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Inside Iowa State
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February 28, 2003

Astronaut is keynote speaker for ISCORE ethnicity conference

by Linda Charles
Astronaut John Bennett Herrington, the first Native American in space, will give the keynote address for the fourth annual Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) on March 7 in the Memorial Union.

Herrington was a member of the Endeavour crew that traveled to the International Space Station last November. During the 11-day mission, Herrington became the first Native American to walk in space.

The four-year-old Iowa State conference is modeled after the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education. That conference is intended to help universities create inclusive environments, improve racial and ethnic relations and expand educational opportunities for traditionally underrepresented populations.

The idea for the Iowa State conference came from Tom Hill, vice president for student affairs and a long-time member of the national conference's executive committee.

The ISU conference starts with a university course that sends 10 to 15 undergraduate students to the national conference.

Using what they learn at the national conference, the students develop presentations for the university's conference.

"One of ISCORE's goals, is to increase and broaden discussion about diversity on campus and to provide interested faculty, staff and students opportunities to increase their knowledge of issues related to race and ethnicity,"said David Bousquet, conference co-chair and assistant vice president for enrollment. (Bousquet's last day at Iowa State is Feb. 28; he leaves ISU for a position at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.)

The opening address for the ISU conference will be presented by Eugenio Matibag, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures, and Vicky Lo, a senior in journalism and mass communication. Both attended the national conference in 2001.

The university conference will include morning and afternoon concurrent sessions. More than 30 sessions are scheduled. Topics will include an Asian American student perspective, the dark side of college Greek life, George Washington Carver in today's world, nontraditional students, eliminating racism in classrooms, financial aid impact on minority students and steps to ending racism.

The conference ends with an "ISU AfterDark Video Dance Party" from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

The Iowa State conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 7, in the Memorial Union; it is free. Registrations are requested by Friday, Feb. 28, but late reservations will be accepted as room permits. Seating is limited for lunch and the post-lunch keynote address.

Participants may attend the entire conference or individual sessions. More information about the conference is available online at

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