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Creighton Leads CODE Conference Professional Development Session

Christopher M. Whitt, PhDCreighton University faculty and staff will lead a preconference professional development session on Oct. 14, before the Omaha Chamber’s virtual CODE Conference on Oct. 15 and 16. The session, “Intentional Inclusivity in Management: Development in Fostering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging for Organizational Leaders,” includes six Creighton speakers.

The professional development session focuses on skills managers and supervisors need to grow and engage an organizational culture focused on diversity and inclusion. Participants will be better equipped to create space where colleagues with a variety of intersecting identities and differing perspectives can work collaboratively — embodying their whole selves. They will gain insights into how to create inclusive, welcoming and engaging work environments where employees feel true solidarity with one another.

The Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity (CODE) Conference is an opportunity for Nebraska professionals to transform workplaces by learning strategies to address societal disparities. Learn more about the conference and get tickets.

Creighton Speakers

Christopher M. Whitt, PhD, vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Whitt joined Creighton as the University’s first vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Whitt previously served as an associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he founded and directed the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity.

Also at Augustana, Whitt was co-founder of the College’s Africana Studies Program and organized Augustana’s Diversity Dissertation Fellowship Program. He has convened, led and participated in many seminars, summits and presentations on social justice topics locally and nationally.

Whitt earned the Fannie Lou Hamer Outstanding Community Service Award in 2017 and the Anna Julia Cooper National Teacher of the Year Award in 2013 from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. He received the 2017 Charles Toney Sr. NAACP Civil Rights Hero Award from the Rock Island County NAACP.

Chris Stanczak, senior learning and development specialist, Human Resources

As the senior talent development specialist at Creighton University, Stanczak is responsible for curating and communicating professional development opportunities for staff and faculty at Creighton. She specializes in leadership development and has been recognized three times by ATD Nebraska for Active Leadership. Stanczak is a passionate advocate for more diverse and inclusive workplaces and has seen the advantages that diverse and inclusive teams have over teams that are less so.

Ellie Rohr, JD, senior investigator, Office of Equity and Inclusion

Ellie Rohr started her career as a high school teacher before attending law school at the University of Nebraska College of Law. After graduating in 2014, she worked for the State of Nebraska, where she was one of the 12 original Associate Public Guardians, serving vulnerable adult populations who required guardians but did not have anyone available or appropriate to fill the role. She later worked for the Nebraska Public Service Commission as a staff attorney in the Transportation Department. Education has always been her passion, and she studied Title IX and Title VII extensively in law school. She joined Creighton University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion in December 2019.

Erika Dakin Kirby, PhD, professor of communication studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Dakin Kirby is professor of communication studies and the A.F. Jacobson Chair in Communication at Creighton University and a senior facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League. An organizational communication scholar, she studies the everyday intersections of working and personal life, emphasizing how differing social identities (including race, class and gender) intersect with organizational structures. She co-edited two editions of Gender Actualized: Cases in Communicatively Constructing Realities with Creighton professor Chad McBride, PhD, and has published in numerous outlets, including the Handbook of Organizational Communication. In 2016, she was awarded the Charles L. Woolbert Award by the National Communication Association for “‘The policy exists but you can’t really use it’: Communication and the structuration of work-family policies” (co-authored with Kathleen Krone, PhD, University of Nebraska–Lincoln). She is past president of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender and the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate.

Guy McHendry, PhD, associate professor of communication studies, College of Arts and Sciences

McHendry is an associate professor in the Communication Studies Department at Creighton University. His PhD is from the University of Utah, MA from Colorado State University and BA from Ripon College. McHendry studies rhetoric and cultural studies within the discipline of communication. His research currently focuses on public performances of security in airports and the relationship between the public and the Transportation Security Administration. McHendry is especially interested in how security and resistance is performed in airports and how those performances can dominate our ways of experiencing airports.

Sarah Walker, PhD, associate professor, Heider College of Business

Walker is an associate professor of marketing and management in the Heider College of Business at Creighton University. Her training in industrial-organizational psychology includes expertise in diversity, recruitment, selection, training, testing and measurement.

Walker has experience working with organizations in both the public and private sector involving projects related to human resource management such as recruitment, selection and performance appraisal.

She is an active researcher and has published in top research journals including the Journal of Applied Psychology. She is a reviewer for journals such as the Academy of Management Learning and Education, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, International Journal of Human Resource Management and Sex Roles.

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