Wednesday, April 11, 2012

stef shuster will give the keynote address at the University of Iowa College of Education’s “Beyond Tolerance Diversity Conference” Thursday, April 19, in the Jones Commons, Room N300, in the UI Lindquist Center. shuster will begin speaking at approximately 12:20 p.m.

shuster, a UI doctoral student in sociology and co-founder of a community and UI group TransCollaborations, will discuss "Liminal Spaces: Constructing Culturally Competent Classrooms."

The conference and keynote address, sponsored by the UI College of Education Diversity Committee, are free and open to the public.

The conference is primarily designed to help future teachers prepare to work with an increasingly diverse classroom and families as well as inspire current educators to work with diversity, according to Frances Barnes, a UI graduate student in the College of Education rehabilitation counseling program and conference co-organizer.

“We want to ensure that all teachers are prepared to embrace diversity in the classroom whether it’s race, ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, gender expression, or different abilities,” Barnes says.

Although free, those who wish to participate in other aspects of the conference need to register by Sunday, April 15. To register, visit

Barnes estimates there will be approximately 120 participants this year including current College of Education students, faculty, staff, and teachers from across the state.

There will also be 13 interactive workshops on teaching diversity in the classroom, and local ethnic restaurants will cater a multicultural luncheon, free for those who register in advance. Free diversity toolkits and goodies will also be given to the first 150 registrants.

For more information or special accommodations to attend, contact Marcus Alt at, Frances Barnes at, or call the UI College of Education Office of the Dean at 319-335-6111.