PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Nearly 180 people including representatives from Great Britain, Canada, and Bulgaria gathered at the 7th Biennial Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Culture Research Symposium Feb. 18-20 at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI.) This year's Symposium attendance was more than double of that of the last event held in 2007.
The Symposium held every other year for the past 14 years was a forum to share current information on Equal Opportunity, diversity, and culture research and was designed for researchers to share the latest science in the field, while providing a platform to allow leaders an opportunity to express their needs. According to post-symposium questionnaires received by the DEOMI Research Directorate, the event was the best to date.
The keynote speaker for the event, Dr. David Matsumoto, Professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University, delivered a presentation entitled "Cross-Cultural Adaptation," which was the perfect lead-in to the 21 research paper presentations, two panel discussions including one-hour presentations on cultural/diversity issues with moderators, a poster session with 16 research posters displayed on easels with authors nearby to answer questions and 14 technology demonstrations including displays on the latest training technology involving culture. One demonstration was of a software gaming system that deploying servicemembers could use to become familiar with the local culture of the Horn of Africa while deployed there.
"Our goal in hosting the symposium was to share current research efforts, compile and provide the latest for senior leadership and DoD practitioners, and to identify additional research needs with regard to diversity and cultural differences," said Mr. Jerry Scarpate, Deputy Director of Research at DEOMI. "In today's world of joint operations, we need to be more effective and efficient through understanding the diverse cultures in which we are operating," he said.
Several senior Equal Opportunity and Diversity leaders from the United Kingdom attended the Research Symposium, and were also given the opportunity participate in a day-and-a-half event referred to as a Leadership Awareness Exchange with DEOMI Senior Leader Instructors.
Royal Air Force Commander Brett Nichols, of the British Ministry of Defence Service Personnel branch thought the research symposium offered a great venue to share information between Great Britain and the United States.
"It's critical to understand what culture means. We've all got our own cultures, our militaries have their own cultures, and we form even more cultures when we work together in a joint environment as we do so often today. Understanding these differences makes us even stronger as an allied team," he said.
This year's theme, "Leveraging Human Potential," included topics such as: racism, sexism, discrimination, sexual harassment, organizational climate and effectiveness, culture and the war environment, culture in peacekeeping missions, diversity management, leadership and diversity, religious diversity, cultural competency, teamwork in multicultural environments, as well as several other topics.
Presenters at the Symposium included, Researchers from Service and DoD agencies, college and university faculty members, industry professionals, and subject matter experts including international presenters.
Commander Debbie J. Whittingham, of the Royal Navy, and commandant of the United Kingdom's Joint Equity and Diversity Training Center, an institute much like DEOMI, was impressed with the wealth of knowledge shared during the event.
"It was wonderful to share and compare research and training ideas as much as we were able to. We also greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate in DEOMI's Senior Leader Training program. It's a marvelous idea to have this type of training that is designed for people in leadership positions."
"Between the presenters and those in attendance we had a good international mix of people for the event," Mr. Scarpate said.
Royal Navy Commander Graham Beard, a Naval Service Equality and Diversity Policy Staff Officer, was most impressed with the quality of facilitation provided by Army Master Sgt. William McCauslin and Air Force Master Sgt. Danny Alltop., remarking that he would love to take them back to the UK to be part of their Senior Leader Training Team. Commander Beard's comments were echoed by Commander Whittingham. She stated that she feels very comfortable with the quality of her facilitators back at the JEDTC, but she said they are not training senior members of the forces. She mentioned having to use skilled facilitators such as Ms. Shelley Collins and Mr. Ian Carlton from an organization called Just Resources, to talk to the General/Flag Officers and the facilitators here (DEOMI) had no difficulty being in front of senior leaders.
British Army Lt. Col. Colin Bullied, of the British Army Equality and Diversity Policy Branch, also attended Senior Leader Training while visiting DEOMI and was most pleased with all the information shared by Sergeant's McCauslin and Alltop, and Navy Commander (Chaplain) Charlotte Hunter, stating that he has never received such training and mastery skills presentation from any group of facilitators in the entire UK Military.
Royal Air Force Lt. Col. Roy Nichols, an Equality and Diversity Policy Officer, said "I for one came away feeling educated, enlightened and encouraged by the fact that we are not alone in continuing to push home the equality message - albeit at times an uphill struggle."
The international contingent received first-class treatment as did all Symposium attendees, but it was DEOMI's turn to receive their British counterparts as distinguished visitors, much as several DEOMI staff members were received in September 2008 when they visited the JEDTC.
"As a long time trainer and facilitator of senior leaders, I too share the comments of our visitors. The DEOMI team that conducted the Leadership Exchange were just perfect and professional and in the words of my Southern Ancestors, "did us proud" here at DEOMI," said Dr. Gary McGuire of the DEOMI Research Directorate, and escort official for the British contingent during their visit.
