Kappa Delta Pi, Iota Rho chapter leads workshop at UW-La Crosse's Student Development Conference

March 28, 2013
Left-right: Dr. Rea Kirk, Brianna Hardginski, Chloe Christiansen, Kevyn Webb, Samantha Jayne and Patrick Ralph.


PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Kappa Delta Pi, Iota Rho chapter conducted a workshop at UW-La Crosse’s Student Development Conference on Saturday, March 23.

UW-Platteville students presented the interactive workshop, The Perfect Roommate. “The experience of presenting at a conference is a priceless opportunity and allows us to grow as teacher leaders,” said Kevyn Webb, a senior elementary education major from Platteville, Wis.

The purpose of the conference is to recruit and retain diverse and underrepresented high school and college students interested in teaching careers as the conference addressed the specific academic career development needs while inspiring high school and college students to pursue the teaching field.

Webb, Samantha Jayne, a senior English major from Waukesha, Wis., Brianna Hardginski, a senior middle level education major from Menasha, Wis., Patrick Ralph, a senior elementary education major from Harlingen, Texas, and Chloe Christiansen, a senior elementary education major from Montfort, Wis., all prepared and led the workshop.

“This conference addresses issues of diversity and inclusiveness,” said Dr. Rea Kirk, UW-Platteville professor of education. “Kappa Delta Pi is the education honor society for UW-Platteville. Students who attend and present at conferences like this learn vital information about diversity and the disproportionality of students of color in classes for students with disabilities.”

The Perfect Roommate allows for small group discussion along with large group interaction to identify, confront and address personal biases. Personal biases in the classroom are an issue that any future educator will have to combat and this workshop addressed that. In this workshop, the audience was broken up into  groups. Groups were asked to choose a perfect roommate based on a series of presented characteristics. After choosing a perfect roommate, there was a large group discussion of participant’s ability to name personal biases and the biases of society, including a further discussion of the institutionalizing of prejudice.

UW-Platteville students also engaged with current professionals who are passionate and supportive of the teaching profession.

“The proposal process was very competitive. I am very proud they presented before a statewide audience and had that experience,” said Kirk. The five were the only student presenters at this conference. Other presenters were professors, administrators or instructors.

The conference itself addressed the critical shortage of diverse teachers and teachers who teach in underrepresented majors such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, English as a Second Language and special education, as well as the low retention and graduation rates for undergraduate students in teacher education programs.

Written by: Eileen McGuine, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, mcguinee@uwplatt.edu



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