INTERGROUP RELATIONS (IGR)

A professor and students in an intergroup relations class sit in a circle engaged in discussion.

As an Augustinian Catholic institution, Villanova University is committed to cultivating an academic environment marked by genuine curiosity about different perspectives, ardent receptivity to knowledge generated through intercultural connections and a genuine sensitivity to the variety of human experiences marked by domestic and global differences.

Intergroup Relations (IGR) is an educational experience about issues of social justice. Introduced at Villanova in 2010, this innovative program teaches students, faculty and staff to create meaningful relationships and dialogue among people from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups.

IGR is developed on the core belief that it is only through a process of sustained and meaningful dialogue that people will understand one another better through cultural misunderstandings and personal differences. Topics examined as part of IGR programming include gender, socioeconomic status, religion/faith, race, sexual orientation and ability.

Through self-reflection, identity exploration and other experiential educational tools, participants learn how our everyday language, social rituals and casual conversations can lead to such problematic behaviors as stereotyping, cross-cultural mistrust and misunderstanding. Participants also learn how social structures such as schools, neighborhoods, media representation and social institutions play a role in allocating privilege and sustaining societal inequities.

In September 2020, Villanova announced a $5 million gift to support the creation of a new Intergroup Dialogue Center, dedicated to building communication and understanding to bridge difference and preparing students to thrive in a diverse world.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Program on Intergroup Relations is to engage the Villanova community in deep and meaningful dialogue about identity that informs understanding, mutual respect and empowers all members to enact social justice at Villanova and beyond.

Our Vision:

An inclusive community where members engage freely with one another across different identities in the pursuit of mutual understanding and social justice.

Our Values:

We value an honest and inclusive environment where compassionate relationships are treasured and individual and collective talents are translated into praxis. This is accomplished by:

  • A commitment to upholding community guidelines;
  • Remaining grounded in academic theories of social justice and communication;
  • A recognition that each dialogic interaction creates new meaning; and,
  • Using our collective wisdom to maintain integrity and accountability for our words and actions.

BROWN BAG LUNCH SERIES

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts regular opportunities for faculty, staff and students to engage in dialogue about current events related to equity and justice on campus and in society.

Participants are encouraged to engage in conversation about how we can create a more socially just and inclusive campus community within our classes, departments and offices by understanding several key current issues. Recent discussions have focused on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations” and Robin DeAngelo’s "White Fragility."

Email the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for more information.

IGR FACILITATORS

Trained faculty and staff from throughout the University serve as IGR Facilitators.

These trained co-facilitators work together to create a comfortable and open classroom environment, channel students towards working together across difference, monitor the dynamics of the group and move through the various phases of dialogue

Selected through a rigorous application process and thoroughly trained and evaluated, IGR facilitators must have:

  • A deep understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Experience working with diverse and underrepresented populations of students
  • Experience teaching about or facilitating diversity related topics

The following individuals are currently active among the facilitator rotation.

Abugideiri, Hibba PhD
Associate Professor of History
Email; 610-519-4683

Alexander, Celina MBA
Administrative Director, Intergroup Relations Program 
Email; 610-519-7220

Anthony, Carol MA
Associate Director, Center for Peace and Justice Education
Email; 610-519-7919

Benincasa, Chelsea BA
Assistant Director, Center for Research and Fellowship
Email; 610-519-5935

Bialka, Christa EdD
Associate Professor, Department of Education and Counseling
Email; 610-519-4733

Bowen, Sheryl PhD
Faculty Director, Intergroup Relations Program
Associate Professor, Department of Communication
Email; 610-519-7919

Bradley, Patricia PhD
Associate Professor, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Email; 610-519-4920

Citera, Joseph MA
Associate Director for Campus Programs, Office of Student Involvement
Email; 610-519-5376

Delboy Zenteno, Alexandra BS
Graduate Assistant, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Email

Edwards, John PhD
Director, Center for Pastoral Ministry Education
Email; 610-519-3507

Fierros, Edward PhD
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, CLAS
Associate Professor, Education and Counseling
Email; 610-519-7426

Gadson, Danielle PhD
Assistant Professor,
Department of Public Administration
Email; 610-519-8905

Keefer, Nicholynn MA
Associate Bursar
Email; 610-519-7372

Malott, Krista PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Education and Counseling
Email; 610-519-4642

McCabe, Brian MS
Associate Director, Outreach and Student Formation, Campus Ministry
Email; 610-519-4086

Nance, Terry PhD
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Email; 610-519-4077

 

Robbins, Ariella MS
Associate Director of Education & Training, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Email; 610-519-6367

Scheiner, Sydney
Coordinator, Conduct and Community Engagement
Office of the Dean of Students
Email; 610-519-4200

Sheetz, Julia PhD
Associate Director, Ecumenical and Interfaith Outreach, Campus Ministry
Email; 610-519-4085

Sheridan, Stephen MPA
Director, Accountability, Accreditation and Assessment Services,
Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Effectiveness
Email; 610-519-7582

Smith, Shalyssa
East Area Coordinator, Office of Residence Life
Email; 610-519-7113

Williams, Amber MA
Main Area Coordinator, Office of Residence Life
Email; 610-519-7138

The following individuals have participated in some recent training for IGR facilitation but are not currently in the facilitator rotation.

Bauer, Gabriele PhD
Director, Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning
Email; 610-519-5628

Baum, Heather JD
Professor of Law, Director of the Joint JD/MPA Program
Charles Widger School of Law
Email; 610-519-3003

Hastings, Edward PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Email

Iannucci, Alex EdD
Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Email; 610-519-5720

Pilipchuk, Miranda
PhD Candidate, Department of Philosophy
Email

Pollack-Johnson, Bruce PhD
Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Email; (610) 519-6926

Subik, Nicole MS Ed
Director, Learning Support Services
Email


Impact of IGR

Impact of IGR