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Instructor Spotlight: Heiko Spoddeck

Posted by CLIMB Professional Development and Training on February 11, 2020

Heiko Spoddeck has worked at PCC for the last 16.5 years teaching math, physics, and chemistry. This year is the first time he will teach “Transgender Employees - Creating an Inclusive Community.”

Creating an Inclusive Community

Spoddeck realized he was transgender at five years old. However, even today, there is no word for it in his native language. It was only after moving to the U.S. that Heiko began to understand his own experience.

What types of students are best served by this program?

The course “Transgender Employees - Creating an Inclusive Community” is designed for students who are interested in being introduced to terminology, elements, policies, and resources to build and sustain a safe, inclusive environment for transgender and gender non-conforming employees and increase the comfort level and productivity of all in their organization.

Students taking the course will increase their understanding of the transgender and gender non-conforming experience and history; explore and address personal and societal biases, misconceptions, and choices, and identify and implement elements to support a safe, inclusive workplace

What is it about the subject that compels you to remain interested?

So much work has been done in the 14 years since I came out as transgender at PCC, and I have benefited greatly from it. At the same time, a lot of work remains to be done - at PCC and many other institutions. So I want to keep learning and teaching until transgender and gender non-conforming employees feel welcomed, included, and treated fairly anywhere they work.

Learning from my colleagues and with my colleagues has been my biggest inspiration these last 16.5 years at PCC, and I intend to continue doing that through discussions, TLC presentations, and other training, as well as conferences.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about why prospective students should explore this program?

I have been very fortunate that throughout my 14 years full time at PCC, I have always had people who have been very supportive of me being transgender. Every time a legal or institutional change was made that is supportive of trans people, I felt a great relief. Depending on where your institution/department is currently at, know that you can have a big impact on your transgender and gender non-conforming colleagues either by personally supporting them and/or initiating institutional change. You can learn how to do both in the “Transgender Employees - Creating an Inclusive Community” course.

Important Information to Note

Transgender Employees - Creative an Inclusive Community takes place in person on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. from March 6th to March 13th.

Topics: Professional Development, Meet the PDT Team, Leadership, Portland Community College

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