Regents name two more University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors

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Two U-M psychology professors in LSA have been appointed University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors.

The Board of Regents approved the appointments for Germine H. Awad and Kevin Cokley on Sept. 22. Their appointments took effect Aug. 29.

The professorship recognizes and rewards senior faculty members for their outstanding contributions to excellence through their commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion with 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 academic affairs. “Their service and engagement has provided greater access and opportunity to the U-M community and beyond.”

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

“The University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship is an important tool for recruiting outstanding senior faculty from other institutions who have made significant DEI contributions,” said Elizabeth R. Cole, director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity. “We are honored that these scholars, who are engaged in transformational DEI research, are part of U-M and our NCID community.”

Awad is nationally recognized for her scholarship on racism and prejudice toward 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 the Arab/MENA American and African American communities.

Her scholarship addresses important issues concerning MENA American experiences and is relevant for addressing social inequality more broadly. She also is active in public engagement and has authored numerous op-eds related to racism, given talks to community organizations, and worked with the U.S. Census on its racial categorization of MENA Americans.

Cokley has a record of outstanding contributions to DEI in every aspect of his portfolio of teaching, research and service. 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 notion that African American students are anti-intellectual, and for having developed an alternative theoretical framework to understand African American students’ academic achievement.

His research has culminated in more than 75 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and two published books.

Earlier this year, the Board of Regents also approved the UDSTP appointments 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 the NCID and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 27 U-M faculty members have been named recipients since the professorship was established in 2019.

Awad and Cokley will retain this title throughout their appointments at U-M and will receive an annual stipend of $20,000 for their first five years as a UDSTP to support their scholarly and professional work. They also will receive special faculty fellow status at the NCID and will spend at least one semester as a faculty fellow-in-residence.

Similar to other U-M professorships, such as the Arthur F. Thurnau, Collegiate and Distinguished University professorships, the UDSTP is reserved for only the highest level of achievement.

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