Kim Shearer, director of operations and college liaison for Rochester Institute of Technology’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS), received the 2017 Changing Hearts and Minds Award. The annual award recognizes efforts to enhance diversity among the faculty ranks and further RIT’s overall commitment to diversity.
Dean Anne Haake, on behalf of GCCIS, received $2,500 to further advance the college’s AALANA (African American, Latin American, Native American) recruitment and retention initiatives. Shearer received a gift of $500 to recognize her hands-on leadership and influence on the front line advancing inclusion and diversity. Past awardees have used the funds to attend the COMPACT for Faculty Diversity Conference, provide start-up packages for female faculty members and facilitate college diversity and inclusion events.
Half of GCCIS’s six tenure-track faculty hires in the 2016-2017 academic year were women or underrepresented minority men. The award selection committee also takes into consideration the effort the colleges make in their commitments to diversity and the ongoing work to mentor and coach the search committees.
“Kim and GCCIS exemplify both the letter and spirit of inclusion and truly advance the vision of RIT’s commitment to diversity,” said Baker, executive director of RIT’s Office of Faculty Recruitment. “Their acts demonstrate true commitment and comprehension of what it means to develop, train, promote and model inclusive behavior by providing a welcoming environment.”
This is the first time GCCIS and one of its faculty or administrative leaders have received the award for diversity efforts. The award, sponsored by RIT’s Office of the Provost and the Office of Faculty Recruitment, was given during the annual Future Faculty Career Exploration Program.
“As the college liaison for the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, I am truly honored to receive the 2017 Changing Hearts and Minds Award,” said Shearer. “Under the leadership of Renee Baker, RIT has launched many signature programs that are nationally recognized and replicated. I am proud to have contributed to these programs and thank the wonderful faculty and administrators in GCCIS who recognize and value the importance of increasing diversity within the college.”