ISCORE to discuss issues surrounding race and ethnicity


Jack MacDonald/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State student athletes speak about their experiences as a minority on a predominantly white campus. Hilary Green (gymnastics), Jorge Utrilla (golf), Sydney Converse (gymnastics), Braxton Lewis (football), and Chandler Diercks (track) were the five student athletes to discuss the topic.  

Caitlin Yamada

The 19thThomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) will explore issues of race and ethnicity on a local and national scale on Friday.

“[ISCORE] is the university’s local initiative designed to provide an ongoing platform of sharing and applying new knowledge through presentations and workshops,” according to the ISCORE website. “The conference supports the university’s Mission to ‘create, share and apply knowledge … and make Iowa and the world a better place.’” 

Starting at 8 a.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union, a continental breakfast will transition into the welcome and opening address by Theressa Cooper, the assistant dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

According to the ISCORE program, Cooper “leads efforts to identify new opportunities to enhance diversity and inclusion goals to benefit students, faculty and staff; and connects with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Institutions and Hispanic Serving Institutions nationwide in terms of teaching, research and outreach/extension activities.”

“She’s going to tell more of her life story about being in that field and growing up, as agriculture is a part of her life,” said Japannah Kellogg, the director of the NCORE-ISCORE.

After Cooper’s presentation, a variety of Iowa State students, faculty and staff who attended the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in High Education will present on different issues and personal experiences relating to race and ethnicity. 

The sessions will take place in 50-minute blocks from 10 to 11:50 a.m. and from 2:10 to 4 p.m. Each block has eight to nine different presentations. 

“The Student-Athlete Experience through a Multicultural Lens,” “Changing the Conversation: I am Not a Minority” and “Exploring identity through Film: A Day in the Life of an MVP Scholar,” are a few examples of the presentations.

At noon, Vernon A. Wall will present the Keynote Address “One Better World.” Wall, the current director of business development for LeaderShape, Inc. has over 30 years of professional student affairs experience from Iowa State, University of Georgia, UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Chapel Hill, according to the ISCORE program.

“He’s dedicated his life to impacting and empowering students,” Kellogg said. 

A component that was added this year is an ISCORE Action Plan. The plan will allow attendees to identify three key points or strategies they can take from each session. 

“Hopefully that empowers or entices the audience to do a little more reflection on how they take information and what’s useful,” Kellogg said. “One of the things we try to stay with is increasing your awareness, knowledge and skills.” 

By Tuesday, 345 students had pre-registered for the conference. Over 100 faculty had registered, and Kellogg said this number is the highest they have had. Kellogg expects this year to be the largest yet, with an estimated 900 to 1,000 people attending. 

“I don’t get so caught up with the numbers, but I’m pretty excited about the people who want to come to the space,” Kellogg said.

Jowelle Mitchell, an Iowa State graduate and 2004 ISCORE participant, joined the ISCORE-NCORE office on Jan. 7 as the program assistant. 

“I’m looking forward to the show to start,” Mitchell said. “To see my colleagues, students on campus and faculty and staff being intrigued and having that thinking cap on.”