Established in 2016, the diversity and inclusion task force seeks to increase the faculty's cultural competence so they can better teach and mentor to an increasingly diverse student population. This charge addresses the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy and is consistent with the mercy mission of the institution, which welcomes people of all beliefs and backgrounds.
By focusing on academic and co-curricular programming at Salve Regina, the task force finds and implements effective approaches to increase diversity and enhance inclusion both within and outside the classroom.
The task force looks at questions of diversity and inclusion through the lenses provided by ethnicity, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, race and gender. Every three years, the focus of the task force changes. For the 2017-2020 academic years, the primary focus is on race and racism. The emphasis is a response to research conducted with more than 500 Salve Regina students in which students of color reported significantly less comfort, more feelings of prejudice, and less support than did white students, which relevant literature strongly suggests will have a negative impact on student engagement and academic success.
The task force includes Dr. Emily Colbert Cairns, associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages; Dr. Arthur Frankel, professor in the Department of Psychology; and Dr. Mary Montminy-Danna, professor in the Department of Social Work.
Diversity Fellowship Program
The purpose of the diversity fellowship program is twofold: it enables faculty to develop or revise courses that have a primary focus on diversity, and institutionally it imbues the curriculum with courses in a range of disciplines that engage students in the theory and practice of diversity. The program supports faculty as they develop and implement courses and provides a community in which to ask questions and learn cooperatively.
The diversity fellowship program supports 3-4 new fellows per year, each for a three-year appointment. Fellows are most active in their first year. In the second and third years, they mentor first-year fellows and provide support for the University community related to diversity.
Every three-year cycle, there is a focus that guides course development. For the 2017-2020 academic years, course objectives are focused on race and racism in the U.S. Subsequent cohorts will propose and chose their emphasis.
Dr. Craig Condella, professor, Department of Philosophy
"University Seminar: Race and Sports in America"
Condella’s course brings to light the issues of race in America within the setting of athletic competition. The anthem protests of Colin Kaepernick and some of his fellow NFL players is just the latest in a long line of racial tensions and triumphs that began in the early 20th century with the likes of Jim Thorpe and Jack Johnson, crystallized around the integration of Jackie Robinson and other Negro League stars into Major League Baseball and continued through the civil rights movement and the now-famous Cleveland Summit.
Dr. Christina Martin, visiting assistant professor, Department of Education
"Introduction to Race and Inequity"
Martin’s course explores and analyzes the historical context of major issues, concerns and implications of the impacts that institutional racism has on education in America. Students explore how institutional racism is reflected in current teaching practices and academic curriculum. The course lays a robust foundation to help students better understand and be ready to practice culturally responsive teaching.
Dr. Julie L’Europa, assistant professor, Department of Nursing
"Interprofessional Perspectives in Health Care Delivery"
L’Europa’s course demonstrates the importance of diversity and interdisciplinary collaboration in health care delivery with respect to social aspects of vulnerable populations such as LGBTQ and other health care inequities such as racial, socioeconomic and ageist disparities. Through examination of current health care disparities and evidence-based interdisciplinary collaboration, students gain the skills required to function as part of the interdisciplinary team in various health care settings.
Dr. Jeroen van den Hurk, assistant professor, Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program
"Newport Through Its Architecture"
Van den Hurk’s course highlights the architectural and material culture of African Americans and late 19th century immigrants. This will help students better understand the history and fabric of Newport as well as much of the United States.
Recent Courses on Diversity
- "Photography, Race and Identity" with Jodie Goodnough, assistant professor, Department of Art and Art History
- "Communications and Culture" with Dr. Esther Alarcon Arana, assistant professor, Department of Modern Languages
- "Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in Secondary Education" with Dr. Tracy Pelkowski, assistant professor, Department of Education
- "Exploring American Diversity Through Film and Television" with Dr. Madeleine Esch, associate professor, Department of English, Communications and Media
- "Reasoning About Race" with Dr. Troy Catterson, associate professor, Department of Philosophy
- "University Seminar: Race in America" with Dr. Barbara Sylvia, professor (retired), Department of Social Work