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2017 State System Summit

Session 8

Contact 2017 State System Summit  

2017 State System Summit

13-15 University Ave.
West Chester, PA 19382

Hiram G. Martinez
2017 Summit Chairperson
Phone: 610-436-2433

Navigating Identity in the Space of Whiteness: Experiences and Self-Identities of Marginalized Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant/Refugee Students at a Predominantly White Institution

  • 2:00 PM – 2:55 PM
  • SYKES ROOM 210

Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) can present unique challenges, both socially and psychologically, for students of color and non-American students to overcome during their adjustment to a higher education setting. These unique challenges, rooted in the racial/ethnic and cultural dynamics of being a student of color and/or an immigrant or refugee, extend beyond mere academic concerns and encompass struggles to feel a sense of inclusion and acceptance among their predominantly White and U.S.-born classmates, roommates, and faculty, in addition to enduring microaggressions and more overt displays of racial, ethnic, and/or xenophobic, anti-immigrant bias. Based on qualitative independent ethnographic research conducted at Millersville University, this panel features three undergraduate student presentations that examine the social adjustments and dynamics of finding acceptance among students of color and immigrant/refugee students at Millersville University, a predominantly White, south-central Pennsylvania PASSHE institution.


Grazia Kaminstein, WCU Student Volunteer

Organizers of Panel

Dr. Justin García, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Millersville University and Dr. Wanja Ogongi, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Millersville University


Ms. Kelli Miller, What Causes Students of Color to Drop Out of Predominantly White Institutions?: A Qualitative Study of Millersville University

Mr. Caseem Luck, I am Not So Rare’: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Education in Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania

Ms. Chantel Jones, I’ve Never Seen One of You Before!: Experiences and Identities Among Students of Color at Millersville University