“We value the humanizing practices that are often embedded in the teaching practices of Black teachers,” explains Keisha McIntosh Allen, assistant professor of language and literacy education. “This is an opportunity for them to lead and share their knowledge, which is often overlooked by teacher evaluations that do not acknowledge these approaches to teaching.”
A new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education features UMBC’s peer-based work to boost faculty diversity. For decades, UMBC’s strong reputation for inclusive excellence has focused on student diversity. The new UMBC case study in “Diversifying Our Campus: Key Insights and Models for Change” expands that conversation.
Graduating seniors Anthony Cano, Renato Zanelli, and Maya Scheirer came to UMBC with pride and hunger instilled by their immigrant parents’ work ethic. They brought rich cultures, languages, and hearts full of dreams and aspirations with the goal of forging futures of their own. “As a first-generation college student,” Zanelli says, “I can now be a role model for my younger cousins. I can help and inspire them. They will not have to do it alone.”
Culturally sustaining pedagogy, Nash explains, focuses on countering structures that systematically erase the culture and language of communities of color. Her book is an example of the impact teachers can have when they commit to this work. “This includes not only changing how we teach,” she says, “but whom we teach with.”
“I believe this paper is a great example of how diversity expands the type of research scientists are doing,” says Casey Haines ’19. “A diverse pool of researchers may result in new questions being asked and new approaches to answering those questions. I would love to see this type of research applied in other areas of STEM.”
“UMBC is giving me the ultimate opportunity of time and support to think, write, and teach about what matters to me the most—conducting research about my community,” says Fernando Tormos-Aponte, political science. He shares the same enthusiasm that Emily Perez, English, and Blake Francis, philosophy, have about their new appointments as 2019-2020 Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity.
“These findings confirm that Meyerhoff-like programs and student outcomes can be achieved elsewhere, even at institutions very different from UMBC,” says Michael Summers. “It is my hope that this initial effort has laid the groundwork for partnership expansion with an even broader range of institutions.”