(Posted March 9, 2015)

Brian Johnson, director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence at Bloomsbury University.
Brian Johnson, director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence at Bloomsbury University.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Sometimes the best way to learn is to watch someone similar to you go through the same experience. That theory is the foundation for Ecotonos, an interactive simulation game that gives participants opportunities to make decisions or solve problems in multicultural contexts, which will be part of workshops at Juniata College Wednesday, March 18.

The game, which gives players unique opportunities to try different strategies and develop skills to solve problems more effectively across cultures, will be hosted by Brian C. Johnson, director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence at Bloomsburg University. Johnson will present the workshop at 7 p.m., March 18 in the ballroom of Ellis Hall. That presentation is free and open to the public.

The second workshop, which is intended for Juniata employees and students, will be at 3 p.m., Wednesday, in Sill Boardroom in the von Liebig Center for Science. The second workshop will be a lecture on Scholar Identity

The Ecotonos game divides the number of people attending the workshop into three groups and each group is expected to form a culture. Players begin within their monocultural groups, then the participants mix groups to experience multicultural perspectives.

Johnson, who is a faculty member in the Department of Developmental Instruction at Bloomsburg, is a co-author of "Reel Diversity: A Teacher's Sourcebook," which received the 2009 Chinn Book Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education. He also wrote "We've Scene it All Before: Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training."

Johnson earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in English from California University of Pennsylvania. He also is a doctoral candidate in communications media and instructional technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.