IScore at Iowa State

Dr. Heather Hackman leads a Pre-conference workshop for the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity in the Sun Room at the Memorial Union on March 3rd. She uses her knowledge and enthusiasm to help prompt people to discuss topics that are sometimes difficult to address.

Jeanette Van Zomeren

ISCORE, the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity, is a conference that takes place at Iowa State where students and faculty can come together to address issues on race and ethnicity.

It models NCORE, which is the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. 

The NSCORE-ISCORE Project, now renamed the Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference of Race and Ethnicity project, designates ISU students, faculty and staff to attend the NCORE conference and share the information gathered from the conference at the ISCORE event.

The conference has taken place at Iowa State for 17 years and has gained popularity. Last year, 120 faculty and teachers attended the pre-conference, and 650 people, including faculty, teachers and staff, attended the main conference, which will take place the next day.

Japannah Kellogg, NSCORE/ISCORE project director and program coordinator for the student support services program, speculated that the attendance this year will increase.

“Probably more important than the numbers [in attendance] is the balance of participants so that we have increased in faculty participation,” Kellogg said.

Kellogg made it clear that getting more teachers and staff involved this year is the conference’s main goal. By introducing the ISCORE champion, which is a year long sponsorship for the colleges who demonstrate what they’re doing for topics around race and ethnicity, Kellogg hopes faculty involvement will increase.

“I think that’ll make a big, big difference moving forward, plus it allows the academic side to play a role,” Kellogg said.

One faculty member who will be speaking at the pre-conference this year is Margaret LaWare, associate professor of English. LaWare started going to the conference to support her students who attended but finds the conference to benefit her as well.

“I feel it’s important to really hear what different people are experiencing here around campus, particularly issues around race,” LaWare said. “Also, thinking about ways to take that into teaching and being a community member so I think all of those are really important.”

The conference takes place to hear students and faculty discuss race and ethnicity issues that arise because of Iowa State’s diverse campus. 

“We recruit a diverse population to enhance our student body, but we need to put things in place to allow an inclusive environment for everyone,” Kellogg said. “ISCORE allows for at least the conversations to be had.”

The ISCORE pre-conference took place from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union, which is open to all university employees.

The ISCORE 2016 conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in the Memorial Union and is open to all students and faculty. Registration for the Friday conference will be available at 8 a.m. by the Memorial Union front desk.