some obligation to help clients direct their resources toward interventions with leverage for real change.

Informed by “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System,” by Donella Meadows, this session will begin with a conversation about leverage, the power (and leverage) of paradigm change, and the need to change the organizational paradigm regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity. We will then explore common language, narrative and story-telling, individual development, and behavioral expectations as tools for paradigm change, and how to use these tools to get as much possible impact from our efforts.

Participants will:

  • Be able to view organizational interventions through a lens of leverage.
  • Understand the difference between “Outside-In,” interventions and “Inside-Out” interventions.
  • Understand the importance of common language and will practice developing clear, concise, logical, and useful definitions.
  • Practice using those definitions to develop a foundational narrative.
  • Understand the interconnected role of individual development, behavior change, and behavioral expectations in impacting organizational culture.

joe gerstandt joe gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. joe has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, government entities, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits and is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum. His insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, numerous other print and on-line journals, and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships. joe serves on the Intersectional Culture and Diversity Advisory (ICD) Council for the social networking platform, Twitter, has served on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and is currently on the board of directors for the Tri-Faith Initiative joe grew up on a family farm in NW Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, attended Iowa State University, then spent 6 years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. Making a career change, working for a grassroots non-profit organization, where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion. Today, joe believes that we can ill afford to continue applying a 20th century approach to an increasingly critical set of 21st century issues.



An Applied Polyvagal Approach to Intercultural Interactions and Decreasing Polarization

Dr. Cheryl Forster


Crossing Party Lines: Building Bridges between IC and EDI in Higher Education

Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson


Building the Inspired Inclusive Organization: Engaging with Race Issues as a Catalyst for Change

Noor Azizan-Gardner


Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change

joe gerstandt


Training Activities

Jon DeVries and Alex Cleberg

How to Use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding

Kelli McLoud-Schingen and Dionne Lambert


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