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 and Enhancing Your Total Self, at work and in your community.
Facilitator: Karen Schuhle-Williams, PhD, The College at Brockport
Ms. Mara Ahmed, Neelum Films Ms. Victoria Elsenheimer, The College at Brockport Lerong He, PhD, The College at Brockport Ms. Shauna Marie O’Toole, LGBTQ Center of the Finger Lakes
Karen Schuhle-Williams, PhD, executive director of Special Sessions and Programs at The College Brockport, has worked in higher education administration for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in the areas of continuing education, extension centers, adult and diverse student advocacy, summer and winter sessions, and distance learning. Dr. Schuhle-Williams earned a PhD from Syracuse University, a MS from The College at Brockport, a BS from SUNY Cortland (including studying abroad in Germany), an AAS from RIT, and she attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program. She has served numerous community organizations, as well as the RWN Program Committee since 1999.
Ms. Mara Ahmed lived and studied in Belgium, Pakistan and the USA, earning an MBA and a master’s degree in economics. In 2004, she resigned from her financial analyst job to devote herself to her true passion — art. Her artwork has been exhibited at numerous local galleries and she learned filmmaking at the Visual Studies Workshop and RIT, making her first documentary, “The Muslims I Know”, in reaction to the post 9/11 negative stereotyping of Muslims in mainstream media, and to start a dialogue between American Muslims and non-Muslims. It has been screened on countless university campuses and at film festivals in Washington, DC, and Toronto. Ms. Ahmed’s second documentary, “Pakistan One on One” (2011), is a broad survey of public opinion in Pakistan about issues of interest to Americans. She is now collaborating with an Indian filmmaker and a Russian animator for her third documentary, about the partition of India, “Partition Stories”. The film was shot on both sides of the border, in India and Pakistan, and its post-production was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo and received extensive press coverage in India. Her production company is Neelum Films. She has produced subsequent international documentaries and resides in Pittsford.
Ms. Victoria Elsenheimer serves as the administrative assistant to the vice president, Division of Advancement, at The College at Brockport; a role she has had since September 2003. She has been on campus since November 1998 and has worked in the Offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Telecommunications, and Financial Aid. Prior to Brockport she was employed at the Albion Correctional Facility for 13 years. Ms. Elsenheimer served in the United States Army Reserves (USAR) for 17 years and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant November 2006. She currently serves on the Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) Board of Directors.
She is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and loyal friend. She believes that “All Girls Rock”.
Lerong He, PhD, is chair and associate professor of management in the Department of Business Administration and Economics at The College at Brockport. Dr. He was born in China, where she earned a bachelor of science in business administration at Peking University. In 1998, she came to the US to pursue her master’s degree in industrial relations at Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Dr. He later obtained her PhD in management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She became a naturalized US citizen in 2013. Dr. He’s research interests are corporate governance, entrepreneurship, international business, and business ethics. She has published dozens of refereed journal articles and book chapters in these fields. Dr. He has taught and conducted research at several universities in US, Taiwan, and China.
Ms. Shauna Marie O’Toole is the associate director of transgender education for The LGBTQ Center of the Finger Lakes and volunteers with the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. She was a classroom teacher for 11 years and an industrial scientist for 19 years before that. She held the rank of Captain in the civilian auxiliary of the USAF and is an instrument-rated pilot. Ms. O’Toole has published several books including You Can't Shave In A Minimart Bathroom and Recycled. She has recently married and lives happily with her spouse in Rochester. In July 2015, she announced her candidacy for the 55th New York State Senate seat in 2016.
Panelist # 4 TBA