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Michael Tilford Conference at Pittsburg State University

Diversity Practices: Culturally Responsive Strategies to Champion Diversity

The Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism will be held at Pittsburg State University on October 19-20, 2015.

The conference provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, and administrators at Kansas Regents' institutions to discuss diversity in higher education.

Goals of the conference:

  • Listening to visionary leaders who will inspire you to promote equity and awareness at your institution.
  • Participating in workshops to learn about challenges teaching diverse populations on Kansas campuses.
  • Sharing your passion for teaching and interacting with students regardless of race, gender, religion and national origin.

About the Michael Tilford Conference

The Michael Tilford Conference provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, and administrators at the Kansas Board of Regents' institutions to approach diversity in higher education by examining the challenges and opportunities in Kansas including:

  • Inspire awareness of multiple dimensions of diversity, related practices of inclusion, and the transformation of higher education in Kansas.
  • Participate in workshops to learn about challenges and strategies for teaching diverse populations on Kansas campuses.
  • Share your passion for teaching and interacting with students from all backgrounds.

Michael TilfordThis conference is named in memory of the late Dr. Michael Tilford, who passed away on November 6, 1996. Dr. Tilford was the WSU representative on the Regents Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee from its onset in 1994 until his death.

In 1969, Dr. Tilford was one of 100 African-American educators from across the country who received Ford Foundation Grants for advanced graduate study. He received his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 1970. Dr. Tilford also had a bachelor's degree from Langston University in mathematics/chemistry and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in science education. He was appointed Dean of the Graduate School of WSU in 1988 and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1994. Dr. Tilford chaired many organizations, and his committee work showed his commitment to the education of students traditionally underrepresented at the university level.

In the 1970s, he served on a committee that developed a successful proposal for the minority studies program. Also, he helped conduct a study of the institutional commitment to minorities at WSU.

  • Call for Proposals
  • Schedule and Workshops


Monday, October 19, 2015

Venue: Bicknell Family Center for the Arts

see directions

5:30 – 6:30 pm
Conference Registration - Lobby Area
Reception - Dean Family VIP Room

6:15 pm
Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Ananda Jayawardhana and Deatrea Rose, Conference Planning Committee Co-chairs, Pittsburg State University
Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall   

6:45 pm
Conference Welcome
Dr. Lynette Olson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, 
Pittsburg State University

7:00 pm
Welcome and Introduction of the Featured Speaker

Dr. Lynette Olson
Pittsburg State University

“Breaking the glass ceiling: It’s all about excellence!”
Dr. Mirta M. Martin                            
President, Fort Hays State University


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Venue: Overman Student Center

see directions

8:00 – 9:00 am 
Registration and Breakfast

C&G Lounge

9:00 – 9:30 am 
Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Ananda Jayawardhana and Deatrea Rose, Conference Planning Committee Co-chairs
C&G Ballroom

President’s Welcome
Dr. Steven A. Scott, President of Pittsburg State University

Kansas Board of Regents Welcome
Dr. Gary Alexander, Vice President for Academic Affairs, KBOR

Tilford Conference Retrospective
Dr. Sheryl Lidzy, Conference Planning Committee Member

9:30 – 11:00 am 
Introduction of the Featured Presenter
Dr. Sheryl Lidzy, Conference Planning Committee Member

Featured Presentation
Difference Matters and Pedagogy                
Dr. Brenda J. Allen
Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Communication, University of Colorado Denver

11:00 – 11:10 am 

11:10 – 12:00 pm 

Restorative Justice and Community Building Circle Practice - Roy F. Janisch, Ph.D   

The Ethics of Implicit Racial Bias: Dangers and Remedies - Dr. Noell Birondo

Kansas 1        
Using Culturally Responsive Reading Selections in Developmental Reading - Lisa Stoothoff

Kansas 2        
Reaching Diverse Learning Needs with Universal Design for Learning - Tami Hennigh

Kansas 3
Creating Space for Mixed Race Students - Sandra Winn Tutwiler

Kansas 4
The American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance: A Multi-Institute American Indian Focused Partnership in Kansas Higher Education - Sean Daley

STARS: A Best Practice to Increase the STEM Pipeline - E. Nathan Thomas III, Ph.D

Capitalizing on College Access and Success Programs: Building a Stronger Recruitment and Retention Effort with TRiO - V. Kaye Monk-Morgan

Transforming Your Recruitment and Retention Initiatives: Developing a Cultural Paradigm Shift - Robert Page Jr.

