U of A’s Lynn Meade was recently featured as a subject matter expert in a video series on “Communication Strategies for Creating Safe Spaces” for Starlink, a higher education professional development organization.
Meade is Co-Director of the Wally Cordes Center for Education and Faculty Support at U of A and Assistant Professor of Education and Communications Instructor in the Office of Student Success at the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
Each year, Starlink surveys university deans, rectors, trustees, and teacher training leaders about what topics need to be developed. They overwhelmingly said they needed training on the topic of communication and conflict, which led them to Mead.
“It all started with a message from a former student,” Mead said. “She asked me if I knew a teacher who had a relative who made training videos for teachers and she was good at sharing teaching tips. She would know.'”
Through her extensive communications expertise and now through these videos, Meade has assisted higher education professionals around the world. This includes higher education professionals from the U of A, Texas Community and State Universities, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the U.S. Embassy.
“Several years ago, I developed a program with Rachel Grade in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disabilities at the School of Education and Health, on Safe and Brave Spaces in the Classroom. It’s been a great study, a debate,” Meade said.
“In addition, I teach Communicating in a Diverse World, where we talk about sensitive topics and communication strategies. I have a lot of knowledge,” she added. .
Meade’s Starlink video series includes resources and supplements for building units on topics such as setting tone, de-escalating, polite conversation, safe spaces, confirmation bias, communication tips, and navigating trigger points. Documentation was also included.
Starlink Executive Director Rick Walker said: “They especially wanted strategies for thinking about and applying these difficult dialogues.”
Meade said she was also able to use ideas from her work at the Wally Cordes Education and Teacher Support Center to help create these videos.
“At the University of Arkansas, we are honored to have so much support for education. Not all institutions have people dedicated to teacher training,” Meade said. “We are thrilled to extend this support and demonstrate that teachers can thoughtfully and proactively lead these meaningful discussions in the classroom.”