Inclusive Excellence Cohort Certificate Program

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) invites you to apply to participate in the inaugural KSU Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program (IECP). The program provides a valuable professional development opportunity for faculty and staff who want to increase their knowledge about diversity. It will offer participants an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of inclusive excellence, connect and engage with colleagues from across the university who are committed to and want to learn more about diversity, inclusion, equity, and excellence.

IECP is an academic year-long initiative open to faculty and staff and limited to thirty-five participants. You must complete an online application

Once you have completed the application, KSU’s CDO and DCDO will review applications and notify selected participants. The application deadline is Friday, October 16, 2020.

ODI is delighted to partner with CIFAL Atlanta, a KSU center established by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). CIFAL’s focus is capacity building related to the implementation of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals intersect with each of the themes in the ten sessions offered in the IECP training program. Given the initiative’s relevance to SDG goals, at the conclusion of the program, each participant who successfully completes IECP will receive a Certificate of Completion co-awarded by CIFAL Atlanta, UNITAR and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The Goals:

The Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program (IECP) seeks:

  • To foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture and environment at Kennesaw State University.
  • Equip participants with tangible skills to navigate issues around difference.
  • Provide participants with a shared experience and language as it pertains to diversity and inclusion.


The Program expectations are as follows:

Selected participants must participate in the IECP orientation: Wednesday, October 21, 12:00-1:30 (a link will be provided) and

  • participate in the program orientation.
  • attend at least three cultural events on campus during the program.
  • To obtain the certificate, you must attend all sessions and complete a program survey.

Considering COVID-19, IECP will be virtual for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Certificate Program Sessions


  1. The History of Race in America - Catherine Lewis - Asst. Vice President Museums, Archives and Rare Books and Professor of History and team
  2. Understanding your own implicit/unconscious bias - Linda Lyons - Director of Strategic Outreach and Diversity Initiatives and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  3. Developing Intercultural Competence - Darla Deardorff - Executive Director of the Association of International Education Administrators
  4. Why Bystander Interventions Matter - Sylvia Carey-Butler - KSU Chief Diversity Officer
  5. Sustainability and Equity - Binbin DeVillar - Executive Director, Division of Global Affairs Director, CIFAL Atlanta & Professor of International Education, Leadership and Research


  1. Accessibility: Ensuring everyone matters (TBD)
  2. Intersecting identities of LGBTQ Communities - Jessica Duvall Assistant Director Cultural and Community Centers and - Dani Alexander - Coordinator for Cultural and Community Centers
  3. Sense of Belonging - Corrie Davis - Department Chair of Inclusive Education, 
    Bagwell College of Education
  4. Social Justice in Higher Education - Jillian Ford - Associate Professor of Social Studies Education, Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education, Bagwell College of Education
  5. Veterans in the classroom and on campus - Neil Duchac - Assistant Professor of Social Work and Human Services and the Executive Director of the Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth and - Matthew Foley - Stacks Coordinator, LSU Library System

Fall 2020

Session Descriptions:

Developing Intercultural Competence

Dr. Darla K. Deardorff, Executive Director of the Association of International Education Administrators, will lead us in a training experience to build intercultural competencies based on her newly released Manual for Developing Intercultural Competencies: Story Circles, published by UNESCO and Routledge. The Story Circles methodology promotes intercultural competence development in building more inclusive societies and can be used in and out of classrooms. It has been piloted around the world through the United Nations and is now to available in 5 languages as open-access for all through this link: HTTPS://WWW.TAYLORFRANCIS.COM/BOOKS/9780429244612. We will learn more about this intercultural tool and experience Story Circles through a highly interactive virtual session.

The History of Race in America

The faculty and staff in the Department of Museums, Archives & Rare Books (MARB) will lead a discussion on the history of race in America entitled “The Power of Protest: How a Hashtag Became a Movement.” Dr. Catherine Lewis (AVP for MARB, professor of history, and co-author of three books on civil rights) and her team will examine the history of injustice, violence, and protest to situate us in this important historical moment. This engaging, interactive session will draw upon a range of sources and invite attendees to be active participants in the discussion.

