Student Diversity, Access, and Success

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018
Kirkwood Main Campus
8:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Student success is not just a catchy tag phrase we use in education. Student success is a living philosophy we embody every day and achieve through our collective mindsets, support strategies, and real-life interactions with students. This professional development day will kick-off with an energizing keynote presentation and follow up with interactive morning breakout sessions. 


  1. Go to EagleNet and register using the session codes below (click here to review a step-by-step guide)
  2. You will receive a confirmation email once you have successfully registered.
If you need help registering or have special dietary needs, please contact  Jodie Stoessel at 319-398-7613 or by email to


Welcome Remarks

Ballantyne Auditorium
8:30 AM – 8:45 AM

Wes Fowler, VP of Human Resources

Keynote: Equity and Equality in Education… It’s Everyone’s Business!

Ballantyne Auditorium
8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Session Code: DVRSITY-19LSD00-FA18
Presenter: Juan Garcia

Breakout Sessions

10:00 AM – 11:50 AM
Please choose one of the following:

Equity and Equality in Education…What Can You Do Today?

Cedar Hall 343
Session Code: DVRSITY-19LSD01-OPTA
Presenter: Juan Garcia

Intercultural Competency

Linn Hall 1180
Session Code: DVRSITY-19LSD01-OPTB
Facilitator: Kim Fitten

Re-entry Simulation Program

Iowa Hall A-B
Session Code: DVRSITY-19LSD01-OPTC
Facilitator: Department of Justice, Cedar Rapids


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Mansfield Center



Juan Garcia, Keynote Speaker

Juan Garcia, Keynote SpeakerBringing a history of strong partnerships with schools, corporate and state education leaders, Juan Garcia oversees the Strategic Partnerships for Client Relations at ACT, working with existing and new partnerships fulfilling ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.   
Prior to joining ACT, Mr. Garcia served as a champion of college access and readiness for the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN).  As the Executive Director of ICAN, Mr. Garcia established relationships with school, district administration, state and local leaders, as well as other nonprofits to reach ALL students, ensuring that these students were aware of the support that was available to them for pursuit of higher education. 
Prior to his work in improving education opportunities for our students, Mr. Garcia led marketing and promotions for the launch of a new Spanish magazine published by Meredith Corporation and served as an Account Executive in Latin America for the Hispanic Marketing Division of Donnelley Marketing, Inc.  In 2015, he received the award for Diversity and Inclusion from ACT, Inc. nominated and selected among all company employees.
In December 2016, Mr. Garcia graduated from the Harvard Business School program of Leadership Best Practices. Mr. Garcia is fluent in Spanish and is originally from Lima, Peru.

Kim Fitten, Session Facilitator

Kim Fitten is the founder of Born to Be You, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping others gain understanding and acceptance through mentorship. Ms. Fitten has served on numerous committees and training sessions dedicated to promoting equitable practices and diversity in all aspects that impact business and education. Ms. Fitten has a BA in Secondary Education, a MA in Administration and Evaluation, and is currently conducting research to obtain her PhD in Administrative Leadership, Evaluation, and Equitable Practice. Ms. Fitten currently serves as the Dean of Students for Liberty High School.


Re-Entry Simulation Program

The purpose of the Re-entry Simulation is to help participants more clearly understand the barriers ex-offenders face on their paths to re-establishing themselves as law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. By “living the life” of someone released from prison, participants experience first-hand the barriers and challenges encountered by returning citizens on a daily basis.
This experience highlights many of the unnecessary barriers to successful re-entry. During the simulation, participants are assigned the identity of a fictional offender and navigate through a series of events in an effort to successfully reintegrate into the community. They have to meet the strict life requirements that people released from prison have to meet or risk being returned to prison. The obstacles that simulation participants face include obtaining identification cards, homelessness, lack of transportation, limited money, paying required court costs, visiting parole officers, seeking employment, and applying for assistance when all resources have been exhausted.