12:00 – 1:00 pm 
C&G Ballroom

Introduction of the Featured Presenter
Dr. Ananda Jayawardhana

Featured Presentation
Best Practices in the Recruitment of Historically Under-represented Students                                
Dr. Myra Gordon, Associate Provost for Diversity, Kansas State University

1:00 – 1:50 pm
Workshops Repeated - Round 2

1:50 – 2:00 pm 

2:00 – 2:50 pm 
Plenary Session

C&G Ballroom
Transform Teaching and Learning by Unpacking Privilege
Dr. Brenda J. Allen

2:50 – 3:00 pm 

3:00 – 3:30 pm 
Institutional Focus Groups

Kansas 1 - Emporia State University
Kansas 2 - Fort Hays State University
Kansas 3 - Kansas State University
Kansas 4 - University of Kansas 
Balkans - University of Kansas Medical Center
Sunflower - Pittsburg State University    
Sunset A - Washburn University         
Prairie - Wichita State University

3:30 – 3:40 pm 

3:40 – 4:00 pm 
Closing Session

C&G Ballroom
Dr. Ananda Jayawardhana
Dr. Lynette Olson


Description of workshops

Keynote Speakers

Mirta M. Martin, Ph.D.

Mirta MartinThe Kansas Board of Regents appointed Dr. Mirta M. Martin the ninth president of Fort Hays State University on May 2, 2014, effective July 1. Dr. Martin holds a Baccalaureate Degree in Psychology and Political Science from Duke University; a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Richmond; and a Doctorate with an emphasis in Strategic Management and Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is fluent in three foreign languages.

Dr. Martin's career involves work in both the public and private sectors, including special expertise in organizational behavior, management, institutional advancement and workforce development. As a senior banking executive, Dr. Martin was recognized as a highly effective and innovative practitioner, positioning companies for growth and profitability via leadership in strategic planning, investment management, operations, business development and legislative advocacy.

Dr. Martin's higher education experience is equally diverse and successful. She has served as Tenured Professor and Interim Dean at Averett University, Danville, Va.; Associate Dean and Executive Director at the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business; Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the John Tyler Community College Foundation; and Special Assistant to the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. Most recently, she served as Dean and Professor of Management at the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business at Virginia State University.

Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D.

Brenda J. Allen is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver, where she also serves as Master Mentor of the Tenure Track Faculty Mentoring Program.

Professor Allen’s scholarship focuses on organizational communication, social identity (e.g., gender, race, sexuality, class, age, ability, and social class), and diversity in higher education. Among her numerous publications is a groundbreaking book entitled Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity, (2nd Ed., 2011, Waveland Press). Professor Allen presents speeches, conducts workshops, and provides consultation services on numerous topics related to diversity and inclusion in higher education, including: fostering an inclusive campus climate; recruiting and retaining diverse faculty; transforming curricula; unconscious bias; inclusive pedagogy; mentoring; empowered leadership; and, creating respectful workplaces. Professor Allen has received numerous awards and accolades, including: the Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lectureship (National Communication Association); Master Teacher (Western States Communication Association); Annual Ally of the Year Award (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance -- CU Boulder); Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement for Commitment to Diversity (CU Denver); and, the inaugural Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring (CU Denver).

Powerpoint Download: Keynote Powerpoint Download: Plenary

Dr. Myra Gordon (12pm Session)

Dance Club Performance (1)

Dance Club Performance (2)

African Student Association Performance

  • Venue and Hotel Information


Bicknell Family Center for the Arts

Overman Student Center Map

Tilford Conference Parking Map


Comfort Inn and Suites
(620) 231-8800
$87.00 (state rate) tax Exempt
Reservations should be made by October 9th.

  • Statewide Planning Committee

Statewide Planning Committee Members

Susan Bradley, Butler CC
Crystal Jackson, Butler CC
Jason Brooks, ESU
Marla Darby, ESU
Sheryl Lidzy, ESU
Kathryn McGonigal, FHSU
Star Triscornia, JCCC
Brandon Clark, KSU
Madai Rivera, KSU
Michelle White-Godinet, KSU
Zelia Wiley,  KSU
Terri Morris, KU
E. Nathan Thomas III, KU
Jennifer Keeton, KUMC
Todd Moore, KUMC
Mike Werle, KUMC
Jill Allen, PSU
Ananda Jayawardhana, PSU
Deatrea Rose, PSU
Lee Young, PSU
Patricia Dahl, Washburn
Miguel Gonzalez-Abellas, Washburn
Jean Griffith, WSU
Alicia Sanchez, WSU

Tilford Emeritus Members of the Statewide Planning Committee

Dr. Joe Bast, member 1994-2011 
Dr. Juanita McGowan, member 1997-2012 
Dr. Myra Gordon, member 2003-2015

  • Past Conferences

2015 Tilford Conference - Pittsburg State University - October 19-20, 2015

2014 Tilford Conference - Emporia State University - October 20-21, 2014
2013 Tilford Conference - Emporia State University - October 21-22, 2013

2012 Tilford Conference - Kansas State University - October 29-30, 2012

2011 Tilford Conference - Kansas State University - October 24-25, 2011

2010 Tilford Conference - University of Kansas - October 12, 2010

2009 Tilford Conference - University of Kansas - October 5-6, 2009

2008 Tilford Conference - Wichita State University - October 2-3, 2008

2007 Tilford Conference - Wichita State University - October 4-5, 2007