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EIU Making Excellence Inclusive

Fifth Annual Making Excellence Inclusive Conference

 MEI Conference Logo


FREE Virtual | Friday, October 15, 2021 | Register Here

A signature AAC&U initiative, Making Excellence Inclusive (MEI) is designed to explore how colleges and universities can fully utilize the resources of diversity to achieve academic excellence for all students. Click here for more information about MEI’s mission and core principles.

The annual RISE conference provides faculty, staff and adminstrators the strategies and tools to support students' academic success. The conference is also designed to raise awareness of the diverse challenges our students face, whether as members of underrepresented groups, as first-generation college students, as non-traditionally aged students, or as students with disabilities.

This year we are excited to offer sessions that would be relevant to our K-12 partners in response to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) new Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading standards. Sessions will be presented synchronously. 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Teresa Maria Linda Scholz

Teresa Maria Linda Scholz

Teresa Maria Linda Scholz (Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder) is the new the Vice President of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dr. Scholz was previously Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to her roles as an administrator, Dr. Scholz was an Associate Professor (with tenure) at Eastern Illinois University in Communication Studies, and affiliated Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies faculty. Dr. Scholz identifies as US and Guatemalan-American, is a first-generation college student, raised in Guatemala and the United States. 

She positions herself as a Critical Latina/Latin American Transnational Feminist Scholar in Communication Studies, who is interested in understanding culturally situated theories of counterhegemonic enactments of rhetorical agency. Courses she has taught include Rhetoric of Race, Rhetoric of Class, Critical Intercultural Communication, and Latina/Latin American Women’s Human Rights Discourses. Dr. Scholz has also completed a certificate in Mindful Facilitation techniques. 

As a scholar-practitioner she is committed to identifying discursive and material counterhegemonic practices in social justice education. As VP for EID, she is interested in leading a campus through the process of exploring and understanding power differentials, the connection between voice, victimhood, and agency, and the role that we all play in challenging, preventing, and resisting different forms of oppression. Her keynote address, titled “Addressing Our Biases in Higher Education: Best Practices on Working Toward Antiracist Campus Cultures” will address how institutions of higher education can work toward strategic and intentional antiracist and equitable practices. CLICK HERE for more about our keynote speaker. 

Professional Development Hours for Educators

Get up to five (5) professional development hours at Eastern Illinois University's Together We RISE (Reaching Inclusivity for Student Excellence) Conference. This year RISE is offering a Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Track (CRT) track in response to ISBE’s new standards.


Conference at a Glance (.pdf)


Track One


Instructional Practices and Programming

Track Two


Higher Education

Track Three


Self-Awareness and Personal Development 

Track Four


Mental Health

Track Five


Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading


8:30-8:50 am

Welcome, Trivia & Introductions | ZOOM LINK

9-9:50 am

Keynote: Dr. Teresa Maria Linda Scholz | ZOOM LINK

10-10:50 am

Promoting Belonging and Equity Through Course Content  

Latina Lift Off: How Inclusive Innovation Helps Latina Undergraduate Students Rise

Believe It Or Not I Care: Compassionate Community Outreach for High School Student Empowerment and Excellence  

Racial and Implicit Bias: Diagnosis Disparities in the African Diaspora: implications for Counseling Practice

Why Culturally Responsive Teaching?

11-11:50 am

Inclusive Practices: Supporting the Success of All Students

Understanding and Teaching Racism: Bridging Academic and Public Discourses in the Classroom

Reading in a way to Improve Diversity Awareness


Coping During the COVID 19 Pandemic: How to Navigate Cultural, Mental and Emotional Challenges

Illinois' Culturally Responsive Teaching Standards: Background and Strategies for Implementation

12-1 pm

Lunch & Conversations with Dr. aretha marbley, Professor and Director of Community Counseling in Counselor Education and doctoral students in Counselor Education at Texas Tech University | ZOOM LINK

1-1:50 pm

Esports and Gaming on Your College Campus: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Infused from Day 1

Nurturing Culture in the Classroom for Success of Indigenous and Pacific Islander Students

Double Session

Infusing Awareness for Success in a Global Industry with Multicultural Environments and Diverse Populations

Implications of Microaggressions, Intersectionality, and Mental Health on Sexual Minority Groups

 Developing Culturally Responsive Teaching Classroom Culture

2-2:50 pm

Double Session

The Ethics of Online Teaching

Double Session

Navigating Positionality and Power in Classroom Spaces

No sessions scheduled

Breakout Sessions By Grade Level/Content: Examples from the Classroom

3-3:50 pm

Examining how Zealots and Racists Shape(d) American History and Biology Curriculum

No sessions scheduled

Communicating Cross-culturally: Building Rapport and Addressing Culturally Responsive Teaching Resistance from Parents


Past Conferences

Related Pages

Contact Information

Making Excellence Inclusive

College of Arts & Humanities
600 Lincoln Avenue Charleston, IL 61920

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