College of Education

Unconscious Bias & Inclusion Workshop Nov. 2018

Fall 2018 P-16 Diversity Partnership Event

IMPACT, in cooperation with the College of Education and the Oakley STEM Center, welcomes Karen Ramsey-Idem and Chris Sowers for their workshop focused on unconscious or implicit bias - the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.

The workshop covered community involvement and the following topics:

  • Explore impacts of inclusion and exclusion
  • Create common understanding of the meaning, sources and interconnectedness of diversity, bias, inclusion, respect, and performance
  • Leverage opportunities and resources to build a culture where everyone feels welcomed, valued, respected, and heard
  • Identify a personal “next step” action plan – what you can do


Guest Speakers

Karen Ramsey-Idem is Global Technical Operations Excellence and Capacity Planning Leader for Cummins Inc. In the past 20 years she has held a variety of technical responsibilities including leading an analysis and design organization will on an expat assignment in India.

Currently, Karen defines and executes the technical capital portfolio strategy across Cummins. She is responsible for the technical center startup process used for executing both new technical centers and major changes to existing technical centers. Over the past six years she has been a core team leader for a major project in India and spent approximately 25 percent of her time there in support of that work. She also is responsible for three smaller projects in China.

She holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in applied mechanics and materials engineering and is passionate about engineering as a career and helping individuals in underrepresented groups aspire to and succeed in STEM professions. She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Sponsor; an accomplished facilitator for unconscious bias and inclusion moderated discussions; and a trainer in leadership development. Karen and her husband Steve have three adult children and live in rural middle Tennessee.

Karen will be joined by Chris Sowers, an Engineering Manager and Co-Leader of the Inclusion Initiative at Cummins Inc. In his 17 years with the company, he’s worked in various roles primarily within the design and development of new engine systems and components. In his current position within Corporate Engineering, Chris is responsible for a initiatives intended to improve organizational effectiveness and encourage engineers to pursue deeply technical careers that will enable them to innovate and make the most of their strengths.

Chris has Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and mechanical engineering, and is often (he hopes affectionately) referred to as Team Counselor by the engineering groups with whom he works. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and three boys. Chris spends his free time on the sidelines of soccer pitches and basketball courts, marveling at the athletic abilities his boys inherited from their mother.