Fall Events to Expand Student Perspectives

As the Fall 2022 semester comes to a close, we would like to highlight some of the events we had over the semester.

International Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference:

The International Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference, which took place in September, was designated as a STLR event based on the principles of global & cultural competence and research, creative, and academic activities. The Women’s Research Center and the BGLTQ+ Student Center at the University of Central Oklahoma have been hosting this conference every year for the past seven years with help from the UCO chapter of the National Organization for Women. Together, these groups encourage discussion on problems relating to women, gender, and sexuality.


One of the conference hosts, Shun Kiang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English at UCO said, “With close to 100 participants from UCO and other universities in OK, MO, and TX, the 3-day conference allowed faculty, students, staff, and activists to discuss multidisciplinary topics – from inclusive writing practices, literature and gender, and social justice history in Oklahoma, to sex education, consent culture, women’s and trans issues, and mental health and support for queer individuals.”

Dr. Carol Mason from the University of Kentucky spoke as their keynote speaker, and a roundtable discussion about the consequences of Oklahoma’s ban on queer books was also featured. This year’s conference focused on what it means to strive and thrive in life. They also focused on the ongoing fight for inclusivity and justice in different communities. They looked for a variety of perspectives on the idea of striving and thriving in intimate, interpersonal, and institutional life. “In order to demonstrate the ways that scholars, activists, and students in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies take up the notion of striving and thriving through intersectional and interdisciplinary lenses”.

Broncho Buddies African Excursion:

In October, Princess Stewart, who oversees Broncho Buddies, held an African Excursion event in the west wing of the TL Quad residence hall and STLR-tagged it for global & cultural competencies credit. Stewart was born in Liberia, Africa, and she and her friends, who are also from other African countries, wanted to hold an event where they could teach and learn about the many cultures from Africa.

They have so many beautiful cultures with their many different food dishes, clothing, hair, work, and family. There are also some beautiful places to visit in each of their countries. They had about 45 people in attendance. The closest African restaurants were Nigerian restaurants, so they focused on them while the others got to show Broncho Buddies what dishes they eat. They ate food, danced to African music, and learned about the culture and languages.

Autism Speaks Oklahoma Walk:

Also, in October Dr. Tephillah Jeyaraj-Powell, Chair of the Department of Psychology, held the Autism Speaks Oklahoma Walk event. Around 200 people attended the event, including many families and people from the community that were there with individuals on the autism spectrum who participated in the long and short walks. Students and faculty from the UCO College of Education and Professional Studies volunteered to help set up the tents and run the event itself. Several student volunteers and participants swiped their UCO ID cards for STLR credit in the tenet of service learning & civic engagement.

We encourage STLR-trained faculty and staff to actively tag more events, like these, for STLR credit to help expand students’ perspectives. Students: We invite you to continue attending events like these! Find them by searching for STLR Events in UCORE or at https://stlr.uco.edu/activities.

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