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Howard-Bostic, students present research at international conference

ISSUED: 14 December 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A Shepherd University professor and two students traveled to Washington, D.C., on December 9 to present research at the Advena World International Conference. Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, assistant professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Geography, Shamika Bruinton, a sociology major from Woodbridge, Virginia, and Micah Johnson, a college student development and administration master’s major from Austin, Texas, attended the conference.

Howard-Bostic was the keynote speaker for the conference, which was titled “Education, Media, and Social Change.” In her speech, “Transitioning from Diversity to Multiculturalism,” Howard-Bostic introduced a triangular sociological approach and ethical leadership process used to empower multicultural education during a community-based and academic workshop.

“The approach encourages a form of leadership and social action that embraces past experience as a learning tool as opposed to ignoring history,” Howard-Bostic said. “Multicultural education integrating community and academic advocates is an innovative strategy to enhance a group’s ability to recognize and appreciate pluralistic behavior.”

Howard-Bostic also presented the findings from event surveys to highlight participant perspectives of team-learning, problem solving, and communication in diverse groups. She said these findings aligned with academic literature about team-learning, understanding social problems, and diversity at universities.

Bruinton and Johnson presented a poster and professional presentation titled “Survey of Multicultural Education in the Media and on Campus” in which they described the importance of multicultural education and the effectiveness of multicultural pedagogy in creating positive images of minority group members.

Bruinton and Johnson conducted surveys assessing what college students have learned about race and ethnicity from faculty in courses and at campus events. The students also examined whether media images about different cultures impacted students’ attitudes about racism, ethnicity, and privilege. They presented survey findings and recommendations for effective multicultural education practices on campus.

The multicultural research project was funded by the Shepherd University Graduate School and the Legreid Student Research Presentation Award, which provides funding for undergraduate student research initiatives. Every year Howard-Bostic identifies a student research team to present at the AdvenaWorld conference series.

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