About Intergroup Dialogue

Intergroup Dialogue is a face-to-face conversation between members of two or more social identity groups centered around a topic under the umbrella of social justice, equity, and inclusion.

The goal of intergroup dialogue is to create a new level of understanding, relating, and action.

By exploring social identities, intergroup dialogue helps create an understanding of the ways that social and systemic structures promote privilege and inequality. Participating in intergroup dialogue creates strong relationships across differences through the development of empathy and bridge-building. Intergroup Dialogue promotes intergroup collaboration and a shared sense of personal and social responsibility.

The Intergroup Dialogue Community of Practice is a community of educated, committed individuals who are available to support intergroup dialogue across the BSU and broader community.

Within our Community of Practice, one can participate as a member, facilitator, or facilitator trainer.

Meet our Members

To become a member of the Intergroup Dialogue Community of Practice, one must attend facilitator training. Once you become a member, you are welcome to attend our Community of Practice professional development sessions as you are available.

Our Members:

To become a facilitator of Intergroup Dialogue, one must complete facilitator training. Our facilitators curate and facilitate Intergroup Dialogues based upon requests including activities, learning outcomes, and discussions.

Our Facilitators:

Dr. Beth A. Messner

Dr. Beth A. Messner is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She earned her M.A. from Ball State University and her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Messner teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to rhetoric and persuasion. Much of Dr. Messner’s research relates to the rhetoric associated with social movements, social justice and racial reconciliation, hate speech and the freedom of expression. Since beginning her career at BSU, she has been recognized for her service to the university and Muncie community; her advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion; and her many immersive learning projects.

"In times when our communities are divided socially, politically, and culturally, it is difficult to build trusting relationships with those whom we perceive as different from us. Yet, building these relationships is essential if our communities are to generate workable solutions to important problems that benefit all community members."

Breanne Holloway
Breanne Holloway

Breanne Holloway is the Assistant Director of Organizational Development and Learning. She joined the Office of University Human Resource Services in Spring 2021. In this role, Breanne provides direction in the design and delivery of learning and development programs, coaching, skill development and other initiatives that enhance the effectiveness of employees and drives the strategic mission of the University. She creates and executes a comprehensive organizational development and employee learning plan in collaboration with university stakeholders. She performs needs assessment; designs and delivers programs; measures and evaluates effectiveness and manages on-boarding programs.

Prior to this role, Breanne served as the Assistant Director for Planning and Performance and Special Assistant to the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). In this role, she assisted with strategic planning efforts across campus with the CSO and Strategic Planning Faculty Fellow, prepared reports, recommendations, publications, presentations, and other forms of communication for a variety of internal and external audiences, and provided strategic insight for the strategic planning software. When Breanne first came to Ball State University, she served as the Special Assistant to the President for Events and Operations.

Breanne has been with Ball State University since 2013. She received her Bachelor’s in Organization, Leadership, and Supervision from Purdue University and her Master’s in Executive Development for Public Service from Ball State University.

“Inclusiveness is one of Ball State’s enduring values, and how can we live out that value and show others the importance of it unless we practice it ourselves. By joining together as a campus community to lean into our diversity, equity, and inclusiveness, we will build a brighter and stronger future for ourselves, our students, and our community.”

Emily Karas

Emily coaches for the College of Sciences and Humanities; and the Teachers College.

“IGD is important to me because it provides an opportunity to increase self-awareness and social awareness while working collaboratively as a group, in a setting that encourages open communication and understanding. I value the relationship building component of IGD work and want to see our campus work together to listen and speak honestly and openly about social justice.”

Dr. Evette Simmons-Reed

Dr. Evette Simmons-Reed, is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Behavior Analysis graduate program, in the Department of Special education, at Ball State University. She is a past President of the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL) for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in 2019. Dr. Simmons-Reed, is the program manager for the Disability in Postsecondary Settings Graduate Certificate Program with an Emphasis in Autism, and the director and co-founder of the CAPS2 Mentor Program for Autistic College Students at the Ball State Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD).

She was a special education teacher in Columbus City Schools from 1994 through 1998, before returning to school full-time to pursue her masters. From 2001 through 2011, she served in multiple academic and vocational positions at the Ohio State School for the Blind, where in 2007, she was one of the recipients of the National Teaching Award from DCDT. Prior to joining the faculty at BSU, she was the Program Manager in the Special Education and Transition Department at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, a University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Dr. Simmons-Reed, obtained her Ph.D. in special education and applied behavior analysis from The Ohio State University in 2013.

As a tenure track faculty member at BSU, her research and expertise focus on mentoring, improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in and outside the classroom for students with and without differing abilities. Currently, her major research projects involve developing a family and student-centered model program that leverages campus resources, to increase access, persistence, and graduation of college students with autism. Other research projects involve improving the diversity and inclusion of students with dis/abilities in higher education settings including developing curricula connecting majors and careers, the implementation of the Self-determined Learning Model of Instruction and Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), to facilitate mastery and utilization of academic, personal, and social skills for college students on the autism spectrum. In addition, she is also interested in increasing cultural competence in teacher education programs, improving clinical practices for culturally and linguistically diverse students, and examining the intersections of race, ability, and gender on student and faculty retention.

