Title

“Let’s Have a Talk!”: Creating a Process Support Group for Those Holding Target Identities at a PWI

Conference Strand

Practice, Strategies, Techniques, and Interventions

Abstract

College students holding target identities often have to contend with microaggressions and isolation, which can inhibit their academic success. This presentation deals with creating safe spaces for these students to hold helpful conversations about their experiences and help each other cope, thereby allowing them to focus their energies back into their own success.

Description

As presenters who together hold multiple intersecting target identities encompassing gender, race, sexual orientation, and religion, we share the experience of often being the only ones holding specific minority identities in the classroom at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). We know the importance of having support and a safe place when you feel alienated on campus and are on the receiving end of microaggressions associated with your identity/ies. “Let’s Have a Talk!” is a process group for students holding any minority identity (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, SES, religion, ability) where they can have a conversation about their experiences at a PWI while offering each other support. This presentation is a compilation of best practices (e.g., recruitment, facilitation, conflict resolution, managing crises) for creating intersectional affinity support groups for underrepresented student populations at PWIs that can be adapted for use at other institutions. The information presented is the same scholarly and anecdotal research used to create and facilitate exactly such a group at Stetson University in DeLand, FL.

Evidence

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Bowman, N.A., & Smedley, C.T., (2013). The forgotten minority: Examining religious affiliation and university satisfaction. The International Journal of Higher Education Research, 65, 745-760.

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Grier-Reed, T.L. (2010). The African American student network: Creating sanctuaries and counterspaces for coping with racial microaggressions in higher education settings. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 49, 181-188.

Harwood, S.A., Huntt, M.B., Mendenhall, R., & Lewis, J.A., (2012). Racial microaggressions in the residence halls: Experiences of students of color at a predominantly white university. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5(3), 159-173.

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Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Michelle Sullivan, BS, is a graduate student in the Rollins College Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She is in her practicum/internship at Stetson University’s Student Counseling Services. Her past professional experience includes work in crisis, suicide prevention, and disaster/distress information, resources, and support. Her primary interests lie in social justice, destigmatization, crisis work, and multi- and trans-cultural counseling. As an ordained Buddhist minister, she also teaches meditation and gives talks on the role of mindfulness in social justice throughout Central Florida.

Princessa Long, MA, is a graduate student in the Rollins College Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program interning at Stetson Univerisity Student Counseling Services. She holds a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from the University of Central Florida and Bachelors degree in Psychology from Florida State University. Her past professional experience includes the Department of Children and Families, Volunteers for Community Impact, and United States Investigative Services. As a biracial individual, Princessa’s primary interests lie in multi-cultural counseling, social justice, geriatric issues on aging, mental health destigmatization, and fostering the spiritual needs of clients.

Dr. Leigh Baker joined Stetson University Student Counseling Services in Fall 2017 as director. She is a Licensed Psychologist and has worked for eight years in college mental health. Dr. Baker has experience in many areas of college mental health including leadership, supervision, outreach, prevention programming, crisis management, group counseling, substance use, and assessment. She currently serves on the student crisis response system and students of concern committee. Dr. Baker fulfils her role as a Mental Health Advocate by providing and supervising clinical services, supporting educational outreach, and through partnership in mental health and wellness initiatives across campus.

Location

PARB 239

Start Date

2-9-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

2-9-2019 11:30 AM

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Feb 9th, 10:15 AM Feb 9th, 11:30 AM

“Let’s Have a Talk!”: Creating a Process Support Group for Those Holding Target Identities at a PWI

PARB 239

College students holding target identities often have to contend with microaggressions and isolation, which can inhibit their academic success. This presentation deals with creating safe spaces for these students to hold helpful conversations about their experiences and help each other cope, thereby allowing them to focus their energies back into their own success.