Six University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors appointed


Six faculty members from the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus have been named University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors.

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.

The Board of Regents approved the appointments of Roy Clarke, Elizabeth R. Cole, Erica E. Marsh, Barbra A. Meek, Rogério M. Pinto and Sara A. Pozzi at its July 21 meeting in northern Michigan. The appointments take effect Aug. 29. 

“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 have provided greater access and opportunity to the U-M community and beyond.”

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and jointly administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 19 U-M faculty members have been named recipients since the professorship was established in 2019. 

Each recipient was nominated by a U-M dean and recommended to the provost by a faculty committee for further consideration. 

“This year’s diversity and social transformation appointments are a demonstration of exceptional character, leadership and commitment,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer. “Throughout their years of teaching and research, this cohort represents the very best in making impactful, lasting change within our university and across the world.”

They will retain this title throughout their appointment at U-M and will receive an annual stipend of $20,000 for their first five years as a UDST Professor 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 University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship is reserved for only the highest level of achievement.

About the recipients

Roy Clarke is the Marcellus L. Wiedenbeck Collegiate Professor of Physics and professor of physics in LSA. He is widely recognized as a visionary for embedding in the cross-disciplinary Applied Physics Program, and a support and mentorship structure that promotes student inclusion and attracts underrepresented minority and female students to the field of physics. 

Elizabeth R. Cole is a professor of women’s and gender studies, of psychology and of Afroamerican and African studies in LSA, and was appointed director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity in June. She has provided deep evidence of the value of considering individuals’ multiple important social positions (gender, race, sexual orientation, ability status, etc.) in psychology.

Erica E. Marsh is the S. Jan Behrman Collegiate Professor of Reproductive Medicine and professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Medical School; and professor of women’s and gender studies in LSA. Marsh’s work combines her expertise in reproductive endocrinology and infertility with her commitment to fair and equitable health care to raise awareness to address health care disparities, inequities and biases in medicine and beyond.

Barbra A. Meek is a professor of anthropology, of linguistics, and of American culture in LSA. Meek’s current research and teaching focus on representations and performances of linguistic differences in the management of social inequality.

Rogério M. Pinto is the Berit Ingersoll-Dayton Collegiate Professor of Social Work, associate dean for research and innovation, and professor of social work in the School of Social Work; and professor of theatre and drama in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Pinto is a leader in research focused on helping health providers to develop networks of care to ease barriers and facilitate access to health services for underserved, racially, ethnically and sexually minoritized populations.

Sara A. Pozzi is a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences in the College of Engineering; and professor of physics in LSA. Pozzi is an internationally recognized researcher in nuclear detection, who has built one of the field’s most successful research groups and is a tireless advocate for institutional transformation to achieve greater diversity, equity and inclusion.


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