In 2021, she was nominated and awarded the Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, and the Teachers College Service Award. Among her many service activities, at the national, state, and local levels, Evette currently serves on the executive board for DDEL as the chair of the Professional Development Committee. She is the co-chair of the program committee for the Indiana Association for Blacks in Higher Education (IABHE), Co-chair of the state Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the Indiana National Federation of the Blind, and co-chair of the Teachers College Inclusive Excellence Committee at Ball State University.

“IDG is important to me because it provides a model for creating inclusive authentic spaces that allow opportunities for all group members to share ideas and experiences openly and honestly regarding difficult topics. IDG recognizes and values the intersections of multiple identities, promotes effective communication, understanding, empathy, and respect for one another.”

Gabrielle Lloyd
Gabrielle Lloyd

Gabby Lloyd received her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications with a minor in African - American studies from Ball State University in 2018 and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration with a Graduate Certificate in African and African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University in 2020. She has had experience working in racial justice and gender equity and is now the Assistant Director of Student Life for Diversity and Equity. Within her role in the Office of Student Life, Gabby oversees the Big 4 student organizations and promotes inclusive excellence across campus. She has a passion for diversity equity and is committed to creating spaces where all students feel welcome.

“Diversity and Equity education is incredibly important because it is tool that will shift culture. I am committed to this cause because I understand the power of knowledge. As educators, it is our duty to inform for a better world.”

Dr. Glenn Stone

Dr. Stone has been a faculty member in the Department of Social Work since 2009. During that time, he spent 11 years as the Chair of the Department, and, most currently he has served as the Acting Associate Dean for Academic Affairs within the College of Health. He has taught primarily in the areas of research methodology and statistics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research has focused on areas such as program evaluation, families, and social work practice. He has served as Co-PI on a Child Welfare Education Collaborative Grant (2009-2017) and the BSW and MSW Education Training Partnership Grant funded by Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. His service activities have focused on his work at Open Door Health Services where he currently serves as Chair of the Board.

“I believe that IGD is a means to strive toward a more socially and economically just society. It provides us with the skillset to take on these very difficult issues.”

Kara DuQuette
Kara DuQuette

“I am an artist, educator and currently work as a project manager in the Office of Immersive Learning at Ball State University. I connect people, ideas, and resources for immersive learning experiences. The more we talk with one another and share our experiences, the greater our understanding of each other becomes. I look forward to facilitating intergroup dialogues this year.”

Dr. Karin Lee

Experience:
Ball State (2014-present)
Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator

Ball State (2007-14)
Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator

Alabama (1997-2007)
Assistant Athletics Director for Life Skills and Community Outreach

Master’s Degree, North Carolina, 1997
Ph.D., Capella, 2014

“Inclusive Excellence work is very important to me because we need diverse thoughts when critically thinking about strategic ways to accomplish goals. We should make sure everyone is included in conversations no matter what your status and I feel we need to keep working toward this in all aspects.”

Kirsten Smith

Kirsten Duesterdick Smith is the associate director, technology officer and labs manager at the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) at Ball State University. CICS is a graduate program at the intersection of technology and business.

As associate director, she participates in strategic and tactical plans for the health and growth of the unit and advices all incoming students. As technology officer and labs manager, she schedules and trains graduate assistants, provides faculty support by developing labs for a variety of classes, advises student projects, and oversees testing. Kirsten is the director of and faculty advisor to the Software Testing Institute (STI) within CICS, working with industry partners on usability and other issues.

Kirsten also chairs the Women Working in Technology (WWiT) initiative at Ball State. Founded in 2008, WWiT focuses on providing professional and personal development opportunities for women working in technology and emerging media fields. The WWiT initiative also focuses on girls in technology with mentoring and career exploration opportunities for undergraduate women and K-12 girls. The goal is to encourage girls into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and careers.

Her current grant from the Cisco Networking Academy is creating IT workshops for middle and high school girls. These workshops will be packaged and shared at no cost to any organizations who wish to promote IT concepts and careers to girls. Past grants on which Ms. Smith has been either PI or co-PI include multiple grants through the Software Engineering Research Center (SERC) developing an expert reviewer usability tool (2003 – 2006), multiple emerging media grants for work on various interactive TV and mobile applications (2008, 2009, 2010), and a grant from Channel One to help develop an internet protocol-based emergency alert system (2010- 2011).

Kirsten is a member of the User Experience Professionals Association, the Project Management Institute, and the Association of IT Professionals. She is on the Leadership Board of the Indiana Girls Collaborative Project.

She has a master of science in information and communication sciences from Ball State and a bachelor of arts in theater from George Mason University.

“Intergroup dialog and DEI work is important to me because having respectful, honest conversations about our differences and our identities is how we can get see beyond our own narrow perspectives and be reminded of the common humanity we share. Creating a space where we can be vulnerable, brave, and safe is essential to having these challenging conversations and will enhance the welcoming BSU community we all want it to be.”

