Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

November 30, 2017

Provost Commends Faculty for Integrating ‘Changes of Impact’ in Curriculum

Highlighting the provost’s annual Diversity Luncheon and Awards event on Nov. 16, new Diversity in the Curriculum Awards were announced to honor five faculty who instituted “changes of impact” in their classrooms.

The awards, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the University Center for Teaching and Learning, recognized faculty who had updated their curriculum to expand cultural awareness and developed teaching methods and overall learning environments that were especially interactive, inclusive and welcoming.

Opening the luncheon, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson lauded the work of faculty and administrators who have increased diversity and inclusion at Pitt, serving to “enrich the individual lives of our students.” She called such efforts “critical to our success” as a university.

“It’s through that commitment at the highest levels of leadership,” Beeson added, “that we are creating the environment where everyone can thrive.”

Laurie Kirsch, vice provost for faculty affairs, development, and diversity, announced the winning faculty members:

Julie Beaulieu, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Beaulieu was recognized for “her widespread engagement in issues of diversity and for the work she had done to broaden her Sex and Sexualities course,” Kirsch announced. Beaulieu’s department chair, in her application, cited her “substantial and far-reaching work to integrate diversity into not only her courses, but also the Pitt curriculum more broadly.”

Marnie Bertolet, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health

Bertolet was honored for her Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials course, which was characterized by her associate dean as exemplary “for its comprehensiveness and effectiveness in training a new generation of epidemiologists to think differently about difference as they design trials.”

Abdesalam Soudi, Department of Linguistics, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

The changes Soudi instituted in his Aspects of Sociolinguistics course were lauded by Kirsch for encouraging students “to think critically about how their background informs their linguistic choices, and how recognizing the impact of culture and language can improve our professional relationships and communications.” His department chair called Soudi a “dedicated and innovative teacher with a strong commitment to diversity [and] inclusiveness and to pushing the boundaries and forging connections among different groups and disciplines.”

Elizabeth Harkins, Division of Education, Pitt—Johnstown

Harkins was recognized for her Educational Psychology courses, which now focus on privilege and power in education, using intergroup dialogue techniques. Her division chair said in Harkins’ application that she “sees diversity as much more than a classroom subject … she sees [it] as a way of living life as a member of our local and global community.”

Melinda Ciccocioppo, Department of Psychology, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Ciccocioppo changed her Introduction to Psychology Course to feature new material on diverse populations, including the work of women and people of color. Her department chair characterized Ciccocioppo’s efforts as “setting a powerful example of what attention to diversity and inclusion looks like” and “how we as faculty … can create a more diverse and inclusive institution.”

Full- and part-time faculty are eligible to apply for the annual Diversity in the Curriculum award. Eligible faculty must have attended at least one session in the Provost’s Diversity Institute or another diversity professional development event offered by the teaching center during the previous academic year.

Faculty Honored for Completing 2016 Extended Diversity Experience

Also honored at the diversity awards luncheon were half a dozen faculty who had completed the 2016 Extended Diversity Experience, a semester-long immersive program following the 2016 Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development, which offers a variety of experiences for faculty to learn about new pedagogical strategies and diverse populations. These faculty members worked with instructional designers and librarians to modify their courses for greater diversity and inclusion.

Alongside two of the Diversity in the Curriculum award winners, Bertolet and Harkins, the other four earning this distinction were:

  • Maureen Porter, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, School of Education
  • Lorraine Denman, Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures, Dietrich School
  • Mary Rauktis, School of Social Work
  • Eunice Yang, Division of Engineering and Computer Science, Pitt—Johnstown


Marty Levine,, 412-758-4859


Filed under: Feature,Volume 50 Issue 8

Leave a Reply