Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Capacity Lost to Poverty, Racism, and other “Differentisms” – Part I

Join the Department of Social Sciences for the first event in its Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series this spring, taking place virtually from 12:40-1:40 p.m. on Thursday, January 28 at

For many college students, the cognitive capacity for learning is diminished by the negative effects of persistent economic insecurity, discrimination and hostility against non-majority groups based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, and other aspects of difference. Students are also currently impacted by the levels of uncertainty related to the pandemic and social and political unrest. When mental bandwidth is depleted, it is more difficult for students to learn. In this session, Cia Verschelden, M.S.W., Ed.D., will discuss the kinds of societal realities, called underminers, that steal cognitive capacity.

Verschelden has recently left Malcolm X College as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. Formerly, she was the Executive Director of Institutional Assessment at University of Central Oklahoma, where she taught in sociology and the first-year program, and Vice President of Highland Community College in Kansas. At Kansas State University, where she was on the faculty for 21 years, she taught social welfare and social policy, women’s studies, and nonviolence studies. Cia has a B.S. in psychology from Kansas State University, an M.S.W. from The University of Connecticut, and an Ed.D. from Harvard University. Her book, Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization, was published in 2017. Her new book, Bandwidth Recovery for Schools: Helping Pre-K-12 Students Regain Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Trauma, Racism and Social Marginalization, came out in September 2020.

This event is part one in a two-part series.

For more information, contact Hao Huang at