Spring Professional Activities Workshop (SPAW)
May 17-19, 2022

The Serie Center is pleased to be hosting a (mostly!) *in-person* Spring Professional Activities Workshop (SPAW)

As we anticipate the end of another complicated and intense academic year, we hope you’ll join us for a chance to connect, reflect, and learn with colleagues. The current schedule is below. All sessions (except the one virtual workshop) will be held in Theater classrooms, and lunch will be served each day.

All Macalester faculty and staff, including non-tenure track and visiting colleagues, are invited to participate in the SPAW. You are free to attend as many or as few of the sessions as your interests and time allow.

Click on the link to register for the workshops: Spring Professional Activities Workshop.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022
9:30 – 11:30 AM
Theater Building – Room to be announced
Cultivating Healing and Connection
Facilitators: Ebony Adedayo (Serie Center), Karín Aguilar-San Juan (American Studies), and guest(s)
Are you tired yet?! The COVID pandemic, ongoing structural injustices, the demands of teaching and scholarship, and so many other things beyond our control have left many of us utterly exhausted. If you count yourself among the many, take heart and join us for this session cultivated just for you to heal, connect with your body, and breathe. Session offerings will include mindfulness, dance, and writing. Bring a notebook or a journal and come ready to move!
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Theater Building – Room To be announced
1:00 – 3:00 PM
Theater Building – Room to be announced
LACRELA Lessons: Classroom Climate and Pedagogical Practices
Facilitators: Marjorie Trueblood (Department of Multicultural Life), Bethany Miller (Office of Institutional Research & Assessment), Shilad Sen (Mathematics, Statistics, & Computer Science), Ebony Adedayo (Serie Center), Joan Ostrove (Serie Center & Psychology)
Macalester is one of the founding members of the Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA), which provides support for colleagues to lead more effectively on issues of racial justice and to address racial and equity issues on their campuses. During this session, Macalester colleagues who have attended LACRELA e-convenings related to issues of race and racism in the classroom will lead us in a series of activities and reflections about improving the classroom climate and teaching about race and racism. The session will include a case study about responding to incidents of racial violence.
Wednesday, May 18. 2022
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Theater Building – Room to be announced
Classroom Community and Connectedness Pilot
Facilitators: Nancy Bostrom (Office of Institutional Research and Assessment), Bethany Miller (Office of Institutional Research and Assessment), Louisa Bradtmiller (Environmental Studies), & Devavani Chatterjea (Biology and Serie Center, in absentia from Washington, D.C.)
Learning is enhanced when students feel a sense of belonging and community in the educational environment (e.g., Booker, 2016). In an effort to enhance their capacity to foster community in their classrooms, 26 faculty participated in the Classroom Community and Connectedness Pilot program during the 2021-2022 academic year. The pilot was developed and co-led by Devavani Chatterjea and Nancy Bostrom, in collaboration with the Serie Center, Institutional Research and Assessment, and the Department of Multicultural Life. Want to learn about what they found? Want to get ideas for what works to build community in classrooms, labs, and studios? Want to be part of a community of colleagues? If so, this SPAW session is for you!
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Theater Building – Room To be announced
Affinity group sessions

This afternoon includes two separate, concurrent sessions, one specifically designed for BIPOC colleagues and the other for white colleagues. Racialized affinity groups enable colleagues to come together and build connections based on shared characteristics or interests. Because they are so effective, they can also foster communication and cohesiveness within and across different groups. Based on your own identity, you are invited to attend one of the two affinity group sessions curated for participants in those spaces to discuss their unique experiences.

1:00 – 3:00 PM
Theater Building – Room to be announced
Creating Spaces for Ourselves to Be (for BIPOC colleagues)
Facilitators: Ebony Adedayo (Serie Center), Devavani Chatterjea (Biology & Serie Center, in absentia from Washington, D.C.), Bethany Miller (Office of Institutional Research and Assessment), and Marjorie Trueblood (Department of Multicultural Life)
Faculty and staff who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) are invited to attend this SPAW session that will focus on creating space for participants to show up and be themselves. There is a loosely curated agenda that will ground participants in small and group discussions around the increasingly complicated terrain they are navigating in their work, lives, and the world. Participants will have the opportunity to choose breakout groups that speak to critical needs they have as faculty and staff.

1:00 – 3:00 PM
Theater Building – Room to be announced
Noticing and Addressing Structural Dynamics in our Classrooms and Beyond: A Reflection and Strategizing Session (for white colleagues)
Facilitators: Cari Gillen-O’Neel (Psychology), Christie Manning (Sustainability Office & Environmental Studies), Joan Ostrove (Serie Center & Psychology)
This session will be an opportunity for white colleagues to reflect on their own social locations and identities; to examine the ways in which whiteness (as inflected by other structural phenomena) informs their work, pedagogical practices, and relationships with BIPOC students and colleagues; and to strategize ways to be accountable in the work of disrupting and eliminating racism and other forms of systematic oppression at Macalester.
Thursday, May 19, 2022
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
via ZOOM (link to be shared later)
Liberate Your Research: A Virtual Writing Workshop
Facilitator: Dr. Nadine Naber (University of Illinois, Chicago)
Are you looking for perspective and strategies to get “unstuck” with your writing and heal yourself from the effects of an academic culture that can be challenging and oppressive? If so, consider attending this virtual workshop led by writing workshop facilitator and Professor Nadine Naber. As Dr. Naber describes on her website, “I help people liberate themselves and their research in order to transform systemic violence into writing prosperity, joy, and revolution. My workshops rely on my ‘3 Steps Towards Liberating Your Research:’ 1) Healing anxiety, imposter syndrome, and overwhelm by claiming our core beliefs and our radical self/collective love and power; 2) Claiming and naming our own set of liberated theories and methods; 3) Designing a liberated research project in alignment with who we are and what we stand for.”
12:15 -1:00 PM
Theater Building – Room To be announced
1:00 -3:00 PM
Theater Building – Room to be announced
Designing Assignment Prompts that Support Student Learning
Facilitators: Britt Abel (Director of Writing), Nancy Bostrom (Office of Institutional Research & Assessment), Jake Mohan (MAX Center)
You may have read the recent open letter in the Mac Weekly on “unlearning white supremacy in writing” by peer writing tutors in the MAX Center. One of their many helpful suggestions is to “use clear and concise prompts.” How exactly do you put this piece of advice into practice? During this workshop on designing effective writing prompts, you will have ample opportunity to discuss sample prompts with your colleagues while also examining your own praxis and (future or past) prompts. Britt, Nancy, and Jake will share strategies and resources for designing transparent writing prompts that support student learning and that work towards building an equitable classroom environment.