St. Bonaventure University

School of Education Spring Forum 2021


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
Exploring and engaging in critical conversations with compassion and integrity

The School of Education at St. Bonaventure is offering four presentations as part of its Spring Forum 2021. The presentations explore issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and underscore the importance of continuing education and meaningful dialogue as means to unify a divided nation.

All presentations are open to the public and available on the Zoom video conferencing platform.


Spring Forum 2021 Programs at a Glance

    1. Navigating a New Normal: Everyday Mental Health During a Pandemic

    Held February 3, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event (Passcode: rfB8^C8#)

    Featuring a panel of university faculty and mental health providers who will each give brief presentations on mental health-related topics and cultural diversity, followed by a Q&A.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM


    2. How Not to Respond When a Friend Reveals a Mental Health Condition

    Held February 23, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event

    Presented by Dr. Rupert W. Nacoste, an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina State University and winner of the UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM


    3. The Current State of Culture in America: Navigating Your Way Through Other People's Experiences

    Held March 23, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event


    Presented by Dr. Kimetta R. Hairston, Administration, Academics and Virtual Engagement at Bowie State University, and an experienced curriculum specialist in higher education.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM


    4. Teaching in Turbulent Times: Creating a Positive School Climate to Promote Healing and Learning

    Held April 27, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event (Passcode: 3^4Sj@VL)   

    Presented by Dr. Beatrice Adera, Associate Professor and Special Education Department Chair, West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM



    Spring Forum 2021 Presentations in Detail


    1. Navigating a New Normal: Everyday Mental Health During a Pandemic

    Held February 3, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event
    (Passcode: rfB8^C8#)

    The Covid-19 pandemic and the dismantling of systemic racism/oppression have created a need for intentional dialogue focused on mental health.

    This panel will feature brief presentations on mental-health and cultural diversity issues from university faculty and mental health providers. Topics include the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism, self-care and wellness strategies, isolation, dealing with grief and loss, tips for families during the pandemic, and accessing mental health services.

    A Q&A session will follow the forum and suggested resources will be shared.

    Presenters include (Click on their names for more):
    • Dr. Latoya Pierce, Associate Professor, Executive Director of Counselor Education
    pierce-latoya-webDr. Latoya Pierce has 16 years of experience in higher education, as a faculty member and administrator. She has been a tenured associate level professor and has served in multiple service positions at various institutions.

    She is a member of the university's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Commission, as well as a member of the A-10 Commission on Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. She has seven years of experience on an institutional review board (IRB), many of which she served as the expediter for all social science research proposals.

    Dr. Pierce has served as a subject matter expert in diversity for the state system in Louisiana, as well as a cultural and linguistic specialist for the Office of Behavioral Research and Education at Arkansas State University. Her previous administrative experience includes serving as a department chair, program director, field site coordinator, and director of academic effectiveness and program administration. She has chaired and served on multiple dissertations.

    She is active in her community and serves on five local boards focused on advocacy, the arts, and community engagement.
  • Dr. Rebecca Scherer, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education

  • Rebecca ShererDr. Rebecca Scherer has been teaching in online and campus-based programs as a counselor educator since 2014, and has been at St. Bonaventure for the past three years.

    She also has a small private practice where she sees clients via telemental health.

    Dr. Scherer received her master’s in community mental health from Marymount University and a doctorate in counseling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

    She is a licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor, and  approved clinical supervisor.
  • Dr. Alison Bourdeau, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education

  • Alison BourdeauDr. Alison Bourdeau has specialized experience and research related to individuals with autism spectrum disorder and comorbid mental health conditions.

    She was a special educator in Florida for more than 10 years, in settings ranging from early intervention to high school. She holds master’s degrees in special education and marriage & family therapy, and values the interdisciplinary perspective that this training provides.

    Dr. Bourdeau has a private practice at Palm Beach Behavioral Health & Wellness in Jupiter, Florida, specializing in working with children and families to address developmental, behavioral, and school challenges, as well as providing specific support to individuals with disabilities.

    She believes strongly in decreasing the stigma of mental health issues, and has proudly served as vice president of the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Palm Beach County, Florida, for the last three years.
  • Dr. Whitney McLaughlin, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education

  • Dr. Whitney McLaughlin is a board-certified counselor and licensed clinical mental health counselor.

    She earned her master's in clinical mental health counseling from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. in educational leadership, policy and human development — counselor education from North Carolina State University.

    Dr. McLaughlin has more than five years of counseling experience that includes working with diverse individuals, families, and communities in school, mental health, college, and career settings.
  • Dr. Ashley Luedke, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education

  • luedke-ashleyDr. Ashley J. Luedke is a licensed mental health counselor in Florida and New York. She has worked in community clinics as well as private practice.

