Nine University of Michigan professors have been named the inaugural recipients of University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorships.
The designation was recently created to recognize senior faculty who have shown a commitment to the university’s ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion through their scholarship, teaching, or service and engagement.
The Board of Regents approved the appointments Sept. 19. They took effect Sept. 1.
“These scholars are nationally and internationally recognized researchers,” said Provost Martin Philbert. “Their scholarship and contributions to their fields represent a level of engagement and accomplishment that U-M is proud to support.”
Awarded the new designation were Ketra Armstrong, Audrey Bennett, Susan Dynarski, Lola Eniola-Adefeso, Stephanie Fryberg, Marita Inglehart, Carla O’Connor, Denise Sekaquaptewa and David Wooten.
They will hold their initial appointments for five years and receive an annual stipend of $20,000 to support their scholarly and professional work. They also will receive special faculty fellow status at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, and will spend at least one semester as a faculty fellow-in-residence.
“While their areas of investigation vary, they are united in one aspect: The breadth and depth of their work has led to innovative, often interdisciplinary, research and teaching that explores and addresses questions related to DEI with our local communities, and extends beyond to global societies,” said Tabbye Chavous, director for NCID and professor of education and psychology.
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.
As NCID faculty fellows-in-residence, the awardees are asked to share a set of goals related to their own scholarship, teaching, or service and engagement that they plan to accomplish during that term. They also will have access to NCID’s administrative infrastructure and other center resources to support their activities.
About the recipients
Ketra Armstrong is associate dean for graduate affairs, professor of sport management, and diversity, equity and inclusion lead for the School of Kinesiology. She also directs the Center for Race & Ethnicity in Sport. She is an affiliate faculty member in the departments of Afroamerican and African Studies and Women’s Studies. Her scholarship converges on the topics of race, gender and the social psychology of sport and leisure consumption and the management thereof.
Audrey Bennett is a graphic design scholar and professor of art and design who studies cross-cultural and transdisciplinary design that makes use of images that permeate global culture, and impact the way we think and behave. Her research has contributed a hypothesis called interactive aesthetics that aims to democratize control of images in society. Currently, Bennett conducts fieldwork globally to investigate the use of interactive aesthetics to affect social change.
Susan Dynarski is a professor of public policy, education and economics, holds an appointment at the Institute for Social Research and is co-director of the Education Policy Initiative. Dynarski’s research focuses on the effectiveness of charter schools, the optimal design of financial aid, the price elasticity of private school attendance, the relationship between postsecondary schooling and labor market outcomes, and the effect of high school reforms on academic achievement and educational attainment.
Lola Eniola-Adefeso is a professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering. Her research looks to design biocompatible functional particles for targeted drug delivery. As a champion for women and underrepresented minority students, Eniola-Adefeso served as co-chair of the NextProf program and founded the NextProf Pathfinder program. As graduate chair of chemical engineering, she was instrumental in recruiting a class consisting of 44 percent women and 26 percent underrepresented minorities, the most diverse Ph.D. class in the history of the department.
Stephanie Fryberg is a professor of psychology. She is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and centers her research on how social representation of race, culture and social class influence the development of self, psychological well-being and educational attainment. In work examining the impacts of native mascots on native individuals, Fryberg and her colleagues conducted a series of studies that investigated the relationship between native mascot imagery.
Marita Inglehart is a professor of dentistry and an adjunct professor of psychology. Inglehart’s research focuses on the role of social determinants of health and health care and related patient-centered outcomes and the role of education in creating patient-centered and culturally aware future dentists and dental hygienists. Currently, Inglehart’s behavioral and clinical research focuses on how being a person who self identifies as having an LGBTQ+ background affects this person’s oral health, having risk factors related to poorer oral health, and oral health care utilization.
Carla O’Connor is the director of Wolverine Pathways, a free, year-round program that partners with the families, schools and communities of Detroit, Ypsilanti and Southfield to support academic success, college admission and career exploration. She is also a professor of education and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Her work includes examinations of how black identity is differentially constructed across multiple contexts and influences educational outcomes; how black people’s perceptions of opportunity vary within and across social space and shape academic orientation; how black educational resilience and vulnerability is structured by social, institutional and historical forces; and how the organization and culture of schools influence students’ social and academic identities and outcomes.
Denise Sekaquaptewa is professor and associate chair of the Department of Psychology. Her research program in experimental social psychology focuses on stereotyping, implicit bias and the experiences of women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering. Sekaquaptewa’s current research projects focus on how gender stereotypes affect the experiences of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
David Wooten is the Alfred L. Edwards Collegiate Professor and professor of marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. In his research, Wooten uses qualitative and experimental methods to examine social influences on consumption, consumer self-presentation, word of mouth communications and consumer shopping behavior. Throughout his career Wooten has consistently engaged in and led a wide range of significant national and universitywide DEI initiatives. He is a recipient of one of the most prestigious awards bestowed by the American Marketing Association for his outstanding work mentoring people of color in the academic marketing community.