"Bandwidth Recovery: Reclaiming Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Other 'Differentisms'"
CIA VERSCHELDEN, MSW, EdD
Executive Director of Institutional Assessment
University of Central Oklahoma
- Understand how poverty and racism (sexism, nativism, heterosexism, etc.) can deplete cognitive/attentional resources (mental bandwidth).
- Understand how social-psychological phenomena like stereotype threat and identity threat, microaggressions, and belongingness uncertainty deplete bandwidth.
- Learn about interventions that have shown promise of helping students recover bandwidth so they are more likely be academically successful.
- Reflect on ways in which we can apply the bandwidth concept in our own work and life contexts.
Cia Verschelden is the Executive Director of Institutional Assessment at University of Central Oklahoma where she also teaches in sociology. From 2009-2012, she was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Highland Community College in Kansas. Cia was on the faculty at Kansas State University since 1989, on the Social Work faculty for 11 years, Director of Women’s Studies, and then Director of Assessment. Cia has a B.S. in psychology from K-State, an M.S.W. from The University of Connecticut, and an Ed.D. from Harvard University. In her 2017 book, Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization, she makes the case that the mental bandwidth of many college students in certain non-majority groups is depleted by persistent economic insecurity and psychosocial underminers, e.g., racism and homophobia. She describes in-class and out-of- class interventions and attention to campus environments that can help students regain bandwidth so they can be academically successful.