    She was an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, for three years prior to joining the faculty at St. Bonaventure.

    She primarily works with adolescents and young adults and specializes in crisis and trauma work.

    Dr. Luedke earned her master's in community mental health from Canisius College and her Ph.D. in counseling from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Dr. Carmella Bartimole, Mental Health Counselor

  • Carmella BartimoleCarmella Bartimole is a mental health counselor in the Center for Student Wellness at St. Bonaventure. In addition to her previous role as associate professor and coordinator of the Counseling and Career Center at Jamestown Community College, she has more than 30 years of experience in counseling and teaching.

    She also worked as the bereavement coordinator for Hospice, where she facilitated support groups and worked individually with family members who lost a loved one due to a terminal illness.

    Dr. Bartimole is a member of Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and has earned a fellow in thanatology (FT) through ADEC.

    Her dissertation research on teen suicide led her to meet with and learn about high risk teens at the Youth Psychiatric Unit at Erie County Medical Center. Her work allowed her to gain a new found understanding of how teens who attempt suicide think.
  • Justyn Smith, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor and Ph.D. Candidate

  • Justyn SmithBased in Houston, Texas, Justyn Smith has a passion for mental health awareness and wellness. He has seven years of clinical experience, working in a variety of settings including community health agencies, psychiatric hospitals, nonprofits, and private practice.

    Presently, he works as a psychological counselor and adjunct professor at a public tier-one research university in Houston, while also pursuing his Ph.D..

    His identity as a gay black man fuels his work as a therapist, educator, trainer, consultant, advocate, and researcher, which all connects to his desire to support and make a positive impact on the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community.



    2. How Not to Respond When a Friend Reveals a Mental Health Condition

    Held February 23, 2021 Rupert Nacoste
    Watch a recording of this event

    Dr. Rupert Nacoste, a native of the Louisiana bayou country, is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of psychology at North Carolina State University.

    During his time in service in the U.S. Navy (1972-1976), to deal with its serious racial problems, the Department of Defense trained him (and others) to be a facilitator of racial dialogues among sailors. Since then, he has added academic degrees and worked as a scholar-activist of interpersonal and intergroup relationships.

    A member of the faculty of North Carolina State University since 1988, in 2006, Nacoste created his one-of-a-kind “Interpersonal Relationships and Race” course, which has become wildly popular. He is the winner of the 2013 UNC Board of Governor’s Teaching Excellence award in recognition of his captivating oratory style to engage people to see their own role in moments of tension in social interaction.

    Division 9 of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, named him winner of their 2020 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award.

    His books include "Taking on Diversity: How We Can Move From Anxiety to Respect" (2015; Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books) and his newest, "To Live Woke: Thoughts to Carry in Our Struggle to Save The Soul of America" (Loyola University Baltimore, Md: Apprentice House Press).

    For more information about this presentation, email Dr. Latoya Pierce, executive director of counselor education at SBU and Spring Forum 2021 coordinator.


    3. The Current State of Culture in America: Navigating Your Way Through Other People's Experiences

    Held March 23, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event

    Kimetta R. HairstonDr. Kimetta R. Hairston works in administration, academics and virtual engagement at Bowie State University in Columbia, Maryland.

    She is an experienced curriculum specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Her Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii was focused in curriculum and instruction, and she is skilled in the areas of nonprofit organizations, e-learning, program evaluation, academic advising, and educational technology.

    She has served Bowie State as a curriculum and instruction specialist/professor of education, and as assistant to the president for strategic engagement.

    She is sole proprietor of Critical Diverse Interventions, an independent diversity consulting service.

    For more information about this presentation, email Dr. Latoya Pierce, executive director of counselor education at SBU and Spring Forum 2021 coordinator.




    4. Teaching in Turbulent Times: Creating a Positive School Climate to Promote Healing and Learning

    Held April 27, 2021
    Watch a recording of this event (Passcode: 3^4Sj@VL)

    Beatrice AderaDr. Beatrice Adera is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Special Education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she has been for the past 11 years.

    Her areas of research interest include home-school collaboration, trauma-informed practices, and inclusion in mainstream educational establishments in Kenya.

    Dr. Adera has a passion for service and giving back to marginalized/underserved communities. She facilitates service-learning experiences for WCU students to Guatemala and Kenya.

    She is a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship alumna. The fellowship supported her travel to Kenya to engage in revision of the M.Ed. program in special needs education at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology [JOOUST] in Kenya.

    Dr. Adera is a board member of the Frederick Douglass Institute at West Chester University, and serves as past president of the International Association of Special Education.


    For more information about this presentation, email Dr. Latoya Pierce, executive director of counselor education at SBU and Spring Forum 2021 coordinator.