Other Research Symposium attendees from various positions of leadership shared similar feelings about their experiences while visiting DEOMI.
"Seeing and hearing about diversity issues in other military forces is very eye-opening. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience. The symposium was well organized; DEOMI personnel were extremely helpful and courteous; visual aid presentations went well - there were virtually no technical hitches, and the DEOMI building overall is state of the art," said Ms. Rose Gault, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Diversity Integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
"Hats off to DEOMI on a job well done! Your team did a magnificent job and should rightly be proud of its latest accomplishment. I look forward to continued collaborative efforts and events between any and all organizations desiring to improve the health and welfare of people and organizations. Our office is looking forward to reviewing the symposium notes and presentations offered by the participants," said Master Sgt. Greg Jenkins, of the Army Diversity Office.
That's exactly what the staff and faculty of DEOMI works hard to do every day as a force-multiplier that maximizes combat readiness. To learn more about DEOMI and other training opportunities involving the fields of Equal Opportunity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Cultural Research, visit www.deomi.org.
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Army Maj. Gen. John R. Hawkins, Director,
U.S. Army Human Resources Policy Directorate, greets Dr. Dan McDonald,
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), Director of
Research, and Mr. Jay D. Aronowitz, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the
Army, Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights, Manpower & Reserve
Affairs, during DEOMI's 7th Biennial Equal Opportunity, Diversity & Culture
Research Symposium held Feb. 18-20 at DEOMI. About 180 people attended the
Research Symposium this year, more than double the previous high attendance
total, including several attendees from Great Britain, Canada, and Bulgaria.
DEOMI photo/Mr. Bryan Ripple.
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Ms. BJ Marcum, Social Scientist from the
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute's Research Directorate,
explains her poster presentation titled, "Roles of the EOA" to a symposium
attendee. In all, 16 research poster presentations were on display during
DEOMI's 7th Biennial Equal Opportunity, Diversity & Culture Research
Symposium Feb. 18-20. About 180 people attended this year's event, more
than double the amount of people who attended the last symposium held here
in 2007. DEOMI photo/Mr. Bryan Ripple.
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Defense Equal Opportunity Management
Institute Research Symposium attendees participate in one of the 14
technology demonstrations offered during DEOMI's 7th Biennial Equal
Opportunity, Diversity & Culture Research Symposiums. Many of the
technology demonstrations were geared toward educating servicemembers about
new cultures they will encounter when they are deployed to forward
locations. DEOMI photo/Mr. Bryan Ripple
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Ms. Elizabeth Steinhauser, a student intern and Ph.D. candidate with the Defense Equal Opportunity Management
Institute's Research Directorate, was on hand at DEOMI's 7th Biennial Equal
Opportunity, Diversity & Culture Research Symposium held here Feb. 18-20 to
discuss two research poster presentations she submitted. Her posters were
entitled "Discrimination and Sexual Harrassment in the U.S. Military: The
Relationship between Reporting Style and Satisfaction with the Resolution,"
and "Generational Differences in the Labeling and Reporting of Sexual
Harassment". DEOMI photo/Mr. Bryan Ripple
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Ms. Patrice Reid, a student intern and Ph.D.
candidate with the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute's Research
Directorate, was on hand at DEOMI's 7th Biennial Equal Opportunity,
Diversity & Culture Research Symposium held here Feb. 18-20 to discuss her
research poster presentation she submitted. Her poster was entitled "A
Theoretical Perspective in the Role of Emotional Intelligence in the
Development of Cultural Competency." Her poster was one of 16 presented
during the symposium which was attended by nearly 180 people. DEOMI
photo/Mr. Bryan Ripple
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Several people attending the 7th Biennial
Equal Opportunity, Diversity & Culture Research Symposium Feb. 18-20 at the
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOM), were from an
international audience including, from left to right, Mr. Ian Carlton, with
Just Resources and the Joint Equality and Diversity Training Centre,
(JEDTC), in the United Kingdom, SO1 RAF Lt. Col. Roy Nichols, Royal Navy
Commander Debra Whittingham (Commandant of JEDTC), Dr. Dan McDonald,
Director of Research at DEOMI, Royal Navy Commander Graham Beard, (EO Policy
for the Royal Navy), RAF Wing Commander Lt. Col. Brett Nichols (Ministry of
Defence Special Policy Office), British Army Lt. Col. Colin Bullied,
(British Army EO Policy Office and SLO), and Sergeant Major (WO) Paul Storrs
(Trainer for JEDTC at Shrevinham UK). DEOMI photo/Mr. Bryan Ripple