Advancing The Plan |
We are asking RIT leaders to share some of what they are doing to advance the RIT Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity. This month we have updates from Dean Yong Wang, The College of Health Sciences and Technology and Dean Jacqueline Mozrall, Saunders College of Business.
The College of Health Sciences and Technology
The College of Health Sciences and Technology (CHST) has been in the forefront of “advancing the plan” as it relates to AALANA student mentoring and success, as well as advancing scholarship opportunities for AALANA faculty and students, and retention of AALANA faculty, staff and students.
Pillar 1: leadership, culture, and communication
The faculty and staff of CHST participate enthusiastically in the University’s initiatives supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
- As the CHST representative to the Faculty Senate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC), Dr. Hamad Ghazle works with the committee to ensure that RIT curricula are developed with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in mind and is working to examine Annual Evaluations and Plans of Work with DEI in mind.
- Dr. Hamad Ghazle has served as a facilitator for break-out sessions in a workshop promoting Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice in the work of the Faculty Senate.
- Dean Yong “Tai” Wang is a member of the Search Committee to identify the next leader of the AdvanceRIT program.
- Dr. Robert Osgood, professor in the Biomedical Sciences program, was the 2021-2022 recipient of the Isaac L. Jordan, Sr. Faculty Pluralism Award in recognition of his decades-long work making significant contributions to enhance diversity, pluralism and inclusion.
- Several CHST staff members attended the RIT Day of Understanding, Solidarity, and Racial Reconciliation with approval and support from their supervisors.
- Diversity is included in CHST marketing and programming materials.
- Students are exposed to cultural issues in Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition course content:
- In WSHN 702 we specifically address students developing health education for the deaf in their assignment to adapt a program for a specific population.
- In NUTR 333 students watch a film on cultural humility and write a reaction paper on what it means to be culturally humble nutrition educator.
- The Food and Culture video assignment has been revised to have more of a focus on cultural humility and require students to report on a non-European culture or marginalized group within the US.
Pillar 2: African American, Latino American, and Native American (AALANA) student enrollment and success
- A group of three AALANA students researching with biomedical sciences professor Bolaji Thomas, traveled to the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) held November 9-12, 2022 in Anaheim, CA. Out of nearly 2500 student presentations, two RIT BMS students won Best Presentation awards: Second year student, Naemy Asmorom presented research in the Computational and Systems Biology discipline and 4th year student, Sabina Torbit presented in the Immunology discipline.
- When Dr. Hamad Ghazle became director of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program, he recognized that AALANA and Males are strongly underrepresented in the fields of Health Sciences, especially ultrasound.
- The DMS faculty worked to implement changes in pedagogy, course content, technology-based learning, student learning experiences, recruitment strategies, student-centered education and timely interventions.
- Dr. Ghazle tailored the content of many DMS courses and presentations to students’ individual backgrounds, gender, experiences and needs using simulations, visual aids, interactive technology, study groups, individual tutoring and counseling, and “real-life” context scenarios.
- As program director, Dr. Ghazle has communicated with many high school counselors, visited high schools, met with students and addressed their issues, and provided counseling throughout their high school years.
- In collaboration with colleagues at RIT and community professionals, the DMS faculty designed several career days where hundreds of students, counselors and teachers from various high school districts came together to learn about medical professions and beyond. In addition to providing information about medicine and medical career paths during this event, Dr. Ghazle also promotes a message that humans deserve to be treated with dignity and encourages attendees to become active participants in their own communities and to courageously touch someone else’s life.
- As a result of these programs and interventions in the DMS program:
- The AALANA student population have increased:
- Diversity in the DMS program has increased from 3-5% to nearly 36%
- The freshman class entering in AY 2022-23 has 5 male students (4 AALANA), the highest ever in the history of the program
- DMS student retention rates have improved to greater than 95%
- The AALANA student population have increased:
- In addition to AALANA student successes in the DMS program, Dr. Ghazle has increased success for hearing-impaired students within the ultrasound program:
- Prior to his tenure as program director for the DMS program, hearing-impaired students were not given the opportunity to join the ultrasound program due to nationally-set professional technical standards and the inflexibility of the admission process.
- Through work with NTID and various high school counselors, Dr. Ghazle established new programmatic policies, guidelines and admission processes to enable the DMS program to recruit and train hearing-impaired students.
- As a result, the DMS program has already graduated four (4) hearing-impaired students who are now working in the ultrasound profession.
- After more than 15 years practicing in the field, one student has returned to NTID as an instructor and is becoming an “advocate and ally” in counseling students who are interested in ultrasound.
- The success of the DMS program in incorporating hearing-impaired students has prompted other institutions nationwide to seek our assistance when dealing with similar student populations.
Pillar 3: faculty and staff recruitment, retention and advancement
- Faculty and staff serving on search committees are expected to attend the DDI Training for Inclusive Hiring every three years.
- CHST hosted a visiting scientist from Osun State University, Nigeria from October 22-November 14. Samuel Adedokun was a graduate student in Medical Microbiology and Parasitology whose doctoral thesis work was co-advised by RIT faculty Bolaji Thomas. The visit was funded by the Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS) and supplemented by the College of Health Sciences and Technology.
- Mary Oboh, PhD was hired as a postdoctoral research fellow from Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia, at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to join RIT faculty Bolaji Thomas’ research group. Her work was funded by the American Association of Immunology 2022 Intersect Fellowship for Computational Biologists and Immunologists, with additional support from the college.
- CHST has invited candidates in the Future Faculty Career Exploration Program to our college each year since the program’s inception in 2017. A 2018 candidate, Paula Buchanan, joined the Health Systems Management program as a Future Faculty Fellow in January 2023 with the potential to make the position a Tenure Track position after 2 years.
Saunders College of Business
Saunders College has convened a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Advisory Board, led by Dr. Shal Khazanchi, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs. The DEIB Advisory Board is a new initiative in Saunders College that will seek to develop and implement a cohesive DEIB strategy for Saunders College of Business as well as focus on driving specific activities. Initially, the board will focus on initiatives aimed at identifying and addressing specific challenges associated with diversity and equity among Saunders’ students, as well as enhancing a culture that fosters inclusiveness and belongingness among all Saunders College stakeholders. The DEIB Advisory Board in Saunders College is comprised of faculty, staff, and external community members, along with a student representative.
Saunders College is supporting our Women’s Leadership Weekend, February 17th – 18th, that includes our: 13th Annual Power Your Potential Conference for working professionals and 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Summit for students!
On Friday, February 17th, the 13th Annual Power Your Potential (PYP) half-day women's leadership conference kicks off the weekend around this year’s theme to “Own Your Path”. As a prelude to National Women's History Month in March, the conference invites area businesswomen to gain insights from speakers, panelists and their peers as well as engage in activities geared towards helping women succeed. Across industries and communities, women are navigating monumental change to spark movements and opportunities for future generations. This event gathers communities of innovative and inspiring women who lead boldly, challenge norms, and change their organizations.
Saturday, February 18th, the 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Summit is being hosted by the Leadership Academy @ Saunders. This annual all-day Women's Leadership Summit (WLS) is centered around "Be the Future YOU Want." - inspiring young women to look towards the future they desire by learning from, and connecting with, successful business leaders and students, including many RIT alumni, from all different backgrounds and industries.