FOUNDING HONOR: Social Work Professor Biren “Ratnesh” Nagda was at the University of Michigan recently, accepting an award as one of the founders of intergroup dialogue — a technique he and several other graduate students developed at Michigan 20 years ago. Intergroup dialogue brings together small groups of people from different backgrounds to explore issues of diversity.
Nagda brought intergroup dialogue to the UW in 1996, founding the Intergroup Dialogue, Education and Action, or IDEA, Center, which received the Brotman Award for Diversity in 2006. All undergraduate students in social work are required to learn intergroup dialogue, and it is a strong component in the graduate program as well.
Nagda is co-PI of the Multi-University Intergroup Dialogue Research Project, a collaboration among nine universities to assess the impact of intergroup dialogues and to understand the ways in which intergroup dialogue works to achieve its outcomes. In addition to receiving the award, Nagda was attending an institute sponsored by the project with the purpose of introducing more colleges and universities to intergroup dialogue and exploring applications on their campuses.
ACCESS ANGELS: AccessComputing (www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/), a UW program encouraging people with disabilities to participate in computing fields, has been awarded $2 million in continued funding from the National Science Foundation. The initiative is led by Richard Ladner, a professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, and Sheryl Burgstahler, of UW Technology Services. This summer AccessComputing and the UW hosted the DO-IT technology program for disabled Washington high school students and a national computer-science academy for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
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