By Michele Mitchum
Leading experts and educators will highlight social and emotional wellness and the impacts of trauma on mental health
University of Phoenix is pleased to announce Dr. Rodney Luster and Dr. Talee Vang as the keynote speakers for the second day of the University’s annual Inclusive Leadership Summit and Career Fair, May 2-4, 2023. The summit, titled “Developing a Culture of Belonging: Prioritizing Social and Emotional Well-Being,” offers attendees a robust lineup of speakers and sessions, research presentations, and access to virtual networking opportunities. The free, virtual event will bring together leaders, scholars and professionals across multiple industries to explore how to prioritize mental health and belonging at the core of strategic operations.
Dr. Luster and Dr. Vang will deliver the keynote speech titled, “Prioritizing Social Emotional Wellness to Address Trauma & Burnout” which will examine the heightened awareness of racially traumatic incidents and how trauma impacts health and behavior. Throughout this session, there will be opportunities to discuss how these challenges disproportionately impact workplaces, schools, the healthcare system, and other social settings. Participants will leave with practical resources to put inclusive leadership skills into practice and a greater understanding of potential impact.
“Doctor Luster and Doctor Vang bring a wealth of expertise to the subject of trauma as experienced within complex systems of oppression” shares Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion Saray Lopez, MBA. “Building a culture that prioritizes wellbeing requires a careful examination of the factors impacting mental health, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to once again host experts offering practical and evidence-based knowledge to our summit attendees.”
Dr. Luster is the Senior Director of Research Strategy, Innovation and Development for the Research Center Enterprise (RSE) within the College of Doctoral Studies. In this role, Luster helps lead innovation in research, connect the pragmatics of research to industry and manages the research potentials inside the RSE. In addition, he also oversees the Committee on Research, is Chair for the Center of Leadership Studies and Organizational Research and is Lead Designer for the research periodical Phoenix Scholar™.
A frequent contributor to Psychology Today magazine, Luster also maintains a private practice in Austin, Texas as a psychotherapist under his LLC business known as inspirethought, where he is also publishing his first book on “fear.” He will also be presenting for three different sessions this year at the National APA Conference in Washington, DC. Luster has studied the “marginal person” phenomenon within multicultural studies from his own experience of shared heritage being both Hispanic and White. He has also formerly taught the subject of multicultural studies and conducted studies on racism, prejudice, and micro-expressions, shortly after the events of 9/11. He has been with the University of Phoenix since 2012.
Dr. Talee Vang is a Hmong American refugee who comes from a long line of overcomers, freedom fighters, and strategists. In addition to her lived experiences, she is a social scientist and weaves in the science of human behavior with strategies for dismantling systems of oppression. Vang is a licensed psychologist with expertise in integrating and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, & belonging (DEIB), as well as health equity to organizations at every level.
With in-depth knowledge of human behavior in organizations and the workplace, Vang draws from the psychology of individual, group, and organizational behavior then applies this evidence- based knowledge to finding solutions to problems at work. Vang is a regular guest expert on public media including radio and television networks speaking on the psychological concepts behind many psychosocial stressors such as COVID, xenophobia, racism, and burn out prevention.
In addition to the focus on wellbeing, this year’s event establishes the inaugural Workforce Diversity Leaders Seminar. The seminar will serve as a meeting place for the advancement and empowerment of employee resource group (ERG) or business resource group (BRG) leaders, ERG or BRG sponsors and emerging leaders who serve in workforce areas related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Participants will engage in facilitated conversations about workforce trends and learn the skills necessary to become effective inclusive leaders in the workplace. The number of available spaces for attendees will be limited, and those who attend will have the chance to earn a workforce-focused Inclusive Leadership Badge.
Register for the University of Phoenix Inclusive Leadership Summit here.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.