Post updated April 14, 2015
The March 19 session has been cancelled.
In any given semester, students grapple with difficult issues that affect their communities. For instance, last semester, many students struggled with the after effects of the battle between Israel and Hamas and the police violence against black men in Ferguson, Staten Island, and other parts of the United States. These issues find their way into the classroom. Because faculty are often the “first responders” in these situations, it is critical for all of us to hone our skills in facilitating constructive conversations.
Join Sophia McGee and John Vogelsang, from QC’s Center for Ethnic, Racial, & Religious Understanding (CERRU) for a three-session workshop series that will help you:
- foster a safe space for constructive conversations; and
- develop and augment your skills for facilitating constructive conversations about difficult issues in the classroom
Each session will include small and large group discussions, role plays, case studies, and demonstrations of new techniques with opportunities to practice them. Participants will complete a project using the skills learned in this workshop to facilitate a constructive conversation in their classroom. At the last session they will discuss their project with the other participants.
The series is open to all Queens College faculty (full- and part-time). If you are interested, please sign up by filling out this brief form: http://goo.gl/HDKCV8
You can expect to take away from the three sessions:
- Various approaches to facilitating constructive conversations
- Sources of reliable information about social issues
- Affirmation and deepening of your facilitation skills
- Familiarity with new approaches, including at least one approach you will have tested in your own classroom
Thursdays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm on February 26, March 26, and April 16 in Queens Hall 325 (directions).
- How to build upon what you know already
- Fostering a Safe Space
- Collaborative Listening
- Micro-aggressions, their impact on difficult conversations, and how to intervene
- Turning Difficult Conversations into Constructive Conversations Part 1
- Turning Difficult Conversations into Constructive Conversations Part 2
- Case studies/role plays about facilitating constructive conversations
- Decide upon a project to complete by Session Four; the project will involve using the skills learned in this workshop to facilitate a constructive conversation in your classroom
Sophia McGee holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School University. Her concentration was Conflict and Security, and her regional area of specialization was the Middle East, with a focus on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict. While at the New School, Sophia developed an interest in experiential pedagogy; particularly the development and use of classroom simulations.
In her current position at Queens College, she has co- written four original simulations for students in the “America and the Middle East: Clash of Civilizations or Meeting of Minds” series of courses, which she co-teaches with Professor Mark Rosenblum. Ms. McGee has lectured and presented both on current affairs involving Israel, the United States, and the Palestinian Territories, as well as the use of innovative pedagogy to teach the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict. Most recently, she co-taught one of the “America and the Middle East” simulations at Hampshire College. She also served as a Simulation Coach/Consultant alongside experts Ahmad Khalidi and Yossi Alpher to students of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva Switzerland. Other lectures and presentation venues include the New School University, The Montreal Dialogue Group, Columbia University Teacher’s College, Queens College, the Suffolk YWHA, and The Central YWHA of Queens. Sophia is a member of the International Society for Political Psychology, as well as Queens College’s Experiential Education Working Group. She is also the Artistic Director of the Kupferberg Center for the Performing Arts’ “First Acts” Initiative.
Ms. McGee received her Undergraduate Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied at the College of Fine Arts. In her first career, Sophia was an actress, singer and dancer who appeared on and off Broadway, regionally and internationally, and in films and commercials.
John D. Vogelsang, PhD, has been working for over thirty-eight years in the areas of conflict transformation, organizational transitions, strategic planning, participatory evaluation, board development, small and large group dialogue and deliberation facilitation. His clients have included foundations, human service and mental health agencies, community health centers, universities, professional associations, religious judicatories, arts organizations, and advocacy groups. He is the Associate Director of the Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change and Director of the Dialogue Project for the Queens College Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding.
He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the American University MS program in Organization Development. For two years, he was a visiting professor of nonprofit and NGO management and organizational conflict at the School for International Training Graduate Institute. Prior college teaching includes: a graduate summer course in group facilitation and group dynamics at Johnson State College (1980 – 1996); a course in organization development and group dynamics at General Theological Seminary (1983 – 1990). He has published many monographs and articles on organization development, conflict, and leadership issues. Since 2009, he has been the Editor in Chief of the OD Practitioner, the quarterly journal of the Organization Development Network. He is the 2013 recipient of the OD Network Larry Porter Award for his contributions to the field.