We hear volumes about the importance of being culturally competent in response to ever-increasing diversity in the workplace and our communities, but little on how to achieve such competence. Hear and contemplate the perspectives of our diverse panelists, to gauge your mastery of the three components of cultural intelligence (CQ), cognitive, physical, and emotional/motivational, toward increasing your cultural competence at work, and in your personal life and communities.
Karen Schuhle-Williams, PhD, Executive Director of Special Sessions and Programs at Brockport
Sandeep Mitra, PhD, Professor of Computing Sciences at Brockport
Karen Podsiadly, Director of Community Development at Brockport
Megan Obourn, PhD, Interim Chief Diversity Officer at Brockport
Ivonne Poniscan, International Operations Coordinator for the Department of International Education at Brockport
Sandeep Mitra, PhD, is a Professor of Computing Sciences at The College at Brockport, where he has taught since 1994. Sandeep was born in India, and was raised in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai (Bombay), where, at high school, his fellow students were from a variety of cultural backgrounds — speaking different languages at home, and practicing different religions. Sandeep obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Techology, Bombay and came to upstate New York (Binghamton University) to obtain his PhD, again in Computer Science. At Binghamton, he had the opportunity to interact with fellow students and faculty from a number of countries - an experience he treasures. At Brockport, he has worked on individual projects in his area of specialization with a number of undergraduate students over the last two decades.
Megan Obourn, PhD, is currently serving as Interim Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at The College at Brockport. They received their PhD from New York University in American literature in 2006. They have been with the College since 2007 as a faculty member in the Department of English. Their research focuses on American literature, queer theory, critical race theory, and disability studies. Recent publications include “Object fear: The national dissociation of race and racism in the era of Obama,” published in Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, and “Octavia Butler’s Disabled Futures,” published in Contemporary Literature.
Karen Podsiadly, a native of Rochester, NY, was educated at SUNY Geneseo and Western Illinois University with degrees in Sociology and College Student Personnel, respectively. She has served for 26 within American Higher Education. The Director of Community Development, Ms. Podsiadly enjoys a career that allows her to move seamlessly between her roles on campus and in the community. Karen serves on the Board of Directors for The Community Place of Greater Rochester, is actively involved at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church as a Trustee, and is Past President of Rochester Genesee Region of American Baptist Churches, Inc. A board member on the SUNY Geneseo Alumni Association for over 10 years, she continues to serve her alma mater through involvement in the Annual Women’s Leadership. Among Karen’s greatest passions is mentoring young people with a particular affinity for supporting young women as they make choices towards healthy and successful lives.
Ivonne Ponicsan’16 works as International Operations Coordinator for the Department of International Education.Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, she obtained her bachelor’s in Sociology with honors from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). Her thesis was entitled: “The situation of illegal workers in Monroe and Wayne Counties in times of political debate and economic crisis”. Ivonne recently obtained her MA in Liberal Studies from The College at Brockport. Previously, Ivonne worked as program advisor for the Latina and African American Women Retention Initiative at MCC’s Damon City Campus, where she also served on several committees focusing on the Hispanic heritage and festivals. She also served as team leader for the ITAM-Tulane University partnered Executive and Global MBA students International Entrepreneurship Program in Calcutta, India. She lived in Japan, for a little over a year, where she taught Spanish and she also taught Spanish to Japanese executives living in Mexico.