On January 19, 2024, Dr. Waheeda Lillevik, Associate Professor of Management, presented “Minimizing Microaggressions in Higher Education” at the 37th Annual NAPAHE Conference in Washington, D.C.
NAPAHE serves professionals and assistants supporting higher education leaders to strengthen the profession through programming, networking, and professional development opportunities. Heather Fehn, VP & Chief of Staff, TCNJ Office of the President; Gem Perkins, TCNJ Executive Assistant to the Provost; Anne Marie Maratea, Assistant to the Dean of TCNJ School of Humanities & Social Sciences; and Stephanie Horner, Assistant to the Dean of TCNJ School of Business are all NAPAHE members and members of the NAPAHE Conference Planning Committee.
Dr. Lillevik’s session focused on how our day-to-day interactions can incorporate small but impactful aspects of implicit bias. These small, covert, and discriminatory behaviors can accumulate, ultimately leading to the alienation of the very individuals we are trying to help, like our students. She posed questions to the standing-room-only group that cultivated engaging discussions to create a better awareness of how our behaviors, while seemingly harmless, could have a detrimental impact on students. Several of those in attendance spoke and recognized how sometimes the smallest, most innocent words, with all the right intentions, have proven to have a profound impact on others.
Attendees said that the session was extremely engaging and reflective and that they left the session with more insight into how these behaviors affect others and with some tools to enact change within themselves and others in their institutions.