Provost faculty associates to focus on diversity

Kristen Kobe

Five Kent State University faculty members have been chosen to serve as the 2014-2016 provost faculty associates for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The faculty will begin their work in September 2014. 

The focus of the provost’s faculty associates is to include and engage underrepresented faculty, staff and students at Kent State University. Each faculty associate will have a particular focus, but as a whole, the faculty’s work will enable faculty, staff and students to focus on their professional and personal success while building a community at Kent State, according to DEI’s website.  

“We are very pleased with the selection of five faculty associates who graciously offered time and service to enhance diversity efforts over the next two years,” said Alfreda Brown, vice president of Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a press release on July 7. “They were carefully chosen based on their expertise and passion to make a difference in the progression of diversity and inclusion.”

One of the five faculty associates, Oscar Rocha, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, said he has had a lot of experience dealing with inclusion and diversity. Originally from Costa Rica, Rocha said he had to adjust culturally when he moved from a Latin American country to the U.S. Rocha will serve with the Student Multicultural Center

“I learned the difficulties for families that have no experience with college education,” Rocha said. “I would like to see how I can push two things first: providing parents with that information that I think is critical. And once students are here, I want to make them a part of the Kent State community.”

The other faculty members will serve with Kent State’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center, the Women’s Center and the Office of the Vice President on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Faculty associate Federico Subervi, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said he has been mentoring and teaching for years and wants to help people understand and achieve their goals. Subveri will serve with the Office of the Vice President on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

“For the university, I want to increase the recruitment, retention and promotion of faculty with diverse backgrounds on campus,” Subveri said. “I also want to bring in faculty that fits the bill for the university and retain who is here.”

Dianne Kerr, Ph.D., School of Health Sciences, will serve with Kent State’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center and the Women’s Center. Kerr said she is hoping to engage faculty and students more on the center and what is going on there. 

“I hope to work with policies in place that are not being implemented,” Kerr said. “My projects will be based off of what these two groups need and what the university needs.”

The provost faculty associates will have their first meeting on Aug. 14 to discuss plans for the upcoming year, Subervi said.

Contact Kristen Kobe at kkobe2[email protected]