Five Pitt faculty recognized for Diversity in the Curriculum

Five Pitt faculty members were honored on Jan. 18 with the Provost’s Award for Diversity in the Curriculum.

The award recognizes faculty members’ efforts to integrate diversity and inclusion concepts into courses and curricula. Each award consists of a $2,000 cash prize and a recognition plaque. The award is open to all full-time and part-time faculty.

Benjamin Brand, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, German Department, for reframing his course GE 1502 “Indo-European Folktales,” teaching the connection between colonialism and the spread of Indo-European languages. He highlighted marginalized voices in citation practices, practiced mindful and inclusive language, and increased accessibility through electronic texts and auto-captioning; and segmented lectures to manage students’ intake load and pace , among other inclusive teaching practices.

Paul Harper, Pitt Business, for designing the course “Race and Business Ethics,” to fulfill a need for a historically informed and culturally embedded approach to moral theory, management decision making, and leadership development.

Alaina James, School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, for reformatting the dermatology course “Skin and Musculoskeletal Disease,” to include a skin color gradient of images with white, brown, and black skin colors. She highlights (in lectures/small group discussions) the significant visual differences of skin conditions in patients based on their constitutive skin color and how the lack of representation impacts knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment leading to negative patient outcomes.

Robert Kerestes, Swanson School of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, for making changes to the electromagnetics course to provide a more engaging environment using three aspects: teamwork, gamification, and diversity and inclusion practices.

Jennifer White, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy, for challenging students across five courses to be inclusive of the diverse spectrum of people they will be serving in the future through (1) assigning case studies of clients with specific clinical conditions from cultural and socioeconomic different from the students, (2) guest speakers who shared lived experiences with a range of physical conditions, addressing ableism and giving students perspective on creating an inclusive environment as future occupational therapists, (3) assessing student learning of high-level course concepts in application, analysis, and evaluation (e.g. practice use of pronouns according to a client's gender expression), and (4) using technology to create animated case studies incorporating DEI concepts.