The fourth annual Conference on the Scholarship of Diversity will be held March 15-16 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the conference showcases diversity as a critical and valued area of scholarship and research.

The conference is recommended for those studying and/or committed to issues related to race, gender, culture, class, sexual orientation, and disability. The conference will feature plenary speakers, breakout sessions, roundtables, posters, panels, as well as networking, fellowship, support, and celebration. The conference is open to the public and registration deadline is March 1, 2007.

This year’s themes are:

• Evaluation, assessment, and measurement of diversity efforts

• Creating inclusive cultures and valuing differences

• Aging and diversity – intergenerational challenges

• Global vs. local: dealing with complexity and paradox

The Thursday session opens at 1:00 p.m. with a keynote presentation Gary P. Ferraro, author of “Cultural Dimension of International Business.” This book, now in its fifth edition, demonstrates how the theory and insights of cultural anthropology can positively influence the conduct of international business. It addresses the understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication patterns, increasing cultural self-awareness, finding relevant cultural information, and negotiating across cultures.

Friday’s closing keynote will be delivered by by Juanita L. Lewis-Coston, a manager, educator and organizational consultant with over 20 years of experience in diverse multicultural environments from academic environments to large international corporations. In 1993, she developed the training manual, “Cultural Diversity and You,” which has been licensed and used internationally. She recently began training with a second manual, “Cultural Inclusion: A Shared Responsibility for Excellence,” which assists clients "align the talk and the walk to maximize results" through effective communications and performance management.

Several research presentations highlight the work of those in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, including the following topics: Persistence of Women in Computer-Related Majors; Diversity Small Grants Awards Program: An Evaluation Study; Improving Employment Satisfaction for African American Faculty Members: Lessons from a National Study; Conceptualization, Measurement & Assessment of the Significance of Racial Diversity Among Latinos; and Perceptions of Majority and Minority Faculty at Virginia Tech.

For more information, contact Ann Brown in continuing and professional education at 540-231-7966.

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