With diversity and inclusion a critical part of the “The Plan for Pitt,” the Office of the Provost’s Diversity in Curriculum awards recognize faculty members for expanding cultural awareness and consciously creating welcoming, inclusive learning environments.
The awards recognize excellence in areas such as updated curricula, expanded cultural awareness, development of teaching methods that are especially inclusive and interactive, consciously created learning environments that are welcoming and inclusive and other changes that positively impact aspects of diversity and inclusion in the classroom. The award is open to all full- and part-time faculty.
This year’s awards focused on innovations faculty made to courses that resulted from their participation in the provost office’s Diversity Institute or other diversity programming, with a particular interest in seeing evidence of the impact of changes.
The selection committee recognized six faculty members with four awards at this year’s Provost’s Diversity Luncheon held Friday, Nov. 9.
This year’s honorees included:
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, School of Social Work
Valire Copeland has been at the forefront of curriculum transformation. For the past 20 years, she has worked to create classroom experiences that highlight the diversity of the student body and the population of clients that School of Social Work graduates will work with. She has changed many courses to reflect the diversity of social work practitioners and clients, introducing readings by African-Americans, women, LGBTQ, Latinx, Asians, Native Americans and those with physical disabilities.
Associate Dean, College of Business Administration
Associate Professor, College of Business Administration
Audrey Murrell and Ray Jones have worked together for nearly 30 years at the College of Business Administration, and together created the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics. This 16-credit program introduces students to issues of ethics, leadership, corporate social responsibility and diversity. Their work on a variety of business school educational programs has also included infusing service learning into the undergraduate curriculum and providing students with hands-on exposure to issues of diversity and inclusion central to ethical leadership.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
After participation in a diversity training helped Christine Dahlin understand students’ classroom experiences in different ways, she incorporated specific and impactful changes into her courses. These changes included adding an inclusivity statement to syllabi, emphasizing the work of underrepresented groups and developing a Diversity in the Sciences activity for use in all STEM classes.
Professor, Department of Political Science, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
After the 2016 election, Michael Goodhart overhauled his American Political Thought course after recognizing that the traditional approach to teaching the course focused on the dominant discourse of freedom. To better emphasize the ways in which exclusion and marginalization have impacted a common understanding of freedom, Goodhart significantly revised the course. By eliminating some material, he freed up several weeks to show that the classical conception of freedom is predicated on slavery and exclusion, as well as expanded and reworked the class unit on African-American political thought.
Instructor, Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy
Lorin Grieve revised curricula in pharmacy to focus on care of underrepresented groups by designing a new course, LGBTQIA+ Health Considerations. This innovative course emphasizes inclusion and focuses on caring for transgender, gay and lesbian, intersex and non-binary patients and other underrepresented populations. Student enrollment in the elective course is consistently at capacity, with many students who themselves identify as queer happy to find a safe-space in the pharmacy world. The course is changing the culture of the School of Pharmacy and impacting other courses offered, including encouraging more content on LGBTQIA+ patients in the core pharmacy curriculum.