Understanding Your Own Implicit/Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is a form of judgments and behaviors toward others that an individual is not aware of and is the product of associations learned through past experiences. The unconscious bias we carry with us impact our day-to-day lives and, particularly, our daily interactions with others, whether at work or in other various shared settings. Biases are reinforced daily without us knowing or thinking consciously about them. This session will explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes which influence our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control. Methods will be shared to gain awareness of adopted bias beliefs and behavior and encourage individuals to understand and manage their hidden biases and assumptions.

Why Bystander Intentions Matters

Empowering participants to actively respond and disrupt language and/or behavior that marginalizes individuals or groups. Participants will develop skills to:

  • Learn how to be a bystander and intervene as appropriate.
  • Overcome fear of retaliation or embarrassment and get involved.
  • Learn to ask the right questions when considering intervention.
  • Identify language that marginalizes individuals or groups and learn how to speak up.

Sustainability and Equity

The Sustainability and Equity Session will provide an overview of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its holistic approach to Sustainability. In addition, it will examine the connections between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and social, economic and environmental equity.  Further, the session will discuss best practices for engaging stakeholders in developing programs and initiatives that benefit students, faculty, the university and the community at large. The session will engage participants in developing a holistic understanding of Sustainability and its connection to equity. Participants will learn ways to address both in personal and professional contexts to positively impact the development of sustainability and inclusive excellence at KSU. 

Fall Session Dates:

  • Program Orientation

    October 21, 2020


  • Session I: Developing Intercultural Competence

    October 23, 2020


  • Session II: The History of Race in American

    November 6, 2020


  • Session III: Understanding your own implicit/unconscious bias

    November 13, 2020


  • Session IV: Why Bystander Interventions Matter

    November 20, 2020


  • Session V: Sustainability and Equity

    December 4, 2020

    12:00-1:30 pm

Spring 2021

Session Descriptions:

Intersecting Identities of LGBTQ Communities

Language surrounding LGBTQ+ communities is constantly evolving and can feel overwhelming when working to create an LGBTQ+ inclusive campus community. This presentation will provide participants with a contextualized understanding of LGBTQ+ related language, with an emphasis on how our multitude of identities (such as sexual orientation, race, gender, and class) can impact how staff and faculty show up as their authentic selves on campus. Through a discussion focused on language, identity, and intersectionality, participants will gain a more nuanced understanding of LGBTQ+ experiences and an awareness of best practices intended to foster a more inclusive campus environment for everyone.  

Veterans in the Classroom and on Campus

This session led by the co-chairs of the Commission on Veterans Affairs at KSU will cover the following: 

  1. All student Veterans are non-traditional students but not all non-traditional students are Veterans, what makes them different.
  2. The age/experience gap between Veteran students vs. traditional students (also the responsibility differences between student Veterans vs. traditional students)
  3. Military culture
  4. Military training and learning styles
  5. Student Veteran Leadership
  6. MVS and other services available to help on campus for student Veterans
  7. Student disability services / reasonable accommodations for disabled Veterans
  8. PTSD and mental health concerns with student Veterans

Cultivating a Sense of Belonging 

Higher education can be a space of learning, growth, and thought-provoking experiences. It is meant to be a community where people from different backgrounds come together to cultivate a shared space and purpose. To “belong” in this environment, students, staff, and faculty need to feel connected to the larger purpose while also feeling empowered and encouraged by those around them. This session will discuss the concept of belonging and how, when intentionally embedded, departments, units, and people can thrive. 

Social Justice in Higher Education

In the session participants will consider the role of administration, faculty, staff, and students in creating an environment that is conducive for learning.  We will look at successful university – wide initiatives, curricular and co-curricular programs, and formats for communication.  Our objective is to think about how to improve existing structures and/or further evolve higher education. 

Spring Session Dates: To be announced