Expanding Perspectives continues campus theme

Expanding Perspectives continues campus theme

Hannah Hippensteel, Features Reporter

In coordination with the university theme of Career Readiness, the Inclusion and Diversity office will put on an event series titled Expanding Perspectives from Feb. 10 to 14.

According to the organizers, the goal of the series is to provide people with an opportunity to hear and interact with those from different walks of life through art, conversation and student activism.

At Winona State University, there are goals for each school year which focus around a specific aspect the university wants to focus on. For the 2019-20 school year, Winona State wants to focus on Career Readiness, which currently has eight goals called competencies.

These competencies include critical thinking, leadership, collaboration and teamwork, professionalism and career management, oral and written communication, digital technology, global and cultural fluency and civic engagement.

In terms of how the series fits with the theme, DeAnna Goddard, associate director of career services, said it was best suited by the ‘global and intercultural fluency’ competency.

Goddard reflected on the fall implementation of the theme and said she was pleased overall.

For me, the competency is about understanding our own culture but also having respectful, open conversations about the uniqueness of other cultures in our communities,” Goddard said.

Goddard also said the best way to accomplish success within the competency is to get immersive, which is part of the aim of the Expanding Perspectives series.

Goddard mentioned that an aspect of the Career Readiness theme she enjoyed in the fall was seeing awareness grow and hoped that would continue in the spring.

Speaking more generally about how the theme would continue this spring, Goddard mentioned that the three-week competencies would be in this order: leadership, digital technology, oral & written communication and community engagement.

Because the theme is always evolving, Goddard said that anyone can create a theme event to better help identify, articulate and advance within the community.

She also said that this hopefully would encourage people to host events that provide them with added value in the long-term.

One of the ways Goddard hoped this would be accomplished is the usage of the #WSUCareerReady hashtag.

With this, Goddard hopes for a visual account of what WSU students are doing now, as interns, volunteers, etc., to make them sought after when entering the workplace.

“I hope using it will build momentum so employers can see students are competent and ready,” Goddard said.

As Career Readiness continues into the spring semester, Goddard also wants students to become more aware of all the resources available to them, such as the Handshake website, career advising, resume rushes and career assessments.

Goddard has an overall hope that the Career Readiness theme year will be remembered as a  “celebration and reflection on where we’ve been, where we are now and where we’re going.”

Looking again to the series itself, Dr. Daniel Kirk, dean of the College of Education, sees the university theme and Expanding Perspectives series coinciding well.

Kirk was approached by the Inclusion and Diversity Office to partner one of the events and chose the Student Activist & Leadership Workshop, which will happen on Feb. 14.

The series itself, according to Kirk, relates to career readiness in the way the campus will engage with diversity.

“It’s importance in education to practice working in communities with a diverse range of needs,” Kirk said. “Also, the role of the university is to showcase that differences are valued.”

As the leader of the college of education, Kirk said he understands the university-wide initiative and is glad that it flows into larger conversations about day-to-day experiences.

In attending, Kirk said he hopes the series helps people foster conversations of openness about how diversity is not one-size-fits-all.


*All opinions expressed are of the Winonan staff. They do not necessarily reflect those of the college, university, system, or student body.*