Another incident of overt racism hits the 24-hour news cycle. The University of Oklahoma president issues this statement after a video of members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma singing an overtly racist chant is filmed and posted on YouTube. In a media-driven culture, we suspect that the incident will likely fade from airwaves too soon and be forgotten. Yet, many questions remain about the role of fraternities and sororities on college campuses, university administrator’s proactive versus reactive responses, freedom of speech, empowering bystander action, and the overall culture that fosters institutionalized racism.
Join Heather Shea Gasser and guest co-host Dr. Zebulun Davenport as they discuss these questions and more with an esteemed panel. Participating in the conversation are Mark Koepsell, Dr. Susana Muñoz, Jason Meriwether, and Emily Mumford. Viewers can participate in the discussion online by using the hashtag #HigherEdLive.
Heather SheaHeather Shea's career in student affairs spans 16+ years and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she is a true Student Affairs Generalist. Heather is currently serving as the assistant director of RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment), a living-learning community at Michigan State University while also a full-time doctoral student in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_
Dr. Zebulun Davenport - guest cohost
Zebulun Davenport is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His purview includes Educational Partnerships and Student Advocacy; the Campus Center; Office of Student Involvement; Counseling and Psychological Services; Housing and Residence Life; Campus Recreation; Student Health Services; and Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. Davenport earned a Doctorate in Higher Education and Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a Master’s of Education in College Student Personnel Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Communications/Public Relations with a minor in Human Services from James Madison University. He has served in various leadership roles at Northern Kentucky University, Appalachian State University, Lord Fairfax Community College, and James Madison University. A nationally known author and speaker, Davenport’s recently co-authored a book entitled First-Generation College Students – Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement. Connect with him on Twitter at @drzdavenport
Mark currently serves as the Executive Director/CEO for both the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) and the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA). Previous to these roles he served 17 years in Higher Education at three institutions serving within Student Affairs and as a faculty member teaching Personal Leadership and Organizational Planning as well as serving as a member of the adjunct faculty for Colorado State’s Student Affairs in Higher Education master’s degree program. Professional Recognition includes being awarded the AFA Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award in 2006. Koepsell also was granted the Alumni Leadership & Service Award from his Alma Mater, Eastern Illinois University in 2011. Also in 2011, Mark received the Jack L. Anson Lifetime Achievement award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. Connect with him on Twitter at @koepsell
Jason L. Meriwether is the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs at Indiana University Southeast, which was named one of the 15 “Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs” by Diverse Issues in Higher Education in 2015. In 2014, Jason was selected to Louisville Business First’s Top Forty under 40 and as one of Business First’s 20 People to Know in Education and Workforce Development. From 2009-2012, Jason was a member of the Board of Directors for Community Nashville, a not-for-profit organization aimed at eliminating racism and bias in Nashville, TN. A native of Guthrie, Ky., Jason earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from the University of Louisville, and earned a certificate from the inaugural Academic Leadership Academy at The Pennsylvania State University Center for the Study of Higher Education in 2011. Jason is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Administration at Indiana State University, which he is expected to complete in 2015. Connect with him on Twitter at @JLMeriwether06
Dr. Susana Muñoz
Dr. Susana Muñoz is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Administrative Leadership department. Her scholarly interests center on the experiences of underrepresented populations in higher education. Specifically, she focuses her research on issues of access, identity, and college persistence for undocumented Latina/o students, while employing perspectives such as Latino critical race theory, Chicana feminist epistemology, and college persistence theory to identify and deconstruct issues of power and inequities as experienced by these populations. She utilizes multiple research methods as mechanisms to examine these matters with the ultimate goal of informing immigration policy and higher education practices. Susana is a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. (a historically Latina sorority) and has served on the National Board of Directors as well as the National Education Foundation Board of her organization. Her co-authored book chapter, Nuestra historia y futuro (Our history and future): Latino/a Greek fraternities and sororities, documents the historical emergence of Latina/o Greek organizations. Connect with her on Twitter at @SusanaPhD
Emily Mumford serves as the coordinator for SPLC on Campus, a program designed to engage college students in social activism. In this role, she helps students launch and support Campus chapters across the country. She joined the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2014 and also serves as operations coordinator for the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala., an interpretive center designed to provide visitors to the Civil Rights Memorial with a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement. In addition to her work at SPLC, Emily has coordinated service-learning trips for college students for the past four years with the Freedom Foundation in Selma, AL. She is a graduate of Gordon State College. Connect with Emily on Twitter at @mumfordnosons