Ghosh and Lovejoy will receive partial release time from their teaching duties to work on EDI initiatives during the 2022 spring and fall semesters. They will also be available as a resource for other faculty who are working on incorporating EDI into their curriculum and classrooms.
Ghosh, who has taught at UW-Stout for 5½ years, has aspired to work on EDI issues for some time. “I can now devote the time and energy that this topic deserves for the results to be beneficial for the campus community,” he said. “EDI is a lens through which to see the world, and I hope to make it easier for my colleagues to access this lens.
“One of my pet projects is about bringing some ‘intentionality’ to the hiring and HR practices on campus, as they relate to equity and diversity. I would like EDI to be integral to our hiring and HR processes without burdening my overworked colleagues with additional work,” he added.
Lovejoy’s role will be specific to UW-Stout’s Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center, which supports instructional development.
In her 10th year teaching at UW-Stout, Lovejoy is looking forward to helping form “new spaces and new ways to create a stronger climate for all members of the campus. I’m also excited for the opportunity to continue to grow in my own EDI development while also supporting others in their journey,” she said.
“I hope to create tools and experiences to help build awareness and confidence in the faculty and staff to be better prepared to serve as active allies,” Lovejoy added.
The fellowships help provide representation from across the university community as the EDI Office, established Aug. 1, continues its pilot year. The goal of the office is to prioritize the university’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
“The recruitment for all of the fellow of EDI positions has shown us explicitly and excitedly how many individuals in our campus community are ready to take a deeper dive into this essential work. We are excited to develop projects with each of our fellows to help make steps toward improving our campus climate and culture,” Vargas said.
In October, the EDI Office announced a Student Fellow of EDI, a Staff Fellow of EDI and an Instructional Academic Staff Fellow of EDI for fall 2021 and spring 2022.
Vargas works closely with Associate Professor Rickie-Ann Legleitner, the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan coordinator. They collaborate with five other units at UW-Stout to develop EDI initiatives. The units are Multicultural Student Services, Student Support Services, Fostering Success, LGBTQIA+ Resources and the McNair Scholars Program.
“Faculty involvement in EDI work is absolutely essential on our campus,” Legleitner said. “No matter the discipline, we all share responsibility for building inclusive and accessible classrooms and workspaces, and we all need to consider if our classroom and department policies are equitable. Having faculty voices in the EDI Office also helps ensure that we are centering the recruitment and retainment of diverse faculty, staff, and students while we work to improve our campus climate.”
Inclusive excellence is one of five goals in UW-Stout’s FOCUS2030 Strategic Plan.