Q&A with Paul Schantz, California State University, Northridge

We recently had an opportunity to talk to Paul Schantz, Director, Web and Technology Services, Division of Student Affairs, California State University, Northridge, about how the university is using NameCoach to provide a more inclusive learning experience for its students. Can you tell me about CSUN? We’re a large institution with 40,000 students in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. Close to half of our enrollment is Hispanic. [...]

NameCoach is On the Runway 

We’re excited to announce that NameCoach is one of nine education technology startups selected to join Michelson 20MM Foundation’s EdTech accelerator, Michelson Runway. Being part of this most recent Michelson Runway cohort aligns tightly to our mission of promoting equity and efficacy in higher education. Creating a more inclusive learning environment for students has become high priority for faculty and administrators in higher education and NameCoach is an [...]

2018-02-16T05:01:19+00:00February 16th, 2018|Diversity & Inclusion|

Wish We’d Had NameCoach

The last school I taught at had a high percentage of immigrant and refugee students. This meant that many graduation ceremonies were cringe-worthy. Despite practice and notecards with phonetic hints, the administrator butchered the names of the majority of students. One year was particularly heinous. Not only did the announcer butcher most names, he did so multiple times in an attempt to get them right. That year, I [...]

Thanks and Good Luck, Amin

Late last month, our friend Amin Qazi announced he’s stepping down as Unizin CEO. Amin led a bold mission to improve the technological foundation and competitiveness of the nonprofit organization’s 25 member schools. That mission included working with companies like ours to create a more inclusive environment for the students, faculty and administration at each school. In addition, burgeoning partnerships with LoudCloud, Google, and NameCoach are positioning Unizin to continue [...]

A Community in Your Classroom

Creating a community in your classroom is so much more than just pronouncing names correctly. But if that is where you are most comfortable beginning, then that is a good place to start. Community. It sounds easy, but you know it will be more challenging. One of the reasons creating community is so complicated is that the definition of community changes for each class, each semester, and each [...]

2018-02-13T03:38:17+00:00December 8th, 2017|Diversity & Inclusion, Student Success|

NameBadge: Let the World Really Know Your Name

NameBadge is my favorite feature on NameCoach. It is a fun and free way to express your identity as an individual. It also makes a great presentation for the beginning of school year or as an attachment on a professional profile (like LinkedIn) or social media. After registering, follow the three easy steps to create your own badge. First, record your own name in your own voice. You [...]

2018-03-09T02:42:17+00:00November 19th, 2017|Diversity & Inclusion, Name Pronunciation Tips|

The Brain on Your Name: How Your Brain Responds to the Sound of Your Name

When it comes to building relationships with students, learning their names is an essential first step for teachers at any level. This is especially important for teachers to build an inclusive classroom environment and to show respect for the diversity of their students’. It is logical that learning names and saying them correctly are important aspects of creating a sense of belonging in the classroom. But why is [...]

2018-02-13T03:39:19+00:00November 12th, 2017|Diversity & Inclusion|

Commencement Ceremony

The Academy Awards is one of the most glamorous and celebrated events in Hollywood. Millions of viewers tune in to watch as stars gather to celebrate major achievements in the film industry. For some of these actors, actresses, technicians, directors, and producers, it is the most momentous evening of their lives. In recent years, it has become a platform for celebrities and academy members to advocate for diverse [...]

What Inclusion Means

Last night, I was talking with my friend, Olga. She shared that all through school, teachers never pronounced her name correctly. When I told her I just so happened to be writing an article about this, she got very serious. “Do you think it’s important?” I responded that it is extremely important because a name is an integral part of a person’s identity. At One Extreme Mispronouncing or [...]

2017-11-27T00:53:14+00:00November 7th, 2017|Diversity & Inclusion|

NameCoach and Stanford at AACRAO 2017: Respect and Belonging (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of a previous post, What we learned at AACRAO 2017: Part 1. At this year’s American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) conference, we had the opportunity to partner with Thomas Black, Associate Vice Provost and Registrar at Stanford University.  In part of 1 of this post, we learned about the role administrators like Black are playing in meeting students’ calls [...]