How Diversity Makes Us Smarter

Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working

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Ever since NERCHE published their “Full Participation: Building the Architecture for Diversity and Community Engagement in Higher Education” report, the links between diverse students (diversity broadly conceived here) and the ability of public institutions to fulfill missions connected to the public good has been on my mind. Nice to see a dovetail here! 

Exploring Yellowdig

I’m tuning in to things that are at the intersection of interest areas, and yes. Rocket syellowdigcience moment: the basic idea is that students learn socially whether they are in or outside of classrooms. But the best ideas are the ones that take what we know and move us to where we might want to go. Seems like Yellowdig does that, at least looking at it. What is Yellowdig? It’s a social learning tool that uses the way students interact with each other (via social media) and makes this compatible with existing learning management systems (blackboard, moodle, canvas, etc.) AND allows an instructor to collect real-time data on student engagement with course content. Has anyone out there used it in their courses? Please do let me know. I’m considering integrating it into a Race, Place and Civic Media course I’ll be teaching in the spring semester.


I am in love with storytelling in podcast-form. Like many others, I binge-listened to Serial. My sister gave me tickets to The Moth for Christmas. Most recently, PRX/Transom’s How Sound has occupied much of my listening time, as I travel to and from work, catch up on laundry on the weekend, or wolf down a late lunch at my desk. How Sound feeds both the tech nerd in me (i.e., curiosity about bi-directional and cardioid microphones; gain, output, how to create at-home sound booths) and the part of me that loves the complexities of exploring and expressing human life in narrative form. But it came as a surprise when a friend said that I’d been interested in audio stories for a long time. Really?  Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell if something is a true passion or just a passing phase. …And then I thought back, and I did some googling. And sitting here, re-listening to Remorse: The 14 Stories of Eric Morse, in an instant it’s 1994, and I am sitting in the white 1988 Honda Civic with the faded cloth seats (my first major purchase, bought from my father). I am transfixed by both the storytellers and the story, tears streaming down my cheek by the end. Something in that experience went beyond the “driveway moments” referenced during public radio fund drives. Questions and possibilities brought up then–the relationship between the professional and novices; the ethical dilemmas raised within the production and presentation of the story, the subject matter itself and its non/consideration of social, cultural, racial, economic issues, the sticky, gray areas involved in the idea of “voice” and audience. Yeah. I fell in love then, fell hard. Crazy to think it’s been twenty years. But I’m so glad to be rekindling that romance, and finally (finally!) reflecting and writing about it.

Scholarship Redefined

This post is my first in quite a while. I haven’t written since earlier this year, at Southern Places, Digital Spaces. And I haven’t written in my previous blog since the fall of 2009. In homage to Boyer, the title of this post is an acknowledgement that scholarship–and being a scholar–can “look” a lot of different ways. I’m keeping this brief, because I’m writing on my lunch hour, and I’d like to spend the rest of this writing time transferring some of my favorite blogs and sites to this new space. Cheers!