Stuart Bernstein, associate professor in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, was one of five University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty who were chosen to present Nov. 15 at the 2022 Faculty Research and Creative Activity Slam, a part of Nebraska Research Days.
Valerie Jones, Seaton Distinguished Professor of advertising and public relations, was voted the winner by attendees, earning a $1,000 prize to go toward her research. In her talk, "The Loneliness Epidemic and the Value of Voice," Jones discussed her research into how voice can alleviate loneliness.
Bernstein shared how personal experiences have shaped his efforts to create workplaces with improved diversity, equity and inclusion, in a talk titled, "Developing a Pipeline to Create a More Diverse and Well-Educated Professional Workforce."
He reflected on being made to feel, as a Jewish person, "like I didn't belong" in his 25 years in construction before pursuing his bachelor's degree.
"They would say, 'Your people don't like to work with their hands. They don't like getting dirty,'" Bernstein recalled. "Even now I hear comments like, 'What is a person like you doing living in Nebraska?' Because of those years of implicit disrespect, I feel I have an obligation to make life more inclusive for others."
Bernstein said he and his colleagues have discussed developing training programs for professors who want to become more inclusive, working with educators outside the university to learn how to make students feel more welcome and working with industry to help their organizations become more diverse and inclusive.
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