Funded by the Mellon Foundation and the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC), the Faculty of Color Working Group Inaugural Symposium took place at Wheaton College on Friday 10 May 2019.

This day-long symposium focused on dialog and retention issues that faculty of color face across campuses.  Together, we addressed the unique climate and the administrative organizations that engage equity, diversity, and inclusion at the various institutions represented at the symposium and beyond. From mentorship to implicit bias and to public outreach, this gathering shed light on structural issues, thereby enabling much needed reflection toward systemic change.

Session Leaders

Dr. Courtney Berger, Executive Editor, Duke University Press.

Dr. Floyd Cheung, Professor of English and American Studies and Director of the Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning, Smith College.

Dr. Pawan Dhingra, Professor of American Studies and Contributing Faculty Department of Anthropology/Sociology, Amherst College.

Dr. Patricia A. Matthew, Associate Professor of English, Montclair State University.

Dr. Renée White, Provost and Professor of Sociology, Wheaton College.

Crystal Williams, Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of English, Boston University.


8:30 – 9:00

Ellison Lecture Hall, Watson Fine Arts

Registration and arrival

9:00 – 9:30

Ellison Lecture Hall, Watson Fine Arts

Opening remarks (Dennis Hanno, President, Wheaton College)

Welcoming remarks (Renée White, Provost, Wheaton College)

Faculty of Color Working Group and New England Humanities Consortium (Melina Pappademos and Cathy Schlund-Vials, University of Connecticut)

Symposium’s importance and logistics (Touba Ghadessi and Gabriela Torres, Wheaton College)

9:30 – 10:15

Ellison Lecture Hall, Watson Fine Arts

Work life balance (Crystal Williams, Boston University)

10:15 — 10:30


10:30 – 11:15

Ellison Lecture Hall, Watson Fine Arts

Institution and community building (Pawan Dhingra, Amherst College)

11:15 – 11:30


11:30 – 12:15

Ellison Lecture Hall, Watson Fine Arts

Writing books people will want to read (Courtney Berger, Duke University Press)

12:15 – 12:30

Stairs in front of Watson Fine Arts (facing Route 123)

Group picture

12:30 – 2:00

Faculty Dining Room, Emerson Dining Hall


2:00 – 3:30

Concurrent Sessions

May Room, Mary Lyon 

Tenure and promotion (Patricia Matthew, Montclair State University) [pre-tenured geared]

Please take a look at Dr. Matthew’s recently published book “Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure,” and listen to her NPR interview on WNYC.

Watson 206, Watson Fine Arts

Inclusive feedback practices for teaching and learning (Floyd Cheung, Smith College) [pre- and post-tenured geared]

  • Getting regular feedback to and from students via preparatory notes, exit tickets, and rubrics
  • Encouraging reflection at midsemester
  • Redesigning end-of-course questionnaire
  • Participating in student-faculty pedagogical partnership

Beard and Weil Galleries, Watson Fine Arts

Finding your way: defining your leadership path(s) (Renée White, Wheaton College) [post-tenured geared]

  • What is your story?
  • Meaningful, authentic leadership (leadership in place)
  • Mapping your future

3:30 – 3:45


3:45 – 4:00

Haas Concourse, Watson Fine Arts

Closing remarks

4:00 – 5:00

Haas Concourse, Watson Fine Arts




For your convenience, here are directions to Wheaton College and a map of campus.

The Symposium will take place in the Watson Fine Arts Center and in Mary Lyon Hall, which are #26 and #14 on the printable map.

If you are driving, please park in Lot 2, across the street from Watson Fine Arts Center.

Because we want this symposium to encourage discussions and positive networking, we are happy to host a food and wine reception at the end of the day. But we suggest you continue having engaging conversations over dinner on your own.

To facilitate this, here are a few (tested and approved!) restaurants in the area (Norton, Mansfield, and Providence):


Please feel free to direct queries to Touba Ghadessi, Associate Provost for Academic Administration and Faculty Affairs, Wheaton College.