The CLA community will mirror the community at large.
How can we be a college that addresses societal challenges, prepares students to live and work globally, and educates and empowers them to create intellectual and social transformation? More importantly, how can we do this without diversity in our student and faculty ranks? Short answer: We can’t.
Now the Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Initiative (RIGS) in CLA seeks to address these challenges. Proposed and developed by faculty from African American & African, American Indian, Asian American, Chicano & Latino, and Gender, Women & Sexuality studies, RIGS is in its first year under the leadership of Professor Catherine Squires. The top priority? Review the nearly 400 applications submitted this fall for four faculty positions in RIGS disciplines.
Why four new hires? “Cluster” hiring efforts create intellectual vibrancy, productivity, and community in ways that exceed what can be achieved by individual hires. New faculty may work in any RIGS discipline; CLA is simply looking for the most innovative people. And having faculty whose background and research interests intersect with those of students makes it likelier that those students will come here, stay, and flourish.
The RIGS hires are expected to help CLA students better engage with the critical issues of our time. “When social movements like Black Lives Matter or transgender rights come to the fore- front of public debate, people shouldn’t be so surprised,” says Professor Squires. “We want our students to be ahead of these issues, to have deeper understandings, not knee-jerk reactions.”
In the summer before her senior undergraduate year, speech-language-hearing sciences professor Evelyn Davies-Venn held a McNair Scholarship that supported her work in the lab of Professor Robert Schlauch.
The federally funded TRIO McNair Scholars program assists eligible first-generation undergraduate students from low-income families and underrepresented groups to prepare for and to enter graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. “The scholarship launched me to do research. It ignited my interest in research and made me realize that I could pursue a Ph.D.,” she says. Read more.
“The fact of the matter is that we have reduced currency in our community if we do not reflect it. Diversity at all levels is a critical challenge and priority.”John Coleman, Dean - The Road Ahead Address