Kizmin Jones

Kizmin Jones is the director of the Hoosier STEM Academy which is located in Secondary Education. She is currently on her second term as the Vice President for Staff for the Black Faculty & Staff Association. She has worked at the university in multiple positions for twelve years.

“I enjoyed the Intergroup Dialogue training earlier this year and felt it is important to continue to train others on campus and within the community. This type of training has the capacity to shift the thinking of this city as well as students who participate and I want to be a part of that.”

Lisa Jarrell

“Intergroup dialogue and DEI work is essential to the success of members of the Ball State community. Inclusion of all voices unleashes the power of our diverse experiences and points of view. Through intergroup dialogue, we foster conversations that lead to growth, understanding, and positive change. Together, we are able to examine complicated questions and create comfortable space for our authentic selves to learn and grow.”

Matt Housley
Matt Housley

Hello everyone, I am Matt and I have served as the Assistant Director of Admissions for Diversity since July of 2018. I oversee the recruitment territory of the Chicagoland area and am responsible for many of the admission’s diversity initiatives. I am here to support all students in their college search process, while understanding that students from multicultural backgrounds are critical to creating a successful campus community. As a black male myself, I understand how critical it is to engage in diversity outreach and want students of color to know not only are they welcome but they are supported and empowered here at Ball State. I enjoy Elliot Dining Hall on campus, because I am not going to lie to you, I consider myself a major foodie!

“In order to create a campus community which is built for all members, we must have dialogue which encourages us to grow, learn and understand one another. Through these critical conversations, it will allow Ball State’s campus to thrive as it empowers and strengthens bonds between its faculty, staff and students.”

Melissa Rubrecht

Melissa Rubrecht is an experienced HR professional with a 30-year career in higher education and has served as the University’s Director of Employee Relations and Affirmative Action since 2006. Representing the University in our relationships with employee organizations, Melissa’s approach to labor relations has resulted in a positive and harmonious relationship with the bargaining unit and a 75% reduction in grievances and no cases proceeding to arbitration since 2012. As the University’s champion for equal opportunity and nondiscrimination, Melissa’s advocacy for equity and on-going training efforts, in partnership with Office of Inclusive Excellence, is reflected in 21.6% increase in overall employee diversity since 2014. At the state level, Melissa’s service on Chamber of Commerce employment law committees, and currently as Secretary of Indiana’s Industry Liaison Group (ILG) provide avenues for her to share her expertise beyond the University. A Ball State University alumnus, Melissa holds a M.A. in English and in Executive Development for Public Service, and a B.S. in political science. Away from campus, Melissa is active in 4-H in Madison County, and enjoys reading, gardening, and motorcycling.

“People struggle to learn from and understand each other until they can truly ‘hear’ each other’s perspectives. IGD work is vitally important because it creates a shared space where those perspectives can intersect and a support system to help participants ‘hear’ and ‘be heard’ and find a better way forward together one step at a time.”

Sean P. Sheptoski
Sean P. Sheptoski

Assistant Director of Student Leadership for the Office of Housing and Residence Life at Ball State. Student involvement is a major key to academic and personal success at Ball State, and I work to develop our students into leaders by investing in them through student organizations. By developing a curriculum and model for success, our leaders have a tool to reflect on how their leadership journey is preparing them for life after college. Prior to my role as Assistant Director, I served as a Residence Hall Director on campus.

"Intergroup Dialogue is important because in some parts of society we have lost the ability to listen to one another’s opposing viewpoints, empathize and understand each other, and we desperately need that. IGD on a college campus is incredibly important because our students are the future, and our leaders need to be equipped to enter spaces with difficult duologue."

To become a facilitator of Intergroup Dialogue, one must complete facilitator training and our train-the-trainer training. Our facilitator trainers facilitate and validate participation in Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator Trainings. As trainers, they can also facilitate Intergroup Dialogues upon request.

Our Facilitator Trainers:

Gabrielle Lloyd
Gabrielle Lloyd

Gabby Lloyd received her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications with a minor in African - American studies from Ball State University in 2018 and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration with a Graduate Certificate in African and African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University in 2020. She has had experience working in racial justice and gender equity and is now the Assistant Director of Student Life for Diversity and Equity. Within her role in the Office of Student Life, Gabby oversees the Big 4 student organizations and promotes inclusive excellence across campus. She has a passion for diversity equity and is committed to creating spaces where all students feel welcome.

“Diversity and Equity education is incredibly important because it is tool that will shift culture. I am committed to this cause because I understand the power of knowledge. As educators, it is our duty to inform for a better world.”

Lisa Jarrell

“Intergroup dialogue and DEI work is essential to the success of members of the Ball State community. Inclusion of all voices unleashes the power of our diverse experiences and points of view. Through intergroup dialogue, we foster conversations that lead to growth, understanding, and positive change. Together, we are able to examine complicated questions and create comfortable space for our authentic selves to learn and grow.”