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NetVUE Regional Gathering

"Mentoring Students of Color for Deep Purpose"

March 23-24, 2018

Washington Retreat House, Washington, DC


Participants in this regional gathering will explore the work of CIC NetVUE institutions as they seek to mentor undergraduate students of color. The event will facilitate deep conversation within a community that attends to each institutions' callings, strengths, and potential for future growth.


  • Provide relevant information related to the experiences of students of color on predominantly/historically White college/university campuses;
  • Discuss personal identity and spirituality in the context of the national landscape of race and religion in the United States;
  • Explore the cultural interpretations of vocation, spirituality, religion, deep meaning, and purpose in the lives of students of color;
  • Examine effective practices used in higher education with particular attention to institutions serving traditionally underrepresented populations (i.e. Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Women’s Colleges);
  • Facilitate a community-building and networking atmosphere of collegial real-world conversation and support for developing realistic next steps for participants to take back to home campuses.


Washington Retreat House, 4000 Harewood Road, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017.  Parking is available on site.  The Brookland-CUA Metro stop, adjacent to Catholic University of America, is within walking distance of the retreat center.  If you wish to fly, Reagan National Airport and BWI Airport are both feasible. 

Lodging rooms, meeting facilities, and all dining options will be hosted by Elizabethtown College at this location. Both Thursday and Friday night lodging is available as part of the retreat. NetVUE staff will arrange lodging based on participant registration.

Please note that the lodging at the Washington Retreat House is simple and basic, and does not have hotel-standard amenities.

Do not call the Washington Retreat House to book your lodging.

Register Now

(you will need to sign-in with your CIC log-in information)

Registration Fee: $50 (NetVUE member, full gathering with lodging); $40 (day rate without lodging but with Friday lunch and dinner)

Registration Deadline: Extended to February 23, 2018

Featured Speakers

Younus Mirza

Dr. Younus Mirza

Dr. Mirza is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Allegheny College. He holds a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University (2012), and his current research focuses on how modern Muslims engage the Qur’an and the classical Islamic tradition.  He teaches courses on the Qur’an, Islamic Movements, Biblical and Qur’anic Prophets, Marriage and Sexuality in Islam, Islam in America, and Islam and Other Religions. Mirza has recently completed a chapter for a forthcoming book from Oxford University Press, tentatively titled Hearing Vocation Differently: Meaning and Purpose in the Multi-Faith Academy. He has experience mentoring students of color and will share stories about the questions and issues that present themselves in this role.

Monica Smith

Dr. Monica Smith

Dr. Smith is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Elizabethtown College. She has spent nearly 15 years as a leader for diversity and inclusion in higher education. She strives to advance a welcoming climate for all members of the community while developing an appreciation, common purpose and sustaining environment for diversity and inclusive excellence.

Rashad Grove

Reverend Rashad Grove

Rev. Grove is a sixth generation Baptist minister. The Rev. Rashad Grove became the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Wayne, PA, at the age of 31 in 2013.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Rev. Grove also has been a Fellow of Princeton Seminary's Black Theology and Leadership Institute.

Pre-Gathering Resources

Caryn Riswold, "Vocational Discernment: A Pedagogy of Humanization," from At This Time and In This Place: Vocation and Higher Education, edited by David S. Cunningham (Oxford University Press, 2016): 72-95.

Eboo Patel, "The Story of Islam, the Story of Pluralism," in Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007): 101-124.

Participants will receive additional suggestions for pre-conference readings.

Breakout Session Proposal Guidelines

Proposals for breakout sessions should include a plan for 20-25 minutes of presentation and then 30 minutes of interactive activity, discussion, or question and answer time. To propose a breakout session, please submit the following (not to exceed one page):

1. Title that describes the breakout session topic or theme;

2. Primary goals and objectives for the session;

3. Description of the proposed breakout session content, including elements in which participants will be actively engaged;

4. Name(s) and title(s) of those who will facilitate the breakout session.

Breakout session proposals should be submitted to Tracy Wenger Sadd, Executive Director, Purposeful Life Work and Ethical Leadership, Elizabethtown College, at chaplain@etown.edu

To receive full consideration, proposals should be received by February 16, 2018.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

5:00-8:00 pm            Arrival, Registration, and Dinner on Your Own

8:00-9:00 pm            Opening Informal Reception/Networking


Friday, March 23, 2018

8:00-9:00 am            Breakfast

9:00-9:45 am            Opening: "Vocation, Religious & Cultural Diversity, and Mentoring Students of Color"

Dr. Younus Mirza

9:45-10:45 am          "Base Groups" by Campus Role               

10:45-11:00 am        Break

11:00 am-Noon         Breakout Sessions I

Noon-1:15 pm           Lunch

1:15-2:15 pm            Plenary Panel of Students of Color: "My Journey to and through College" 

Students and alumni from  Elizabethtown College

2:15-2:30 pm            Break

2:30-3:30 pm            Breakout Sessions II

3:30-4:30 pm            Breakout Sessions III

4:30-5:15 pm            "Base Groups" by Campus Role

6:00 pm                    Dinner

7:00 pm                    Keynote Speaker: "The Calling to Mentor Students of Color" 

Dr. Monica Smith                                 

8:00-10:00 pm          Free Time


Saturday, March 24, 2018

8:00-9:00 am            Breakfast

9:00-9:45 am            Closing Plenary: "Proximity, Relationship, and Social Justice" 

Rev. Rashad Grove

10:00 am                  Outings for Your Selection:

                                    1. A trip to National Museum of African-American History & Culture

For those selecting this option, free tickets will be secured in advance by Elizabethtown College organizers.

The group will enter at a designated time. 

Individuals can choose their own departure time.

                                    2. "Religion in America" exhibit in the Smithsonian's American History Museum. 

For those selecting this option, free admission is available upon arrival. 

This particular exhibit can be viewed within an hour.

                                    Please select your choice as part of the online registration process.

Departures to home


This gathering was made possible by the support of CIC's Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education and Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Elizabethtown College