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Conference Connections: Recap of 2020 and Introducing 2021 Conference Chair

14 Jan 2021 2:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Karen J Lokkesmoe, Ph.D., Conference Oversite

Greetings SIETAR USA Community. There are a few things to share with you all in this month’s edition of Conference Connections.

First up is a recap of the post conference survey data from the 2020 Virtual Conference. We had a great turn out for a very successful first-ever SIETAR USA virtual conference in October 2020. We received a wonderful survey response of over 50%. You can read the recap and review the survey data here. In addition to high ratings on almost all aspects of the conference, we also received many thoughtful comments and suggestions. Your time in providing feedback is greatly appreciated and we are reviewing all those comments carefully as we move forward with future conference planning. We are indeed fortunate to have such an engaged community. A more detailed analysis of the comments from the surveys and how they are being addressed will be available in the February newsletter, once the Board and Conference Committee has been convened and can consider them.

For all who were registered for the conference, you will be receiving an email soon with an individualized access code to the recorded sessions from the conference. Watch your emails and enjoy visiting sessions you missed or reviewing ones you enjoyed!

Now, on to 2021 - A New Year has arrived and plans for the 2021 Conference are well underway. At this time, we are counting on being able to have an in-person conference in Omaha in October, 2021. We are certainly monitoring the situation regarding Covid-19 and gathering in large groups closely and will keep everyone informed. The theme of the conference will be Mind, Culture, and Society. A call for proposals will be going out soon. Please consider what you might want to present. As always, putting together a conference is a team effort and we are building the 2021 team now. If you are interested in helping us create another successful SIETAR USA conference, please email us. There are positions on several committees so there is sure to be one that fits your time and expertise. You can reach us at conferenceoversight@sietarusa.org or conferencechairs@sietar.org.

We are delighted to introduce you to the 2021 Conference Chair, Dr. Helen Abdali Soosan Fagan.

Dr. Helen Abdali Soosan Fagan is a Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion scholar and practitioner. She is the founder of Global Leadership Group, which provides consulting and leadership coaching to organizations, communities, and executives in the field of Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural Competence, and becoming an Inclusive Leader. Since 2018, Dr. Fagan has been a faculty member and program lead for the Inclusive Community Leadership Fellows program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In addition to a Ph.D. in Human Sciences with specialization in Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Fagan holds multiple certifications in Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, and is a trained Executive Coach. Also, she is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, which she has used for developing thousands of leaders and healthcare providers. For the last five years, she has also served as a faculty member with the Qatar Institute for Intercultural Communication providing workshops for faculty, staff, and graduate students working at six American universities in Education City in Qatar. Dr. Fagan’s expertise in developing inclusive leaders, organizations, and communities has enabled her to speak in multiple nations, and at last count, on four continents. Her book, Becoming Inclusive: A Worthy Pursuit in Leadership will be released in 2021 by Information Age Publishing.

Before academia, Dr. Fagan created and led the Diversity and Cultural Competence Initiatives at Bryan Health, in Lincoln, NE. This initiative at Bryan was considered so innovative that it gained national recognition and was featured in a Joint Commission (health care accreditation body) publication. During that time, she played a key role in the recruitment and resettlement of nurses from the Philippines to address the nursing shortage in Nebraska. She also worked diligently to address employment and health care needs of refugees and immigrants, and was a strong voice for eliminating the use of children as medical interpreters in health care settings. As an international student from Iran, who arrived as an unaccompanied minor to the United States at age 15, just two months before the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979, Dr. Fagan has experienced a tremendous number of challenges during her life in the United States. She has used each of those challenges to inspire others, especially women. As a result, she has received multiple awards, including the Key to the City of Lincoln, for her contributions to the lives of others.

In 2018, Dr. Fagan served as a Consulting Producer on the short film, The Healing of Harman. She consulted on the film during the writing, filming, and editing processes. The film was directed by the Academy Award-nominated Director, Seth Pinkster. This film has been used to create discussion with community leaders in relation to the process that communities can use to foster a spirit of inclusion in which people are welcomed and embraced in their healing. The film won Morehouse College’s Best Human Rights Short Film in 2020.


  • 17 Jan 2021 10:59 AM | Anonymous
    The film sounds very interesting. Perhaps do a Sietar webinar where everyone view the film and Dr. Fagan leads a discussion.
    Link  •  Reply

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