Regents appoint two more university professors of diversity and social transformation

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Two UM psychology professors in LSA have been appointed University Professors of Diversity and Social Transformation.

The Board of Regents approved the nominations of Germine H. Awad and Kevin Cokley on September 22. Their appointments took effect on August 29.

The Chair recognizes and rewards senior faculty members for their outstanding contributions to excellence through their commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through their scholarship, teaching, service, and engagement.

“These colleagues are nationally and internationally recognized scholars who are committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion through their research, teaching and service,” said Laurie McCauley, provost and Executive Vice President for University Affairs. “Their service and commitment has provided greater access and opportunity to the UM community and beyond.”

Both were nominated by a dean and recommended to the provost by a faculty committee for further consideration.

“The University Chair in Diversity and Social Transformation is an important tool for recruiting outstanding senior faculty from other institutions who have made significant contributions to DEI,” said Elizabeth R. Cole, Director of the National Center for Diversity institutional. “We are honored to have these scholars, who are committed to DEI transformational research, be part of UM and our NCID community.”

Awad is nationally recognized for her scholarship on racism and prejudice against Middle Eastern and North African Americans and African Americans. She studies the psychology of Arab/MENA Americans and the causes and effects of racism toward Arab/MENA American and African American communities.

Her fellowship addresses important questions regarding American experiences in the MENA region and is relevant to addressing social inequality more broadly. She is also active in public engagement and has authored numerous opinion pieces related to racism, has lectured to community organizations, and worked with the US Census on its racial categorization of MENA Americans. .

Cokley has a record of outstanding contributions to DEI in all aspects of its teaching, research, and service portfolio. As a prolific and nationally recognized leader in the study of African-American psychology, he is known for his work on academic self-concept and for challenging the idea that African-American students are anti-intellectual, and for developing an alternative theoretical framework for understanding the academic achievement of African-American students.

His research has resulted in over 75 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and two published books.

Earlier this year, the Board of Regents also approved UDSTP nominations for Roy Clarke, Elizabeth R. Cole, Erica E. Marsh, Barbra A. Meek, Rogério M. Pinto and Sara A. Pozzi.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and jointly administered by NCID and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 27 UM faculty members have been named recipients since the chair’s inception in 2019 .

Awad and Cokley will retain this title throughout their UM appointments and will receive an annual stipend of $20,000 for their first five years as UDSTPs to support their academic and professional work. They will also receive special faculty member status at NCID and spend at least one semester as a faculty member in residence.

Similar to other chairs at UM, such as the Arthur F. Thurnau, Collegiate, and Distinguished University Chairs, the UDSTP is reserved only for the highest level of achievement.

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