Diversity has always served as an important value at Missouri State.
With recent events, the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS) is taking a renewed look at how we can facilitate diversity at the university.
We have prepared diversity initiatives to ensure the college can best promote diversity, inclusion and cultural consciousness.
“There is so much work to do as we address systemic issues for students, faculty and staff,” Dr. Tamera Jahnke, dean of CNAS, said.
About the initiatives
CNAS will advocate for diversity, inclusion and cultural consciousness using these initiatives:
Our primary goals
- CNAS will learn and lead inclusive learning practices. Initial training occurred through Humanity of Inclusive Practices courses over the summer. Twelve CNAS faculty attended and are already implementing what they learned.
- CNAS departments have been given information to help them include diversity and inclusion statements in departmental RPT policies.
- CNAS will uphold statements regarding diversity and inclusion from our professional organizations.
- #BlackLivesMatter. These statements are posted on the Diversity in CNAS page.
- CNAS will offer opportunities for students and faculty through national and international virtual conferences.
- CNAS will seek grant funding for diversity initiatives.
- All CNAS departments are striving to bring in more diverse seminar speakers.
- CNAS will participate in outreach programs in hopes of bringing an interest in science to the surface for all students. This includes first-generation students among those with other diverse backgrounds.
Our ongoing projects
- Dr. Tayo Obafemi-Ajayi, assistant professor of engineering, is leading the Missouri Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MoLSAMP) program at MSU, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
- Dr. Matthew Pierson, associate professor of engineering, is currently leading NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program at MSU.
- Dr. Frank Einhellig, chancellor of provost, Dr. Jorge Rebaza-Vasquez, associate dean of CNAS, and Jahnke received NSF funding for an ADVANCE program at MSU. While the project is in its first year of development, we will be sharing updates soon.
Our upcoming efforts
- The CNAS Diversity and Inclusion Committee continues to meet to provide input to the college’s action plan.
- CNAS submitted a preproposal to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence program early this year. The pandemic is slowing down the review process, but we hope to hear something this fall.
“The college is committed to making progress, and it is great to have the input and support of the CNAS Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We look forward to sharing regular updates,” added Jahnke.
Globally Responsive Education and Teaching
Drs. Xiaomin Qiu and Kyoungtae Kim, associate deans of CNAS, have been very active with the Globally Responsive Education and Teaching (GREAT) initiative.
The initiative serves to promote dialogues and discussions on the internationalization of curriculum and instruction.
The International Leadership and Training Center, office of China programs and Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning launched the GREAT program.
The program produced short videos that address topics related to the initiative’s mission.
These topics include:
- The efforts needed to teach an online class in an international context.
- How to perceive and address language barriers and issues related to cultural differences in online classes.
- How to solve issues related to differences in time zone.
- How to motivate students’ engagement, learning outcomes and learning experiences when teaching online.
Access the video tutorials for teaching international students online.
Review framework for developing active online courses for international students.