2016 Drake University Learning Symposium


“Inclusive Excellence” is the theme of the 4th Annual Learning Symposium 

August 19, 2016
Sheraton West Des Moines

As an institution, the goal of inclusive excellence is to be, borrowing from D. A. Williams, “strategically well positioned to meet the needs of a changing world and embrace a culture that views diversity as fundamental to organizational success, effectiveness and excellence” Further, AAC&U advances an operational definition of inclusive excellence composed of four primary elements:

1) A focus on student intellectual and social development;

2) A purposeful development and utilization of organizational resources to enhance student learning;

3) Attention to the cultural differences learners bring to the educational experience and that enhance the enterprise;

4) A welcoming community that engages all of its diversity in the service of the student and organizational learning.

Thus, this year’s symposium is intended to extend and focus the conversations we have been having over the past year about our campus climate. It seeks proposals that that feature either what we are currently doing (but need to expand) or what we should be doing (best practices) to enhance diversity and inclusivity at Drake.

Session One Descriptions

Session Two Descriptions


8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration, Continental breakfast
8:30 – 8:45 a.m. Welcome – President Martin, Provost Mattison
8:45 – 9:15 a.m.  Campus Climate - Melissa Sturm-Smith, Renee Cramer, Michael Couvillon
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Session One
10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Poster Session / Break
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Session Two
12:15 – 1:15 p.m. Lunch
Principal Financial Group Global Citizenship Award Announcement
1:30 - 3:00  p.m.  Afternoon Presentation - Jennifer Godinez


Guest Speaker - Jennifer Godinez

Jennifer Godinez (AS ’97) is associate director of Minnesota Education Equity Partnership. As associate director, she co-leads MnEEPand is responsible for key initiatives and program evaluation. Prior to joining Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, she served as executive director of La Escuelita and is founding chair of the Latino Scholarship Fund of Minnesota. Godinez has in-depth experience in youth development, college access program development, race equity policy and strategy development, and education policy development. At Drake she was a Multicultural Cowles Scholar, with a Sociology major and multicultural studies concentration. Godinez also holds an M.P.P. from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Policy, which she attended as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow. Godinez will talk with us about her academic and professional journey in developing pathways of cultural responsiveness, inclusivity, and equity action. 



University News
October 20, 2016
The Comparison Project will present the third event in its 2016–2017 series on death and dying. A community interfaith dialogue on Oct. 27 will feature representatives of three different refugee religions in Des Moines.