Level Up on Presence and Belonging

Level Up on Presence and Belonging

A production of the the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Florida. Each week, CDO Antonio Farias interviews a member of the university community to hear their story of belonging and to learn about their work at UF. Join Antonio each week for a fresh episode of Level Up.


March 8, 2021 24 mins
In this final episode of Level Up, Antonio comes full circle with Dr. Wolfgang Sigmund, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Wolfgang was one of the first people to welcome Antonio to UF when he arrived in July 2018 and has been a great supporter of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on campus. Wolfgang discusses how difference encourages critical thinking and original...
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In this episode, Antonio speaks with Dr. Robert Thomas, Associate Professor of Business Law and Technology and Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at UF's Warrington College of Business. Robert talks about the exciting changes taking place at Warrington and invites UF undergraduates to consider the opportunities "that are hard to pass up." He also shares that creating belonging is the responsibility of everyone in a communit...
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February 23, 2021 21 mins
In this episode Antonio talks with Jennifer Setlow, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs with the College of the Arts. Jen shares how being outside the norm can provide a unique perspective that leads to innovation and change. Jen’s background as a lighting designer informs her work as someone who helps others find the stage for their talents and shines a light on their achievements.
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February 16, 2021 17 mins
In this week’s episode, Antonio talks with Twanna Hodge, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Librarian for the Smathers Libraries. Antonio and Twanna talk about how research and facts are the basis for any inclusion project, how being a lifelong learner helps create belonging for others and how educating oneself is a powerful act. Twanna shares that her core value of leaving the world a better place than she found it fuels her passion ...
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February 9, 2021 36 mins
In this week’s episode, Antonio speaks with Dr. David Julian, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the SF2UF Bridge Program and the MARC GatorStar Program. David and Antonio discuss how the institutional deficit perspective encourages administrators to change policies and practices so all students succeed, and how data can help us understand where we have deficits. Learn how innovation in IDEA can help UF get to the Top 5...
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February 2, 2021 35 mins
As we begin the celebration of Black History Month, Antonio speaks with Dr. David Canton, the newly arrived Director of UF’s African American Studies Program. Dr. Canton is a renowned historian who brings to UF his rigorous eye for research and passion for the history of Black Studies, the commonalities across the African diaspora and for connecting the academy with the community. He talks about his vision for building a department...
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