The Spark

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -William Butler Yeats



What is The Spark?

The Spark is a weekly email series that will serve as on-going training for Iowa State University faculty and staff on working with multicultural students.  Weekly, The Spark participants will be presented with a description of the ISU student experience from a different multicultural student.  

You can expect to hear about student experiences that are good, bad, uplifting, challenging, ugly and downright unacceptable.  Hearing directly from our students is often the spark we need to make critical changes.  Along with the student stories, you'll receive helpful information and data about that week's student population along with tangible ways to strengthen your multicultural competence and skills in building an inclusive campus environment.

What do I have to do?

As a participant in this program, you need only commit to reading the email every week. Student stories are in blog form and typically not more than a page of text. If you plan for 20 minutes of time per week, you will have ample time to engage with the material.

When you sign up, you will complete a brief pre-program assessment.  At the end of the series in the spring, we will ask you to complete a brief post-program assessment.

An optional opportunity is to gather with colleagues monthly or a few times a semester to discuss what you've read.  This may be a group of academic advisers, members of a committee, faculty from the same department or other small groups across campus.

The time committment for you is small but the benefits could be quite large.

Can I participate again if I was part of the program last year?

Yes, we welcome participants for a second year.  Please note, that some of the content will be the same, so we encourage people to participate for a second year if:

  • You were not able to fully participate last year and want to spend more time with the process this year.
  • You participated fully last year, but would like to be a leader in organizing a small group of colleagues to come together to discuss The Spark.
  • You want to the opportunity to engage with the material a second time with some new content spliced in.

How do I sign up?

Registration is currently closed.

On the page, you will have the opportunity to opt in or out of the research, complete your pre-program assessment and sign up to participate.


Question can be directed to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.





Join us: The Spark: Year One Findings. Before year two begins, join us for a brief presentation and discussion about findings from assessment of The Spark from the 2017-18 academic year.  Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 3:00-4:00pm in the Memorial Union Oak Room